Development of a modular DIN SPEC for digitization and standardization of the supply and value chain of building products

Vast quantities of analog delivery bills consume a lot of working time on construction sites due to repetitive documentation activities. The supply chains in construction projects are very complex and fragmented due to the large number of interfaces, the data flow and the amount of data. Due to this high fragmentation, there is currently no digital and generally formulated description of the supply chain for construction products.

The sub-project "Digital Supply Chain for Construction Products" of the joint research project "Smart Design and Construction" (SDaC) pursues the goal of not only digitizing but also unifying and standardizing the heterogeneous supply chains of construction products through the use of an AI-driven platform [1].

It has become apparent that suppliers and construction companies use many heterogeneous data processing systems. One goal of the subproject is to define the interfaces and feature lists as the basis for a generally formulated and accessible digital solution and to convert them into a standard (DIN SPEC). Therefore, DIN SPEC 91454 "Information exchange of the supply and value chain of building products" was initiated in August 2020 within the framework of SDaC [2]. The aim of the DIN SPEC is to leverage the potentials as well as to reduce waste of resources through digitalization, unification and standardization of the heterogeneous supply chain [3]. DIN SPEC 91454 pursues the following three sub-goals:

  • General opportunities for digitizing building product supply chains are described.
  • The interfaces are defined and feature lists are created. The feature lists are to serve as the basis for a generally formulated digital solution or as an AI-usable standard.
  • The requirements for the interfaces are described.

The scope of DIN SPEC in the delivery process is shown in the gray shaded area in Figure 1 [3]. The creation of a common dictionary is indispensable for standardization. In this dictionary, the terms are defined for all actors. In addition, a translation table is created for the exchange of information. This is used to define which information is created by which actor and sent to whom. The goal is to limit the currently prevailing diversity in the naming of attributes to a defined vocabulary.

Figure 1: Overview of relevant roles and their processes [4].

DIN SPEC 91454 was initiated on January 29, 2021. Since then, several meetings have taken place [5]. At one of the first meetings, it was decided to divide DIN SPEC 91454 into three parts (Figure 2):
• DIN SPEC 91454-1 Information exchange of the supply and value chain of building products - Part 1: General process description
• DIN SPEC 91454-2 Information exchange of the supply and value chain of building products - Part 2: Concrete
• DIN SPEC 91454-3 Information exchange of the supply and value chain of construction products - Part 3: Asphalt

Figure 2: Structure of the DIN SPEC 

Part 1 was already adopted at a meeting in October 2021. This basically describes how roles, tasks and processes can be established, assigned and defined in the value chain. This creates the basis for defining the necessary interface information that is exchanged between the parties involved. Part 2 focuses on concrete as a construction product. Following on from this, Part 3 was initiated, which relates to asphalt as a construction product. It is currently planned to adopt Part 2 and Part 3 together in March 2022. The final publication of the three parts is planned directly afterwards.
The high level of interest from the construction industry in this topic confirms the relevance of standardizing and digitizing the exchange of information on construction products. Already during the development phase of the first three parts, representatives from different areas of the construction industry have shown interest in the addition of further construction products. Therefore, arrangements have already been made to include further construction products (e.g. reinforcing steel, precast concrete parts) as new parts of DIN SPEC 91454.

[1] K. Vasilic, “Digitale Lieferkette für Bauprodukte: Das Vorhaben SDaC,” DBV-Rundschreiben, vol. 267, pp. 10-11, März 2021.
[2] “Geschäftsplan DIN SPEC 91454: Informationsaustausch der Liefer- und Wertschöpfungskette von Bauprodukten.” (accessed 21. Mai, 2021).
[3] K. Vasilic, S. Bilgin, and Ö. Tercan, “Digitale Lieferkette für Bauprodukte: aktuelle Aktivitäten,” DBV-Rundschreiben, vol. 268, pp. 5-7, Juni 2021.
[4] Wolber, J., Cisterna, D., Tercan, Ö., Meyer, L., Haghsheno, S. & Sievering, C. (2021, 16. September). Concept of a continuous information chain using artificial intelligence methods using the example of the concrete supply chain (S.83–194). Weimar. 6. Internationaler BBB-Kongress.
[5] Ö. Tercan, K. Vasilic, and S. Bilgin, “Digitale Lieferkette für Bauprodukte – aktuelle Aktivitäten ” DBV-Rundschreiben, vol. 270, pp. 5-7, Dezember 2021.