We are sure there are many questions you may have about ADAC, so we have compiled a list of the most relevant questions and answers. If your particular query is not answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more - email rguppy@ipweaq.asn.au

What is ADAC?

ADAC stands for “Asset Design and As Constructed” however it is much more than a product. It has three main pillars that define and guide its operation;

  1. First, it’s a non-proprietary data specification and transport format (XML) for the description and transmission of asset design and as constructed data.
  2. Second, it’s a national association of asset management practitioners drawn from government and private enterprise that maintain and enhance the ADAC data specification and share tools, experience and knowledge.
  3. Third, it’s a governance and management entity that provides strategic planning, technical development and supporting documentation through the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia.

Where did ADAC come from?

ADAC was created by collaboration between local governments across south-east Queensland and other states more than a decade ago. Membership has expanded to include State Government Departments and water utilities. 

The ADAC SRG mission is to develop a robust framework for the efficient and standardised capture, delivery and use of public works asset data. 

The vision is that ADAC will become the industry standard for describing asset design and as constructed data across a range of public and private asset classes.

Who is currently using ADAC?

The ADAC membership includes full-time representatives from Local Government, State Government and Utilities from across Australasia. 

Is ADAC supported by any national industry bodies?

Yes. The ADAC specification is endorsed by the IPWEA National Asset Management Strategy Committee (NAMS.AU) which provides national leadership and advocacy in the sustainable management of community infrastructure. 

ADAC is the only data specification referenced in the International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM).

What asset classes does ADAC cover?

The ADAC specification currently covers the widest selection of asset categories available in the market, including:

  • Roads
  • Drainage
  • Open Space
  • Water
  • Sewerage
  • Cadastre / Surface

Work is currently underway to expand the schema to include asset classes for bridges, buildings, coastal infrastructure and pump stations.

ADAC Schema Simplified Snapshot 


What are the benefits of implementing ADAC?

ADAC XML provides a common language for describing Asset Design and As Constructed data and a common method of transporting this enables:

Validation of asset data and streamlining of asset acceptance processes

  • Ensures you receive the right data in the right format from your asset delivery entities (e.g. property developers, contract construction firms and internal asset constructors).
  • Allows you to process new asset designs faster and with less effort. Timeframes from submittal to acceptance of designs and as cons can be improved greatly.
  • Provides a common format for asset delivery entities to submit asset design and as constructed drawings to different authorities (e.g. Councils, utilities, State government instrumentalities) without the need to maintain specific templates for data and presentation.

Improvement in asset management data quality

  • Data can be loaded to your asset management and GIS systems: quicker, cleaner and more cost effectively.
  • Standardisation of data structures promotes more streamlined internal and external asset reporting.
  • Allows for scripted validation of data with Electronic Transform and Load (ETL) tools.

Opportunities to collaborate and benchmark with similar organisations

  • Provides the opportunity to provide aggregated regional and industry reporting.
  • Allows benchmark comparisons of 'like' data across same industry organisations.
  • Facilitates amalgamation of data sourced from different organisations (e.g. Dial Before You Dig).

The ability to collaborate with fellow ADAC members to

  • Work on common issues and ideas.
  • Share knowledge and experience.
  • Share system integration / configuration development costs.
  • Influence the development of ADAC and the emerging field of asset data management standards.

Who maintains and develops ADAC?

The overall responsibility for ADAC rests with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA).

The ADAC specification is maintained by the members of the ADAC National Strategic Reference Group (SRG) who are responsible for the strategic direction of ADAC. Technical feedback is provided to the SRG through the ADAC Technical Reference Group.

The IPWEA is a not-for-profit professional member organisation that provides governance, quality assurance and advocacy support for ADAC.

Where is ADAC going in the future?

The Strategic Reference Group (SRG) vision is to make ADAC the national standard for the description and transmission of asset design and 'as constructed' data.

The ADAC Technical Reference Group is developing and reviewing proposals to expand the ADAC asset classes to include bridges, buildings, coastal infrastructure and pump stations.

It is also envisaged that ADAC will be expanded to accommodate asset classes for the Utilities sector (e.g. electricity, gas, telecommunications.)

How much does ADAC cost?

The ADAC specification is freely available from our website (www.adac.com.au). You can download the specification and start using it right now if you choose, but we do suggest that it is more beneficial that an organisation follows our tried and proven roll out plan.

The ADAC joining fees and annual membership subscription rates are built on a sliding scale according to regional population and further information is available on the ADAC website.

What do I get for my money if I become a member?

  • Associate membership entitles you to:
  • Link to forum on IPWEA national site
  • XSD file access
  • ADAC support guidelines
  • Asset / GIS configuration advice from consortium peers if required
  • A one-day, on-site Implementation Planning Workshop provided by the IPWEA
  • Documented Implementation Plan
  • In-house information day from ADAC accredited software vendor(s)
  • ADAC training access through IPWEA
  • Advanced Q&A FAQ sheet to assist in your first steps.

Are there any other products or services I must buy once I join the ADAC consortium?

No. There are a range of 3rd party software and technical support services that can help you automate the capture and recording of asset design and as constructed data, however if you have the available staff there is nothing you must buy to implement ADAC.

How is ADAC different from other offerings in the market?

ADAC has a more extensive data model giving it the greatest coverage of asset classes and categories currently available in the market.

ADAC is developed and maintained by membership of state and industry specific professionals, not by any one private company.

The non-proprietary XML transfer format is incredibly flexible. This means you do not need to buy a particular software product to use it. You can implement it with almost any asset management / GIS software.

