A CDE shared

The Integration of Asite and 3D Repo's BIM data management solutions streamlines the working processes of both approaches to the CDE and the BIM data model, writes David Chadwick

Asite, the global cloud-based collaboration and Common Data Environment (CDE) platform, and 3D Repo, pioneers of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for Building Information Modelling (BIM) data, have announced that they are joining forces. Their aims are to leverage the capabilities of each of their solutions to provide improved services and streamline their workflows further, improving collaboration and reducing the complexity of BIM data management.

This new integration will enhance the standard process of uploading 3D models and other BIM related deliverables to Asite's CDE, providing instant and synchronous access to those files in 3D Repo. Instant access to both platforms saves the user time, instead of having to upload files to multiple locations. Both solutions will benefit from the bidirectional functionality of the integration, as files uploaded to 3D Repo will similarly be automatically synched back to Asite.

Asite enables organisations to store and manage all project data in one central and secure repository, a CDE or Common Data Environment, providing the tools to plan, design, and build with seamless information sharing across the entire supply chain. Asite has been used by many leading AEC companies on global projects, including Crossrail and the expansion of Dubai International Airport; offering streamlined workflows, efficient information management, and full document control that complies with global standards.

3D Repo has been used on many large construction projects including Wood Wharf and King's Cross railway station to name a few. Synchronising 3D Repo and Asite's CDE is going to save valuable time on construction and infrastructure projects where hundreds or thousands of model federations and other deliverables are uploaded.

The news comes concurrently with the latest update by Buro Happold, 3D Repo and a consortium of partners on the AEC Delta Project, a new industry open standard for sharing data mentioned in our news pages in the last issue, aimed at streamlining BIM data access even further.


It's always interesting when two companies decide to join forces and integrate their technologically differing solutions. I spoke to Tom Coleing, Marketing and Comms Manager at Asite, who explained in greater detail what Asite and 3D Repo contribute to an overall project management environment.

The first question I asked Tom related to the supremacy of the model. Asite's Project Portfolio Management already enables clients to view cloud based 3D models in a Common Data Environment. With 3D repo integrated within this system, I asked whether clients would be looking at an Asite or 3D Repo hosted model? The answer was that it all depended on what the user wanted to achieve. Both viewers have functions in common, but 3D Repo is more suited to model coordination and issue management, whilst Asite is a CDE, so the focus is on the wider information management process, irrespective of the file format.

To put that into context, as part of the design workflows established in a CDE for model files, the model file may be coordinated and commented on using 3D Repo. However, in order to take action on those comments, you may want to draw upon files and electronic forms from the CDE in order to enrich the discussions around issues - this can be done in Asite's 3D viewer. Alternatively, you will need to come back into the CDE to accordingly approve or reject the 3D model file.

Considering a construction workflow, users may use 3D Repo's SafetiBase to identify issues but then to take action on those, users would go back into Asite to raise contractual communication forms such as an RFI or Site instruction.


Asite's collaborative BIM model underscores the company's portfolio management solution, the numerous capabilities of which are listed on Asite's website. I asked Tom which of these were specifically enhanced by integration with 3D Repo? As Asite's collaborative BIM module is completely integrated with the remaining platform to facilitate portfolio management purposes it is able to offer various services. These include: coordinating models; managing revisions of files; individual object management; searching for objects based on metadata; preparing COBie reports for federated model creation; exporting single IFC files from federated models (containing all the federated file's data) and procurement services for objects.

Conversely, 3D Repo's models are more suited for managing the coordination of models, identifying risks in SafetiBase, issues within models, and locating models on GIS (a handy inclusion as GIS/GML Support is an additional functionality that is not available in Asite at the moment). 3D Repo also supports a couple of additional file formats and has several more plug-ins within model authoring and validation software that Asite does not have. Therefore the integration will enable clients to take advantage of features that may not be available in either one of the platforms.

Have Asite's metadata searches been enhanced by 3D Repo's data handling capabilities? The model files already exist in Asite before they are pushed into 3D Repo. The models available in Asite and 3D Repo should, therefore, not be different, and Asite's capabilities would remain unaffected by this. In Asite you can already view and query the object properties available in model files.

Is the integration a step in the direction of replacement of COBie data exports - with the aim of providing asset managers with a totally 3D based building model? As above, the IFC dataset should already exist in Asite. So whether users export the product and manufacturing information exchange through COBie or not is the user's choice, but Asite allows users to export COBie data, unlike 3D Repo.

Tom said that Asite are looking at enabling third-party suppliers to add metadata to objects in the model, for example product serial number, and this is what will get the industry away from exporting the data in the first place. Where does Asite Adoddle figure in all of this? Is field based project collaboration a feature of the 3D Repo integration? Unlike Asite, there is no 3D Repo mobile/tablet app currently available.

Adoddle has an H&S compliance feature. Will this be integrated with 3D Repo's SafetiBase? Not during this initial integration, but since the risks raised through SaftiBASE can be considered in a similar way to issues, it can be developed as part of the solution if there is interest.

Emphasising the nature of the integration, Nathan Doughty, Group CEO at Asite, explained that model files within Asite can be pushed into 3D Repo, where users can then raise issues within them. As these issues are raised, they will be synced and visible in Asite as an issue. Similarly, issues can be raised in Asite's model viewer, and those issues will be visible in 3D Repo. The basis for the integration is the exchange of BCF file content. This exchange will be managed by an API call so the whole exchange flow will be automatic and enable bidirectional syncing of issue.

The integration is seen as a positive step by Nathan with major benefits for their clients. "We're delighted to be working with 3D Repo on an integration to align our platforms and create a seamless experience that further improves coordination for our shared customer base, and will ultimately save time on construction projects globally."

His comments were echoed by Dr Jozef Dobos, the founder and CEO of 3D Repo. "Asite provides a single point of access, validation, and quality assurance for project deliverables which many of our customers are already using. Integrating with Asite is a natural fit for 3D Repo and follows in the footsteps of other existing integrations across the entire market creating a truly collaborative ecosystem for the entire AEC industry."