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What Is Constructible Content?

Content is essential for BIM and VDC projects. Content in BIM (Building Information Modeling), consists of 3D representation enriched with information such as size, height, weight, article number, labor and material pricing, and more.

Content becomes constructible content when it consists of technical information and geometric parameters that form the external characteristics of a product. The components, or content, come together to form a 3D building model that directly translates to the actual world and can be built into reality.


A Constructible Model Can Be Defined by 3 Features:

  1. Content-Enabled

  2. Connected

  3. Constructibility / Buildability

Constructible content enhances the value of 3D models in BIM and VDC processes. To explain exactly how all of this comes together in more specific terms, we’ll start at the beginning.


The Constructible Content Lifecycle

Every single building starts with an idea, and that idea is brought to life with a 3D model. In the model, there is content— lots of content. All of the content in the 3D model is made up of components, and each component is filled with information (the ‘I’ in BIM). As previously mentioned, the data in the constructible content includes information like height, weight, labor and material pricing, part number, and more. When all of the components come together and form the model or system, it can be built in the real world.


However, manufacturer data changes regularly, so the information in every component must be up to date in order for your content to be truly constructible. You could manage your own content, but here’s the problem...


The Problem with Managing your Own Content

As long as all of the 3D manufacturer components have been maintained and updated to include the latest data, you can be sure that your model’s content will fit in the real world. However, teams who spend time updating their own manufacturer content can miss manufacturer product updates— and most manufacturers don’t send notifications to you when these updates are made. This risks throwing your entire building model off, even if just one type of component used was updated without your knowledge. For many ‘DIY content’ creators, this can result in thousands of dollars lost every year.

The good news is, companies like Trimble offer fully managed and up-to-date constructible content. Take a look at this page to learn more.


Here are Some Benefits of Managed Constructible Content:

  •  Open Data

Open data enables real-time collaboration

  • Predictable Outcomes

Predictable outcomes mean reduced risk and fewer surprises

  • Data-Rich Libraries

Libraries are filled with pertinent information needed for an accurate 3D building model

  • Historical Information

Knowing information from the past can improve product efficiencies and workflows

  • Accurate

Having the most up-to-date and accurate product information allows for ‘digital-twin builds’


Why Data is Essential to Constructible Content

Detailers and designers want to deliver constructible models— models containing all the necessary information needed to construct a building from conception to completion. Having rich data in your content is essential to forecasting, calculating, ordering, and defining projects. If 3D content comes from manufacturer building data, you’re working with items used in the real world (constructible content). These items are equipped with up-to-date parameters, which can be used in projects to:

  • Create prefab sets

  • Create BOM (Bill of Material) lists

  • Create ordering lists

  • Make accurate calculations for MEP systems

In the MEP domain, it is important to focus on quality data to ensure the overview of the content provided is relevant to your users.

Good, up-to-date content should always be a requirement. But, what defines “good” content?  


Requirements for good, constructible content

  • Right and correct data

  • Easy to use and maintain

  • Easy to navigate and find

  • Regularly updated and managed


Where to find constructible content

Shrinking budgets result in the need to design in even smarter and more efficient ways. Good software and constructible content are necessary to do this. But different projects require different functionalities in your software (and different content needs). Because of this, flexibility is becoming even more important as well.

It’s predicted that ‘on-demand’ or subscription-based models, like Netflix, will increasingly influence the world of design software. With subscription-based models, software, updates, and support are all included in a monthly payment, and consequently, can be adjusted to meet your specific needs.

3D constructible content to fit all of your needs is offered by Trimble. It’s completely managed, maintained, and kept up to date, so you can be confident your model, filled with rich and usable data, can be built in the real world.

Learn more about Trimble’s Constructible Content here.