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Sun November 28 2021

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BSI launches digital ID cards for building products

18 Nov The British Standards Institution (BSI) has developed a digital database to provide reassurance to builders that the products they are using are the products that were specified.

BSI has worked with construction product manufacturers to develop Identify, a new service designed to improve transparency and product traceability through the construction supply chain.

Identify is the BSI’s response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of The Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which called for “an identification system that could provide every component in a building with a unique and persistent identification code” – the so-called golden thread.

Under the new system, manufacturers can receive a unique digital object identifier, called a BSI UPIN (universal persistent identification number) for every product that is specified and incorporated in a building structure.

BSI Identify holds these UPINs in a searchable database.

The manufacturer can then mark or tag their products with the UPIN, using Quick Response (QR) codes, near-field communication (NRC) or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.

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In this way, UK manufacturers will be able to directly manage information about their products in the supply chain.

Manufacturers can be reassured that their customers always have access to the most up to date product information, as the UPIN directs users to the database with all relevant product information, controlled by the manufacturer.

Dan Rossiter, sector lead for built environment digital transformation standards at BSI, said: “It should have a transformative effect on how product information is exchanged by providing a robust and permanent solution for product traceability and information accountability.”

Construction Products Association (CPA) was among the organisations involved in the development of the new ID system. Chief executive Peter Caplehorn said: “Digitalisation of the construction industry is essential to drive productivity, improve performance certainty, and ensure the robust verification of products and their information. The deployment and use of DOI in the product sector is long overdue and will inevitably lead to a step change in efficiency for construction and maintenance across the built environment. The CPA is delighted to be involved in this initiative and we see it as an important contribution towards the ‘golden thread’ of information called for in the Dame Judith Hackitt review.”

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