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ISO 19650: Potential for transformation of information management in the Canadian construction industry

ISO 19650: Potential for transformation of information management in the Canadian construction industry
Date Published: August 17, 2023
Ryan Zantinge

Ryan Zantinge

VDC Manager, Chandos Construction

Experienced in delivering large-scale projects to BS 1192, PAS 1192, and ISO 19650. Passionate about information management, standardization, and process implementation.

Find me on LinkedIn

The Canadian construction industry plays a vital role in the country's economy. It is an industry that continually seeks ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance collaboration. One key aspect of achieving these goals is effective information management. In recent years, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed ISO 19650, a new global standard specifically tailored to manage information throughout the life cycle of built assets.  ISO 19650 has the potential to revolutionize information management practices within the Canadian construction industry, leading to increased productivity, streamlined processes, and improved project outcomes.

As we look at the current state of information management it’s easy to see that it’s been a common challenge facing our industry. Historically, construction projects have been plagued by fragmented information, inconsistent documentation, and a lack of standardization across different stakeholders. These issues lead to miscommunication, errors, and delays, ultimately hindering project delivery.

Introducing ISO 19650

ISO 19650 represents a significant step forward in transforming information management within the industry. This standard focuses on two key aspects: information management during the life cycle of a built asset and Building Information Modeling (BIM). Establishing a common framework and vocabulary, facilitating seamless collaboration and information exchange among project participants.

Unified Information Management

This new global standard provides guidelines for effective information management throughout the entire life cycle of a built asset. It promotes standardized documentation, consistent data formats, and clear responsibilities for information handling. Streamlining workflows, reducing errors, and improving decision-making across all project stages.

Harnessing the Power of BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an integral part of ISO 19650. BIM enables the creation and management of digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a built asset. By adopting BIM, construction professionals can benefit from enhanced visualization, clash detection, and more accurate quantity take-offs. ISO 19650 aligns BIM workflows with information management processes, ensuring efficient utilization of BIM throughout the project life cycle.

The potential impact on the Canadian construction industry could be huge. Having the ability to revolutionize how we build, paving the way for numerous benefits and improved project outcomes. The four main examples of how ISO 19650 will change how we work are:

Enhanced collaboration

The standard fosters collaboration between project stakeholders, breaking down silos and improving communication. It also facilitates data sharing and integration, enabling teams to work together seamlessly, leading to reduced conflicts and increased project efficiency.

Improved project efficiency

With standardized processes and documentation, the adoption of ISO 19650 can streamline project workflows and reduce duplication of effort. The standard ensures that all stakeholders have access to accurate and up-to-date information, enabling quicker decision-making and reducing delays. The resulting time savings can translate into improved project delivery timelines and cost savings.

Better data management

ISO 19650 provides guidelines for consistent data classification, storage, and retrieval. This allows construction companies to manage their information more effectively, ensuring its accessibility and usefulness throughout the project life cycle and beyond. Improved data management contributes to better risk mitigation, improved maintenance and operations, and more informed decision-making.


Lastly, ISO 19650 serves as a common language for the construction industry, enabling organizations to align their processes and facilitate interoperability between different software solutions. This standardization can help drive innovation, encourage the adoption of emerging technologies, and enhance industry-wide collaboration.

This new global standard has the potential to transform the industry, providing a standardized framework for information management and promoting the integration of BIM. The range of benefits, including improved collaboration, enhanced project efficiency, better data management, and industry-wide standardization, make it easy to understand why our industry should implement it throughout projects. As the industry embraces ISO 19650, it is poised to realize its full potential and usher in a new era of streamlined processes, reduced costs, and successful project outcomes.

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