As a construction technology blogger with a strong interest in PR and marketing across architecture, engineering and construction, I see and hear about a lot of web-based ventures targeting the sector. With building information modelling looming increasingly large, many long-standing practices and processes are going to change quite radically, and design specification is one area likely to see profound changes over the next three years as we move towards the UK government’s 2016 BIM adoption target.
Already, several existing UK product information providers have provided additional functionality to support designers’ growing BIM requirements, by, for example, extending their existing provision of 3D design information for computer aided design (CAD) to BIM objects. For example, the RIBA’s NBS launched the National BIM Library, and Barbour Index launched BIMStore.
And another CAD block provider, Edinburgh-based theCADcube (launched earlier this year), is set to follow suit, launching Specified.by around the end of 2012, and aiming, director Darren Lester says, to outstrip its competitors by offering its manufacturer customers richer analytics and reporting functionality alongside its digital file sharing platform. At the moment, Darren is busy signing up manufacturers, and the Specified.by website landing page is dismissive of existing directory websites:
Building Product Directories are crap…there, we said it! They haven’t changed in years and are not making the most of the web. They are convenient, but is convenient good enough? We don’t think so…
Specified.By will provide architects, surveyors, engineers, project managers and other specifiers with a game-changing tool for sourcing, saving, sharing and downloading important product information.
Rather than having a tiresome list of manufacturers names and links to their websites, you will easily find tech & spec documents, CAD models, BIM components, technical drawings, images and more for individual building products.
And the benefits don’t stop with specifiers, oh no my friends. We are on a mission to make product manufacturers lives easier too, providing them with a simple platform for sharing product information with specifiers in a way that is easily tracked and measured. [emphasis added]
I guess the service is intending to utilise social media particularly actively, and Darren is currently cultivating interest through Twitter (which is where I first heard of it) via @specifiedby, a LinkedIn group, and a Facebook page (which I couldn’t access for some reason).