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Expert View: How ISO-19650 Will Change the Construction Supply Industry


Construction is one of the least digitized industries in the world, mainly due to challenges and complexities of its supply chain. While the industry has been relatively slow to respond to the digital revolution that took the world by storm, structural changes are pushing for rapid digitization.

The involvement of product manufacturers is an important part in the planning and construction of modern buildings. The developers took this process for granted for a long time. Yet, the construction industry still hasn’t fully adapted to well-defined digital processes based on international standards.

However, publication of the first parts of the publishing of the first parts of the ISO-19650 standard signifies the advent of a change. The new standards, published in the first quarter of 2019, were the first steps taken to close the digital gaps in the construction processes.

Industry Impact of the ISO-19650

The ISO-19650 standard comes with the bulky name of Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM).

It’s a series of five parts, all of which address the information management and collaboration in construction processes. The first two parts, entitled Concepts and Principles and Delivery Phase of the Assets are now available.

The release of ISO-19650 will have an impact in three different ways on the construction supply industry:

  • Information Delivery: The ISO specifies requirements for information management and the exchange of this information. At this, the origin of data and information is often the product, which is supplied by the manufacturer (excluding on-side crafted item). Hence, the pressure on the manufacturer is increased to deliver correct information, at the right time, and in the right amount.
  • Easier Optimization: The new set of standards open a wide range of opportunities for the optimization of the supply chain. The processes on the client side (planning & construction) will be more intertwined with the processes of the industry (sales, manufacturing & shipping). This will lead to a faster and more flexible overall process.
  • Global Adaptability: With the global release, the awareness and adaptability of digital BIM processes will rise. Through the availability of clear guidelines, customers will be more aware and more willing to adopt the BIM methodology. The manufacturer must be prepared for these increasing demands.

Especially the last aspect is of greater importance for a company acting in a truly global environment. Projects will become more international, as local restrictions won’t limit planning.

Feedback from dormakaba experts based in different corners of the globe already align with the promises of the ISO-19650.

Project stakeholders like client, consultant, contractor, operator & facility management firms wish to adopt BIM for the project work. But the major hindrance is selecting which methodology, which standard and what technologies must be adopted for BIM, because there are hundreds of standards and guidelines available for BIM worldwide.

Ganeshkumar Andavar, BIM Specialist & Architectural Specifications at dormakaba Gulf

Ganeshkumar Andavar believes the new standards will benefit the sector in a multi-faceted and cyclical way, holistically lifting the entire sector up. Andavar puts the process this way: “Clients would like to know how to create BIM scope and effective process. Architectures would like to understand how to deal with sub consultants, contractor & client on BIM. Contractors would like to know how to proceed BIM works with sub-contractor and architects. Manufacturer and suppliers would like to know the specification writing on BIM environment and the BIM object requirements. Engineering firms would like to know BIM possibility for design & energy analysis. Facility management firms would like to know the operational stage workflow on BIM environment.”

The ISO-19650 now covers all of these concerns. It will bring all the standards into single source of information where all the stakeholders can get their BIM scope of work clearly and able to plan, build and operate effectively.

According to Rick Ruppert, of Indiana, United States, use of BIM programs have mostly replaced 2D CAD to produce building design documentation.

Rupert stresses that BIM is supplying much more non-graphic information for specifying, estimation, and ongoing facility management details across all building interests. Globally applied standards are slow to keep up with this rapid transition.

Even after 20 years of BIM use, no single, shared process has emerged. If anything, too many standards now compete.

Rick Ruppert, Architectural Services at dormakaba USA

Adoption of ISO-19650 Information management using building information modeling can possibly change this situation, Ruppert predicts.

“I believe that working together through our global digitization group, dormakaba can follow this standard for new content and our existing objects can be adapted. Putting this into practice with our clients will be more challenging. dormakaba cannot control how much or – how little – our customers and contractors will use the ISO-19650 standard, but we can prepare for it.”

For Marius Priebe of Germany, the ISO-19650 is another important step towards the standardization and digitization of the construction industry. Priebe believes that particularly the DACH market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) will benefit a commonly accepted standard.

On many fields, Europe is a becoming a real union. But when it comes to BIM and digital processes, the individual countries are still very much separated.

Marius Priebe, Marketing Solutions at dormakaba Germany

“There is a huge diversity in level of BIM adoption, regulations and standards. My hope is that by adopting the ISO standard and transferring it in national laws (e.g. DIN EN ISO), a harmonization takes place and the European landscape becomes more even and predictable. But we are on a good way archiving this,” Marius Priebe adds.

Otherwise, Priebe feels it will be hard for European companies to respond effectively to the global challenges.


The publishing of the first parts of the ISO-19650 is a significant stride for the construction industry to ensure it moves on from its reputation as the least digitized sector, and embraces innovation. The set of standards offers a common global guideline for the execution of BIM projects. Although this doesn’t affect the manufacturer of building products directly, it prepares the basis for an effective seamless digital process including all relevant parties. Manufacturer must be prepared for this development; because clients are.

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