A common data environment (CDE) is a browser-based application that provides centralised storage, access and sharing of all data related to a construction project. This can include traditional BIM models, contracts, estimates, reports, detailed material specifications, installation details and more. Multidisciplinary project stakeholders can access the CDE from anywhere via a computer, cell phone, tablet or machines in the field.
Using a common data environment is key to reduce rework and waste, since CDEs are being used in a wide variety of construction projects. Especially large-scale construction projects, where a complex web of stakeholders is involved, rely on the exchange of large volumes of data. A CDE facilitates this exchange by providing everyone from designers to contractors to owners easy access to real-time project data.
Why do Construction Projects need a CDE?
Survey data is collected before design even begins, and various stakeholders gather and share data to generate a constructible model and to record relevant project information. The CDE functions as a central connection point, serving as a single source of truth for all project data.
Furthermore, using a CDE prevents the loss of or incomplete data by providing project teams with real-time access to the latest project information when they need it.
Due to this access, improved productivity and data analytics capabilities help stakeholders to be more competitive, which in turn has a significant impact on their abilities to win new work.