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MDO’s Core BIM Principles, Part 3

Introduction to MDO's CDE

The Common Data Environment (CDE) stands as a cornerstone for collaboration, information management, and project efficiency.

A CDE is a centralised digital space where project information is kept, managed, and shared collaboratively by anyone involved throughout the project's lifecycle. The data stored in a CDE consists of BIM data and information including project drawings, estimates, reports, material specifications, and other information relevant to a project’s design and construction processes.

MDO employs Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) as the primary office CDE for sharing information with all project parties, including the design teams and clients. However, during the construction phase, it is always recommended that the main contractor's CDE take precedence.

The CDE does not supersede the MDO internal file storing system and all documentation and information is stored in the designated folders of the MDO SharePoint before being shared via the CDE. The MDO CDE ensures that a single system is used by all design team members, ensuring ready availability of all documents and avoids the use of other less secure sharing platforms.

CDE Workflow Definition by Project’s BEP

During the project initiation meeting, MDO engages in a comprehensive discussion about the project's CDE with the design team. Further details and specifications regarding the CDE are subsequently outlined in the project's BIM Execution Plan (BEP). The BEP additionally provides specifics on the methodologies for conducting training programs, ensuring that all members of the project team acquire proficiency in utilizing the project’s CDE.


The MDO BIM manager is responsible for creating a project specific CDE portfolio and allocating licences and access to team members using the office CDE template. The BIM manager is also responsible to ensure that sensitive information is accessible only to authorized individuals, safeguarding data security. The effective utilization of the office CDE is guaranteed by following a set of guidelines and principles provided in the MDO BIM user guide.

MDO’s Principles for Cloud-Based Revit Modelling

The introduction of cloud technology brought Revit into a new era, allowing project teams to overcome geographical barriers and work smoothly in real time. The selection of ACC by MDO establishes an effective framework for cloud-based Revit modelling.

Cloud based Revit modelling reduces the risk of version conflicts and ensuring that the team is working with the most up-to-date information. Once the MDO models are published within the ACC Design Collaboration, we invite other project disciplines to publish their models to the system and collaborate within the platform.

Cloud-based Revit modelling liberates design professionals from the confines of traditional office setups. Accessible through web browsers, it allows architects, engineers, and stakeholders to collaborate from any location with internet connectivity. This also ease the process of model navigation in weekly coordination meetings.

Example of an MDO’s Cloud Based Federated Model - Residential Scheme


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