Common Data Exchange (CDX)

What is a

And why should we care?!

Simply put, CDX is a new framework and language for project teams to decide their workflow and exchange requirements collaboratively.

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Common Data Exchange

A Common Data Exchange (CDX) is the connective tissue between open-source data exchanges like the Portable Document Format (PDF), Industry Foundation Classification (IFC), Extensible Markup Language (XML), and Application Programming Interface (API). It is a communication framework leveraged by AEC project stakeholders to decide WHAT data is critical, WHO needs to provide it, and HOW to implement it through CDX-Listed standards and technology integrations, producing a CDX-Validated workflow. Only then, can high performing project-teams insert CDX-Validated quality checks or approval gates to ensure everyone is working from a clean and accessible Common Data Environment (CDE).  

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The CDX playbook is intended to be used as a standards communication template. Unlike traditional standards that are carbon copied from one project to the next, a CDX playbook is uniquely specific to a project. However, the back-end of the digital worksheet will allow project teams to “reverse engineer” how a previous project developed their tools and data requirements, while also providing a fully vetted standard for projects that may be starting from a clean slate.

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Pick Your "Players"

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Pick a "Shared Pain"

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Map it out

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Score the Savings

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Set New Standard


Step 1

Pick Your "Players"

There are many different project stakeholders across the informational supply-chain of a project — from the project owners and investors, the project managers, and the design professionals, to the contractors and subcontractors, and eventually to facility management and operations. 

Regardless of the name given to each project stakeholder identified below, the key is to identify when each "player" is responsible for producing, sharing, accessing, reviewing, or approving a given piece of data as it flows across the project delivery supply-chain. Despite the theory that all project data lives in a Common Data Environment (CDE), the reality is that most project data is duplicated many times over between our disparate project delivery stakeholders.


Step 2

Pick a "Shared Pain"

Currently, there are four active CDX initiatives in the pipeline. CDX-001 Report of Findings & Standards Recommendation is to be released in September 2019. Select the workflow or data handover challenge below for more information. 


In Support of XBRL-US


In Partnership with USIBD


Step 3

 Map it Out

In order to motivate players to change old habits, we must visualize the waste that exists in the current state. Only then, can we begin to align different perspectives around the shared vision of an ideas state solution. 


Step 4

 Score the Savings

Prove to the naysayers that investing in up front collaboration will result in measurable savings down the line. 

Return on Investment (ROI) =

[Time Saved per RFI] x [# of Project RFIs] x [Employee Rate] 

No longer is an RFI or submittal workflow considered anyone's Intellectual Property (IP).  The CDX Playbook provides a common language for project teams to communicate the workflow standards that led them to collaborate more effectively. Future CDX Playbooks should serve as a baseline template that project managers use to define project workflow and data standards.

Step 5

 Set the New Standard