Based on the same motivation of a standardised communication for product-information, leading German companies developed an own classification: eCl@ss. eCl@ss is charactarized by a 4-level, hierarchical classification-code. Since ETIM and eCl@ss have the same objective, a close cooperation was agreed upon in 2001. The cooperation between eCl@ss and ETIM concerns the harmonization of eCl@ss and ETIM on a sustainable basis. With eCl@ss release 7.0 the most important step towards interoperability between the ETIM and eCl@ss standards was done in the framework of the project "eCl@ss für den Mittelstand" (eCl@ss for SMEs), supported by the BMWi (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology). The content of ETIM was harmonized into the eCl@ss MajorRelease 7.0. I.e. the content of ETIM was integrated into eCl@ss and ETIM can now be mapped to eCl@ss.

The organisation buildingSMART International is a standards body transforming the built asset industry through the creation and adoption of open, international standards. buildingSMART’s openBIM standards support digital representation and exchange of building information. buildingSMART has chapters in 17 countries and has formal liaison status with other standards organisations, i.e. ISO, CEN and OGC. The buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) is a web service providing an open platform for identification of common, standard building industry terms, definitions, translations, associated properties and relationships and unique digital identification. Along with the buildingSMART’s openBIM standards for building objects and processes, the bSDD provides for open exchange of building requirements worldwide.

ETIM International and buildingSMART International agree on the critical benefits of promoting closer coordination of their respective activities to strengthen open-standard based interoperability throughout the building and infrastructure lifecycle and value chain.

ETIM and bSI will work together on a joint project in respect of the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) and ETIM’s product classification standard. In particular this will consider the inclusion of a single representation of the ETIM standard on the bSDD platform taking account of the governance and work flow requirements of both standard systems.

As part of the co-operation, both organisations will ensure that existing versions of their standards are future proofed. All new developments after the release of ETIM 7 (due later this year) will be aligned to the requirements of BuildingSMART’s processes. It is therefore reassuring to know that all existing product data based on ETIM can be used in the long term in increasingly digital processes in the construction sector.