Find out more about a collaborative R&D project that could revolutionize the identification of construction products 

Collaborative R&D Project (Innovate UK) Construction Products Identifiers

NBS, the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the Construction Products Association (CPA) will be inviting professionals from throughout the construction industry to participate in a major collaborative research project looking at the feasibility and usefulness of a unique and persistent Construction Product Identifier, that could revolutionize the digital identification of construction products. 

We would like to invite you, or a representative from your company, to participate.

Please contact Clare Price to register your interest. 

Part-funded by Innovate UK, the research will firstly establish how a common identification system for construction products could benefit the industry, and define what additional information may be usefully held alongside the identifier. If shown to be beneficial, the later stages will build on this initial work to create a pilot system.

The project brings together the specific skills of the three organisations involved to determine how UK construction can utilise and build on the success of a system that is established in other sectors: the Digital Object Identification (DOI). This system provides an infrastructure for the registration and use of persistent, interoperable identifiers – called DOIs – via digital networks. 

An early stage of the planned two-year research project, will involve in-depth consultation with construction industry professionals including contractors and consultants as well as building product manufacturers via a series of interviews. 


With the growth of BIM and digitisation of the construction industry it's important that specifiers, contractors and others selecting products, can do so quickly, efficiently and accurately. In the digital world, making sure that there is no room for error is essential. A Construction Product Identifier system would provide a tag that is unique and persistent; it will always be linked to that product. 


Identifiers are registered with the Registration Agency. Each product can then be identified, specified and included in project data through its identifier. Each identifier will have data associated with it, so the identifier makes available core product information.


The project at this stage is setting out to establish the appetite and practicality for such a system for construction products. It has worked very successfully in other industries such as publishing, and film but it's essential to assess whether it's likely to be equally useful for the construction industry.

Research request 

The partners wish to consult widely, with manufacturers initially, through a series of interviews in 2016. It is important that we identify the appropriate people in each organisation with the right balance of skills. Someone with an understanding of product placement within projects, the process of specification and the benefits of clear, straightforward information.  

Find out more

We will be holding a launch event in February where you will be able to find out more about the project and how your organisation can get involved. There is a need to have a balance of companies taking part; light side, heavy side, large and small therefore please let us know if you are interested in attending in the first instance.

Programme of activities:

  • January 2016

Expressions of interest from construction product manufacturers to BSI 

  • February 2016

An evening briefing session to take place in central London, on 18 February

  • Mar – June 2016

Follow up with full range of construction representatives in interview sessions


Please contact Clare Price to register your interest or fill the form below:

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