Harnessing the Power of IDS for Seamless Information Exchange in the Building Life Cycle

Harnessing the Power of IDS for Seamless Information Exchange in the Building Life Cycle

What is IDS? 

The IDS (Information delivery specification) standard is a buildingSmart framework of procedures to make requirements machine-readable, improving the exchange of information across stakeholders within the building life cycle. In the construction industry where the exchange of data has been fraught with inefficiencies but relies upon exchange of information to complete projects, IDS is a needed solution to combat these inefficiencies. By implementing machine-readable requirements, IDS eliminates the issues associated with the traditional process, ensuring a precise exchange of information.  It provides accurate and efficient exchange of requirements across departments and software tools, while also allowing stakeholders to have an input into the construction requirements and targets.  


Why has IDS been developed? 

Traditionally, methods of exchanging building information have not been computer-readable, meaning that the file may be digital, but the computer cannot interpret the information stored in the file. Manual processes to analyse, update, exchange and store information are created but the reliance on human interaction to check requirements can lead to inconsistency and reduced collaboration across departments. IDS addresses this issue by outlining the requirements for both machine and human-readable data. This enables the development of computer-driven automation such as compliance checking.  

IDS permits the creation of rules or conditions that govern the behaviour of the data to be specified ahead of time, removing the need for rule authoring during execution. This reduces the need for human input and increasing the data consistency throughout the lifecycle process. 


How can IDS be used to define specific requirement for BIM (data)? 

An IDS is a document that provides a list of requirements for BIM (Building Information Model) at the point of information exchange. The IDS specifies what should be present in the document, be it the specification of certain assets or conformity of the naming conventions of zones and rooms   

Using IDS to set the ‘rules’ that should be applied to a BIM and having the ability to automate checks and verify that the rules have been followed can provide huge savings in project efficiency and accuracy.  Furthermore, the new standard gets the industry far closer to accurately defining and measuring the information exchange requirements as set out in ISO 19650.   


What is the Relationship Between IFC and IDS? 

IDS can complement IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) as it allows for computer-interpretable exchanges and provides developers with the tools to create a user-friendly interface for fulfilling specific requirements. When set up correctly, IDS can empower the non-technical team to query and validate the integrity of BIM data, allowing verification to be carried out by all team members. 




How IDS and IFC can be used to verify the data at the information exchange steps of a project. 

Using IFC as the standard file format, we can utilize its structured schema to define IDS rules, which act as a reference for verifying compliance of the model with client or user specification. For example, we can check if the model complies with the client or users’ specifications, such as confirming the required fire rating property. Through comparing the information in the IFC model file with the IDS requirements, any discrepancies or missing fields can be automatically identified allowing for model authors to quickly solve issues. This step being conducted after the exchange of data to verify requirements, can allow for data across the lifecycle to be accurate and meet project requirements. 


Automate the Data Exchange Validation Process with Flex Flow. 

Once you have your defined IDS file, our Flex Flow module can automate the process of checking your model. Through our easy-to-use interface, simply upload your model allowing our software to do the rest. Flex Flow will return a 3D visualisation of your model, you can interact with the model and Flow will detail any discrepancies in the data.