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BIM Explained: What Is a Common Data Environment?

What Is a Common Data Environment?

For starters, it’s an online platform that provides centralized storage, access, and sharing of all the data related to a construction project. This can include: 

  • Traditional BIM models
  • Contracts
  • Estimates
  • Reports
  • Detailed material specifications
  • Installation details and more.

The central data environment (CDE) is the central connection point for everything from survey data and constructible model details to real-time progress updates — serving as the single source of truth for all project data. By using a CDE, everyone knows they are working with the most up-to-date plans.

Common data environments are used in a wide variety of construction projects, such as bridge building, highway maintenance, and commercial buildings which rely on the exchange of large volumes of data.

Multi-disciplinary project stakeholders can easily access this portal of real-time project data from anywhere using a computer, phone, tablet, or machines in the field.

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