buildingSMART Data Dictionary

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What is bSDD?

The buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) is an online service hosting classes (terms) and properties, allowed values, units, translations, relations between those and more. It provides a standardised workflow to guarantee data quality, information consistency and interoperability.

BIM modellers use the bSDD for easy and efficient access to all kinds of standards to enrich their models. BIM Managers use the bSDD to reference Information Delivery Specifications (IDS) and check BIM data for validity. Content creators benefit from having one entry point to various BIM tools and platforms.

Besides national and international classification systems (e.g. Uniclass, CCI) and domain-specific standards (e.g. ETIM, IfcAirport), company-specific standards can be stored in bSDD as well.

The bSDD implements the ideas from ISO 12006-3, ISO 23386 and Linked Data standards.

Access the bSDD

At the heart of bSDD is a database with all dictionaries. The content of dictionaries can be related to each other, creating a connected graph. The main way to access the bSDD is through its APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). This is how most BIM software and other apps can use the data stored in the bSDD. Apart from that, there is the bSDD Search page, where people can look up the content. Authors can publish content to bSDD through the API or the Management Portal

For bSDD Users

The primary entry point to bSDD is the software and platforms that integrate with it. See the list of software integrated with bSDD. Ask your software vendor for more information.

You can also preview the public bSDD content using the search page of bSDD.

Watch how buildingSMART Technical Director Léon van Berlo explains how to use bSDD to extend IFC for your needs.

For Content Creators

Whether you want to publish a classification system, materials list, sets of properties or taxonomy, bSDD lets you connect to the world in a unique way. Publishing in bSDD is free, except for content with restricted access. To start, just register your organisation using this form:

We will review your request and set up the account. After that, you can publish dictionaries in the bSDD yourself or with the help of expert consultants. To do that, prepare the content according to the bSDD data model. We provide JSON and Excel templates. Such a file can be submitted through the Management Portal There are also third-party tools that can help you author and manage your data dictionary. If you need more information, please contact the bSDD product manager:

For Software Developers

At the heart of bSDD is a database, where all dictionaries can be related to each other. The main way to access the bSDD is through its APIs. Read the interactive API documentation on Swagger.

We provide documentation and useful guidelines for software developers on bSDD’s GitHub. There you can also post technical issues or suggest improvements.

Make sure to turn on notifications on that topic on the forum, where we notify of the planned and latest technical updates in bSDD:

Once you implement your integration, remember to add your app to the list of software implementations.

Frequently asked questions about the bSDD:

Do you have any other questions?