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ISO 19650: How to Get Certified Using Newforma

April 02, 2021

By Rene Karras

As design and engineering firms move towards becoming ISO 19650 certified for building Information Modeling (BIM), technology can simplify the process.

What is ISO 19650?

ISO 19650 was introduced in 2019 and regulates information management and collaboration for digital construction and Building Information Modeling (BIM). It includes 5 iterations, ISO 19650-1 to 19650-5, and supersedes the closely aligned UK-native PAS 1192 standard on a global level, to ensure best-in-class multi-national cooperation in construction. Figure 2 below from ISO.org , identifies the iterations of the standard.

ISO 19650 is a set of rules that ensure a certain standard of quality is met for digital processes for design and construction data.

Jøns Sjøgren, chair of the ISO technical subcommittee, states that ISO 19650 has already been shown to help users save up to 22 % in construction costs. He believes that taking this to the international level will increase collaboration on global projects.

BETTER BUILDING WITH NEW INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR BIM, Clara Naden, ISO.org, January 2019.

In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, public contracts are already subject to ISO 19650 (or its predecessors). With country-specific amendments introduced by national standard bodies, ISO 19650 has become the common framework and guideline for AECO businesses to deliver high quality digital built assets.

What are the requirements to become ISO 19650 certified?

There is no single way to get certified. And businesses do not need to standardise on one rigorous procedure. ISO 19650 is a guideline that specifies how well digital processes needs to work to maximise quality.

Companies that already have well organised and thorough workflows for managing information are well on their way to certification.

Here are the requirements for companies looking to become certified:

Centralise project information and task management processes

Architects, engineers, contractors, project managers, and IT staff must stay on top of important digital information. It is essential to have a system in place that puts process around the management of information. This ensures that everyone on the project team always has the most current data available.

Simple folder structures with certain filing conventions or cumbersome electronic data management (EDM) systems might serve this purpose. However, a centralised system with integrations and automation offers more advantages in terms of flexibility, speed, and data security.

Adhere to file naming conventions defined in the National Annex

ISO standards are international and are valid regardless of which country a business is based. However, every nation can define their own amendments or additions to these standards, called National Annex. File naming conventions, for example, may be specified in the National Annex. Companies need to name files in the exact way that their country’s National Annex dictates.

The naming convention helps to identify information quicker and easier. For instance, a project file in the UK must follow the naming convention NEWP-ABC-XX-ZZ-SP-S-0001. The file name must include a reference to a revision to identify the version of the document. It must also include a suitability code to understand the purpose for why the document was sent.

Improve Q/A processes, transparency, and accountability

Issuing documents for delivery is one of the most important steps in the project lifecycle. For example, a DWG containing a revised floorplan sent to a contractor needs to meet the highest quality standard. Outdated or faulty information issued to a contractor can potentially result in delays and major construction errors. Therefore ISO 19650 requires a thorough, centralised, and methodical Q/A process around document control and issuance.

The entire team should follow consistent workflows to track and capture which files have been sent. Thus project teams must have an audit trail of which document and what version has been sent to whom and when.

Provide a centralised platform for collaboration

A centralised environment provides project teams with a way to easily collaborate, access and share information. It also serves as a single source of truth. According to ISO 19650 businesses need to be able to work in a shared environment for exchanging information. Ideally it provides a solution that offers collaborative working on the same platform.

How Newforma supports the standard

Newforma does not dictate how exactly companies need to manage their data. It offers a wide range functionality that helps design and engineering companies find, access, manage and share information in a way that is easy, quick, and secure. At the same time it keeps the existing workflow process intact.

This makes Project Center the ideal software solution to assist design and engineering firms around the global to become ISO 19650 certified. And in contrast to other solutions, it can be achieved without disrupting current processes that are working for your business, as proven in a recent webinar with BSI.

It is a guide towards better project organisation. It provides the structure and controls to get ISO 19650 certified without the need to overwhelm project team members by enforcing widespread changes to the way they work.

Here is how:

Centralised collaboration environment

Newforma is the only tool for design and construction companies worldwide that centralises project data. It is compatible with cloud, on-premises and third-party platforms. Its unified single dashboard makes it easy to access information stored in multiple locations. All files are scanned and indexed so that keywords can be found within any type of document with Newforma's state-of-the-art file search. Newforma is the ideal central project information management system to find, access and manage information. And thus fulfills ISO 19650’s requirements for unified data management.

Document Control

Newforma's Document Control features help users with file naming in compliance to their National Annex. Integrations with third-party BIM systems like Autodesk Revit, enables Newforma to automate the naming process.

Document Control features also help organisations add structure around quality assurance processes for deliverables. Users have a platform to organise, mark, and sort documents that are currently being reviewed or ready for distribution.

Audit Trails

Project Center also provides automated audit trails that constantly track every file transfer and issuance. It creates an overarching log profile and makes information about who has shared or received which file when and from whom is always accessible to everyone. And thus becomes very easy to retrace the steps of every file delivery for all project team members.

Secure File Sharing

Info Exchange, Project Center’s dedicated file sharing platform, offers world class collaboration features within one platform. It therefore replaces most dedicated CDE (Common Data Environment) systems. Users can share any size file directly between Info Exchange and their own file storage systems, server, or cloud, with a few clicks. In contrast to using third-party sharing software, Info Exchange offers maximum security where files are not stored with other businesses. Not even temporarily. In addition, with Project Center's audit trail, no file transfer goes untracked.

The hidden value of becoming ISO 19650 certified.

Many businesses see ISO 19650 certification simply as a requirement to work on public sector contracts or collaborate with already certified businesses. But it also provides a solid framework for businesses to improve their digital operations in general.

Having a clean and organised guideline to managing project information can help to increase employee satisfaction. And thus, as a side effect, improve productivity, decrease administrative tasks, and reduce project risks for the better.

For more information on Newforma's Document & BIM Management visit: Document Management.