Common Data Exchange (CDX)

What is a CDX and

why should we care?

A CDX is a communication tool utilized between construction project delivery stakeholders and their technology solution providers, together with the regulators of industry process and data.

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CDX Discussion.JPG

This bar will gave a sub menu for different anchors once I add to the page 

Origination of the CDX

The need to improve digital information exchanges between the designers, builders, inspectors, and operators of our built environment has never been greater. On any given project, an architect may receive a notification from one contractor as an email with a PDF attachment, the next as an automated email with a link to download the PDF, and a third where they must login to both owner and contractors systems to respond to the same question.  Advanced technology like Robotic process automation (RPA) allows young architects, engineers, and field foremen to remove tedious task work, but only when those tedious activities are reliable and predictable. 

The portable document format — or PDF — has evolved from an electronic export file when it first joined the international standards organization (ISO) in 2007 to an intelligent container for 2D and 3D vector information. However, the “Innovator’s dilemma” predicts that by the time we’ve figured out how to master the PDF, the industry will have moved on to new applications like the application programming interface (API) and, yes, eventually — blockchain.   

The question is not if technology will improve data interoperability between architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) stakeholders. Rather, will the AEC industry align their people and process in a way that best utilizes the current capabilities of technology? 

At the end of the day, digital transformation cannot be driven by a single person or company. Digital supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link, especially in construction. A single resistor to the transformation initiative can force the entire project team to resort back to old habits of attaching “dead” files to email. 

These are the ‘shared pains’ that bring us together. Collaboration challenges compounded by  conflicting contract incentives. Innovators from other industries tell us to fail fast!” in an industry that doesn’t allow for failure. Even when contract barriers are removed (or ignored), there remains the natural human resistance to change. Plus, taking on additional risk can not only threaten financial ruin, it can also threaten worker safety. 

Things are changing quickly. But one thing remains fixed: we need a safe and reliable way to share information in real-time. How do we balance the flexibility to work in external project systems while protecting sensitive data from leaving our internal systems?  That’s the dilemma we're here to solve.

Enter: a common data exchange, or CDX. It’s not a software or a standard. It’s a communication tool utilized between construction project delivery stakeholders and their technology solution providers, together with the regulators of industry process and data. 

Learning to speak CDX, like any other language, does not happen overnight. You have to start with the basics.

Still working on imagery here but this will be a cover image for the definition carousel. Not sure of exact verbiage when saying swipe, etc.


Swipe > for CDX component definitions.

Building the 'Scene'

A completed CDX scenario should communicate the following pieces of information:

HOW is the data produced, exchanged, and retained?

  • Analog (physical, human-readable)

WHEN is the data reviewed or qualified? 

  • Pre-validation (conditional)

  • Post-verification (cognitive)

WHO is impacted in                the scenario?

  • Stakeholders

  • Personas

WHERE is the data                being exchanged?

  • Authoring Application

  • Exchange Application

  • System of Record

WHAT information is              being exchanged?

  • Document of Record

  • Transmittal Record

HOW is the data produced, exchanged, and retained?

  • Analog (physical, human-readable)

  • Digital (semi-structured, malleable, offline)

  • Integrated (structured, interoperable, real-time)

Group Discussion

Step 1

Pick a Shared Pain

While a CDX kickoff could map out multiple documents and exchanges, each scenario begins and ends with a core DOR that is producing the #SharedPains.

Some examples include:

  • RFIs

  • Submittal reviews

  • Progress reports

  • Digital twin verifications

Playbook Steps Icons_SharedPain.png

How to Develop a CDX Scenario

A CDX should be tailored to the specific project and stakeholders involved.

Each stakeholders’ standard applications and preferences will shape how the

CDX-validated scenario is defined.  To develop a CDX scenario, follow these steps:

Playbook Steps Icons_SharedPain.png

Step 1

Pick a Shared Pain

Playbook Steps Icons_Players.png

Identify WHO

is impacted

Playbook Steps Icons_Map It.png

Map it out!

Playbook Steps Icons_Savings.png

Step 4

Score the Savings

Playbook Steps Icons_New Standard.png

Step 5

Set the

new Standard

Insert video of CDX in Motion - Maybe a Miro example or session or both

Should possibly show break down of Map and will link to CDX white paper for more details once it's complete or I can even put a button and say get notified when available