1. What is the BIMHawk toolkit
  2. What are Product Data Templates (PDTs) and Product Data Sheets (PDSs)
  3. Why is there an urgent need for tools like BIMHawk
  4. Using the BIMHawk Toolkit


What is the BIMHawk Toolkit

The BIMHawk Toolkit is an online database and suite of software programs and utilities for creating, managing and integrating Product Data Templates (PDTs) & Product Data Sheets (PDS’s) with other digital systems (eg: native BIM authoring software applications). The toolkit has been developed by NG Bailey in collaboration with CIBSE and the CIBSE BIM Steering Group to enhance the production of PDTs and allow them to be easily integrated within BIM Authoring Applications.


What are Product Data Templates

A Product Data Template is a collection of Parameters that describe and define a specific Product or Product type. CIBSE PDTs are developed in conjunction with Product Manufacturers, Designers and Specifiers. Each PDT is rigourously peer reveiwed and made available for Public Comment prior to being published.

When a Product Manufacturer populates a PDT with Product Specific Data it is referred to as Product Data Sheet (PDS). For additional information about PDTs and PDSs refer to the CIBSE website [Link]


Why is there an urgent need for tools like BIMHawk

  1. To speed up the development, dissemination and adoption of standardised product data.
  2. To standardise the underlying ‘hidden’ parameter information required by many mainstream BIM authoring systems.
  3. To output PDT’s and PDS’s in other formats more suitable for integration with BIM authoring systems and data management tools (for example ERP systems).
  4. To allow PDT defined datasets to be utilised directly by BIM authoring systems (such as the BIMHawk Revit plugin)

The BIMHawk toolkit was originally conceived to integrate PDT’s and PDS’s with BIM authoring systems. During the development of BIMHawk this scope was extended to cover the online creation and management of PDT’s and PDS’s.

Over the years manufacturers have invested thousands of pounds creating BIM object libraries of their products. This work has largely been driven by their customers demanding accurate representations of specific products for inclusion within a project BIM model.

The downside is that all this BIM content has been created prior to an agreed industry standard for product datasets being developed. CIBSE was quick to recognise that without such standards the potential benefits of BIM could never be fully realised. CIBSE PDT’s represented the first important step in the immense task the industry faces standardising product data.

The complexities of modern BIM systems mean that standardising product data is not the only issue faced by the industry. Mainstream BIM systems also require that each individual object ‘parameter’ must also be created with a common Globally Unique Identifier (known as a GUID). In many cases the ‘Parameter’ names are simply alias’s and it is the underlying GUID that is used to manipulate and manage data.

When individual parameters are created within BIMHawk it performs a dynamic check with the Building Smart Data Dictionary (bsDD) to see if the parameter name has been previously defined. If the parameter name exists in the Data Dictionary its GUID is extracted and used within BIMHawk. If no such entry exists BIMHawk generates its own definition and associated GUID.

Once GUID’s are mapped to parameters in BIMHawk they remain consistent. BIMHawk tools for outputting PDT XML or generating Revit Shared Parameter files utilise these consistent GUID’s. The BIMHawk Revit plugin for example can directly and instantly bind a PDT dataset to any Revit Family or Project. The plugin also has the ability to update any matching parameters within existing Families to the BIMhawk standard. This feature has the potential to correct and align any existing Revit objects created by manufacturers. For more information on downloading and using the BIMHawk Revit plugin see [link]


Using the BIMHawk Toolkit

The BIMHawk toolkit has the following 4 main levels of access:

  1. Public/Open Access
  2. Public/Open Access with PDS creation
  3. PDT Authoring Access
  4. PDT Publishing Access

The BIMHawk toolkit has been developed for the purpose of creating and managing Product Data Templates (PDTs) and Product Data Sheets (PDSs). The toolkit also includes a number of utilities for integrating PDTs and PDSs with BIM authoring software and systems. The publically accessible features of the toolkit include:

The Authoring, Publishing and Administration features of BIMHawk are only available to CIBSE BIM group members and authorised manufacturers and trade association representatives. If you are a manufacturer, trade association or BIM content developer who feels they could benefit from the authoring features of BIMhawk please contact a member of the CIBSE BIM group. The authoring and managment features of BIMHawk are documented in a comprehensive user guide. The guide is only available to authorised users of BIMHawk.



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