Originally published by BRE on Technology4change:

As the Open Data User Group publishes its paper: The National Information infrastructure (NII): ‘Why, What and How’, we take a look at how greater data transparency opens opportunities for the built environment.

The Open Data User Group (ODUG) is an independent body which advises the Government’s Public Sector Transparency Board on which public sector datasets should be released for free at the point of use and for re-use for economic and social benefit.

At BRE, our involvement in ODUG means that we can provide expert opinion and input into this process from a built environment viewpoint. With UK Construction contributing nearly £90bn to the UK Economy (6.7% of the total)  and the increasing prevalence of data use and re-use in construction through Building Information Modelling (BIM) and open interoperable data standards such as BuildingSMART’s IFC and COBie , the built environment sector could prove to be one of the major users, and indeed creators, of this data.

In its response to the Shakespeare Review of June 2013 , the Government set out its aim to create a National Information Infrastructure (NII) , identifying important datasets and maintaining “…the data held by government which is likely to have the broadest and most significant economic and social impact if made available and accessible outside of government, where possible.”

ODUG believes, however, that more needs to be done more quickly to deliver a strong ambitious NII which safeguards the publication of the nation’s key datasets and which will benefit everyone, and has thus published “The National Information Infrastructure (NII): Why, What and How” .

The paper describes the benefits of implementing a National Information Infrastructure which has the potential to deliver economic value from the release of datasets to enable better products, more transparency of process for greater public involvement and the advancement of technological developments fundamental to the digital transformation agenda.

At BRE, we recognise the value of releasing and using this data; through our involvement in runningBuildingSMART UK and as supporters of the Open Data Institute, we understand the challenges faced in developing the open standards and tools required to ensure industry uptake and we understand how to use them effectively to achieve greener, leaner and more efficient buildings and infrastructure.

We believe that there is great potential for crossover between the work of ODUG and the NII and the work of BRE and BuildingSMART UK through IFCs, COBie and the BuildingSMART Data Dictionary. Indeed, ODUG recently invited David Philp, the government’s head of BIM implementation at the Cabinet Office  to ODUG to discuss the parallels with his work on BIM level 2, in particular the move towards level 3 BIM where integrated, interoperable data and web services will provide aggregated information directly into building models.


To download the paper, click the image above or follow the link here: The National Information Infrastructure (NII) ‘Why, What and How’

For more information, email or find ODUG on Twitter at @odugUK

Open Data Stickers Image by Jonathan Gray, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.