LEXiCON project takes a significant step toward a common approach to construction product information

The Government’s Construction Playbook has called for the sector to harmonise, rationalise and digitise to improve its safety, sustainability and productivity

The conclusion of LEXiCON’s first phase is a major step towards creating trustworthy and reliable, digital structured product information in a standardised way across the industry.

Machine-readable ‘Product Data Templates’ will drive efficiencies in product selection and make it easier to reduce costs and carbon.

Developed by the Construction Innovation Hub (the Hub), in partnership with the Construction Products Association (CPA), the LEXiCON project is seeking to standardise construction product information and support manufacturers in sharing product information freely across the industry.

Detailed in a report published on Thursday 19 May 2022, the first phase of LEXiCON sets out a methodology for the creation and ongoing management of ‘Product Data Templates’. By creating a consistent approach across the building industry, LEXiCON will make it easier for people to upload, categorise and compare data between products.

The project is funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and has strong support from the industry.

The Hub’s programme director, Keith Waller commented:

The Government’s Construction Playbook has called for the sector to harmonise, rationalise and digitise to improve its safety, sustainability and productivity. Meanwhile, as the construction industry moves towards platform and digital design and planning solutions, there is a clear need for standardised approaches to ensure product information is accessible, auditable and traceable. LEXiCON can help achieve this.

We need an industry founded upon clear, accurate data that is collected consistently by everyone. This will also make it easier for building owners and occupiers to trace back the products and materials used within the built environment.”

LEXiCON’s next phase is to showcase a proof-of-concept demonstration of how software can support industry development and distribution of Product Data Templates.

The proposed Product Data Templates will be designed so that they are machine-readable. The long-term ambition is to utilise Machine Learning and AI to help specifiers and designers select products which meet their requirements quickly and accurately. As well as reducing errors, software could highlight any potential cost and carbon savings that might otherwise have been missed.

The potential impact of LEXiCON cuts through a broad cross-section of the industry,” added Keith. “It will support environmental and cost-saving innovation at the design stage, improve traditional processes of product selection to reduce defects down the line and help to improve building safety and accountability throughout a building’s life cycle. We look forward to engaging with industry as we begin phase two to ensure the outputs of the project maximise benefits for the wider construction sector.”

In the new methodology report’s Foreword, Dame Judith Hackitt urges the entire construction products industry and those others working in the built environment to “embrace and contribute to the consensus processes necessary to create trustworthy and reliable digital structured product information.

CPA CEO, Peter Caplehorn added:

With the Building Safety Act having recently achieved royal assent, we are ever more conscious of the necessity for consensus driven, informed structured product information being made available and accessible in digital form.  Whether that be for buildings or the many other assets that make up the built environment, LEXiCON represents the vehicle that can link up construction products to the supply chain to achieve a more productive, effective and safer industry.”

LEXiCON complements the Code for Construction Product Information and BSI Identify.

Download LEXiCON’s methodology report here.

Projects: Information Management