LEXiCON – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose and benefits of the LEXiCON project?

The purpose is to develop and demonstrate a standardised industry approach towards formation and management of product data. This will be achieved through creation of a consensus process and software platform that industry could come together around to agree common terms for a data dictionary. This in turn could be compiled to make Product Data Templates (PDTs) that would be openly available for industry to use. The anticipated benefits are expected to include:

  • an industry agreed and standardised processes for the formation and support of Relevant Authorities (RAs) and their respective product data templates,
  • an open, free-to-access and use (independent of commercial burdens) product data application for construction industry,
  • support industry endeavours in creating a required auditable and traceable ‘golden thread’ of information that can be traced back to a credible source,
  • linking up the construction industry with a non-siloed approach to how product information is created,
  • improved lifecycle asset management functionality, and
  • standardised interoperable and machine-readable product information that supports further digitisation of the built environment, including the building regulations.

Please can you provide some background on the project?

A first phase of the LEXiCON project was initiated by Construction Products Association (CPA) in 2016, when BRE responded to an invitation to deliver part of the work. When the Construction Innovation Hub was launched in November 2018, BRE, as a core partner of the Hub, was awarded funding to further develop LEXiCON in support of the Hub’s wider programme ambitions, which include transforming the sector through digital ways of working and modern methods of construction, via better information management to support CDBB’s Information Management Framework. This new phase of the LEXiCON project facilitates a partnership between the Hub and the CPA, working in close collaboration with key industry stakeholders and experts, and builds on the groundwork that has already taken place. The funding provided by the Hub will provide industry with the opportunity to demonstrate and verify RAs procedures and supporting technology, laying the foundations for a free-to-use industry-wide application for the collaborative formation of product data templates.

What will the outputs of the project be?

The main anticipated outputs from the project are:

  • industry created and verified procedures for RAs,
  • a single, consensus-based approach to industry wide creation and management of terms (properties) and product data templates,
  • a free-to-access and use product data templating tool for the built environment, and
  • proof-of-concept and demonstrations of hub created exemplar templates.

Can you please provide project timelines?

The project will run up until August 2022, and incorporates the following key planned work packages:

  • WP1: develop and maintain industry engagement, to ensure a consensus approach
  • WP2: review the complex standards and ontologies landscape to determine a best fit approach to support a future Digital Built Britain,
  • WP3: define the required processes for creation and management of RAs
  • WP4: develop a supporting product templating application to facilitate RA processes.

How is the project going to be funded?

The Construction Innovation Hub’s projects and activities are funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, overseen by UK Research and Innovation.

Please can you share any outputs of the previous work undertaken in this area?

The present phase of LEXiCON began in 2019 with the launch of the Construction Innovation Hub. The outputs of the earlier phase of this project (prior to the launch of the Hub) can be located here:

In addition to the outputs above, there are well-structured draft templates available, which can be implementable into many common tools. Industry demonstrations have been provided to validate the tool in practice.

Will the LEXiCON align with the UK BIM Framework and forthcoming ISO standards and PAS with regards interconnected data dictionaries, their principles and concepts?

Absolutely! Responding to the recommendations of the UKBIMA report, A Fresh Way Forward For Product Data, the project aims to develop an interoperable LEXiCON that “will be part of a network on interconnected dictionaries following the same methodology and governance” that aligns “…with European and International standards and initiatives…” to “ensure that there is no wasteful duplication of work.” This will be accomplished through the consideration of CEN TC 442 principles, whilst taking actionable steps to achieve them through PAS 14191:2020 Built environment – Management and operation of interconnected construction data dictionaries, and through drawing on the expertise of the appointed RA working group members, many of whom have considerable experience in working in one or more of these areas. We will also be working in close collaboration with the CDBB (as part of the Construction Innovation Hub) and their partnership with the UK BIM Alliance.

Please can you outline the governance structure and planned industry engagement for the next phase of LEXiCON?

The next phase of LEXiCON is being delivered in partnership between the Construction Innovation Hub and the CPA. The respective projects lead for each organisation are Steven Yeomans, Construction Innovation Hub and Hanna Clarke, CPA. A RA working group has been established to guide the ongoing development of LEXiCON. The group will be chaired by Matt Crunden, of Legrand and supported by a representative group of pan-sector technical experts. In addition, there are a wider group of stakeholders, who have offered technical expertise. The Hub and CPA will also utilise its existing digital working groups and delivery partners to enable wider consultation and build industry consensus. In February 2020, the programme launched with a stakeholder workshop, the presentation can be found here. Please also find a joint CPA and Hub blog, outlining the project background and next steps here.

How can we find out more about the project or get involved?

Please contact info@constructioninnovationhub.org.uk