The ADAC design architecture supports regional variation (variances in enumeration and terminology) without the need for software changes.

ADAC focuses on standardised data structures rather than presentation. This allows you to retain symbology and styles at a local level but simplifies the effort and complexity required to provide the data.

ADAC is developed by members for members. The development of ADAC is driven by members' needs, not the need to generate a profit.

ADAC has the support of peak industry bodies. ADAC is the supported direction of the IPWEA

National Asset Management Strategy Committee (NAMS.AU) for as constructed data.

How does ADAC work?

ADAC provides a standard specification for describing asset design and as constructed data. This specification is embodied in the ADAC XML schema definition that provides the vehicle for transporting the data.

The ADAC XML schema definition can be used in conjunction with any feature manipulation tool to map data from electronic design and as constructed drawings directly to data fields within asset data registers and / or GIS systems. This feature allows automation of validation and load of data into asset / GIS systems.

Standardised asset data schemas facilitate statutory reporting requirements, allow comparisons of like data with other ADAC compliant data repositories and allow aggregated reporting of asset data for state and federal government assessment. Infrastructure assets and more will happen over the years to come as more utilities join ADAC.

ADAC Workflow

How future-proof is ADAC?

The ADAC data specification is designed to allow for expansion of the range of asset categories and types. The transport file format has been designed in XML to promote inter-operation with almost any software and is an open standard.

ADAC is governed and developed by asset management practitioners under the governance of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA).

Is ADAC scalable and portable?

Yes. ADAC is designed to suit small organisations as well as large ones. It can be implemented with simple asset registers or or state-of-the-art asset management / GIS systems.

ADAC data is portable because it conforms to an agreed data standard and has widespread third party product support.

Will ADAC replace the traditional plan drawn with a CAD product?

It isn't necessary to do away with the traditional tools (CAD products) used to prepare an ADAC compliant plan. ADAC is more about the data the plan contains rather than how the data is presented on the plan. This approach represents a change in CAD templates rather than changing the product.

A better way to produce the plan (design or as constructed) is to use software tools specifically designed for ADAC. CAD product vendors now offer ADAC tools as software 'add-ins' while others offer purpose built ADAC authoring tools that utilise CAD products as a drawing engine. These tools deliver the same outcomes in terms of the data recorded on the plan but accomplish the task with less effort, less errors and can produce data outputs as XML files.

Is there ADAC compliant software available?

Yes. Although ADAC is a specification not an application it is supported by a range of 3rd party software tools. A list of ADAC compliant software suppliers is available on our website, with ongoing discussions being held with additional vendors.

How do software and support suppliers become ADAC accredited?

Prospective ADAC software vendors and support providers can apply to the Strategic Reference Group to become Technical ADAC Partners.

The ADAC Strategic Reference Group evaluates each application. Where software is involved, the ADAC Technical Reference Group will perform a product review and advise the vendor of any issues that would prevent their application receiving ADAC accreditation.

Given that the ADAC transport format is built upon the open XML standard, it is expected that any changes would be minimal.

How often is ADAC updated?

The ADAC data specification and file transfer format are reviewed annually by the ADAC Technical Reference Group. Recommendations for modifications from ADAC members to the ADAC data specification are reviewed and approved by the ADAC Strategic Reference Group and confirmed by IPWEA.


Example ADAC XML


Does choosing ADAC lock me in to anything?

Choosing ADAC means only committing to a data specification for design and as constructed data. There is no mandatory commitment to software required or to a particular asset management system or GIS configuration. Asset providers can still provide ADAC compliant as constructed data in formats other than ADAC XML.

This allows for organisations to scale the pace and extent of an ADAC implementation to provide a smooth and managed transition from current operations to fully automated ADAC environment.

How would I go about implementing ADAC in my organisation?

As an ADAC member you also have access to a number of support resources including the "Support Guidelines for Implementing ADAC" developed by the ADAC SRG, that includes resource material to develop a strong business case for adopting and implementing ADAC in your organisation.

For new members, an inclusive ADAC implementation planning workshop will help you answer questions such as:

  • What is the optimal scope, timing and extent of my ADAC implementation?
  • How do I engage key stakeholders to make my ADAC implementation a success?
  • How do I map my existing data structures to ADAC?
  • What process changes will be necessary to support the implementation of ADAC?

As an ADAC member you also have access to other members' knowledge and experience via the ADAC Community forum and invitation to group meetings where you can have your issues addressed.

Do I have to change my asset management systems to use ADAC?

No. The ADAC data specification and XML transport format can be mapped to almost any asset management system or GIS data schema. In many cases, there is significant correlation between the ADAC schema and most commercial Asset Management Systems.

Though not mandatory, there are benefits to be realised by aligning asset descriptions and properties with ADAC structures and values that will lower effort in the long-term. Leading asset management software vendors offer ADAC configurations 'out of the box' and many leading end to end business management consultancies are ADAC compatible and strongly support the data standardisation concept.

Where do I get additional ADAC resources?

Information on additional ADAC resources is available at our website (www.adac.com.au) or by contacting IPWEA.

The ADAC data dictionary and Mind Maps are freely available by contacting IPWEA and are an excellent tool to engage with your internal stakeholders.

ADAC Scheme - Mind Map snapshot


Only members are able to access a range of ADAC support tools and content developed by other members including the "Generic ADAC business case "and " real time case studies".

What ADAC support is available to me?

As a member of the ADAC Consortium you have access to other members' tools for planning and implementation. You also have access to the ADAC Community web forum to discuss issues and ideas with other members.

There are a number of accredited third party service providers available to assist with the planning and implementation of ADAC in your organisation.