A Common Data Environment (CDE) is an Information Management Strategy generally using a piece of software or a paper process.
Create your single source of truth
The CDE provides a single source of information, a Single Source of Truth, for any given project (or asset). A CDE needs to be implemented as part of any BIM level 2 compliance strategy. It is used to collect manage and disseminate all relevant approved project documents for multi-disciplinary design teams members (architects, engineers, MEP) in a managed process.
Enable collaborative working practices
The Common Data Environment enables information to be shared efficiently and accurately between all members of a project team or FM team.
The CDE facilitates collaborative working practices whether you are working with single disciplinary models or a fully integrated multi-disciplinary model.
The CDE ensures that the information is only generated once and is then available to be used and reused by all members of the supply chain.
Implement your CDE as soon as possible
To work well a CDE must be implemented at the start of the BIM process. This means a trustworthy, disciplined and audited process can be created using common standards, naming processes etc which must be defined from the start in an Information Management Process.