Doc.dr.techn.arch. Iva Kovacic, Lars Oberwinter

Vienna University of Technology

Vienna Austria


Evolving capabilities of CAD software solutions for the building industry have led to a considerable gain of importance of Building Information Modeling techniques over the last years. Being connected by parametric data interfaces such as the IFC standard, all disciplines begin to make use of the evolving opportunities of bidirectional data exchange. However, merging the multitude of complex geometrical and factual Information contributed by the individual stakeholders into an integrated digital building model obviously leads to a variety of challenges concerning the file sizes, structural organization and file handling, especially in large-scale-projects.

In this paper, we propose a method of using Adobe’s 3D-pdf engine along with embedded, JavaScript-based interfaces to easily access and handle building information models. To guarantee the persistent and easy accessibility of all relevant information for every party involved, a method was developed to explicitly gain an individual scope of information from the overall data structure and then gather it into a custom made 3D-pdf. By also enhancing the basic 3D-pdf functionality trough customizable, JavaScript-based features, we affirm that even the most complex 2D, 3D and 4D BIM content can be handled and navigated easily by any amateur. Additional automated texturing, lightning and mapping functions in combination with the Acrobat’s native functions for altering the building models display provide an eclectic range of high quality graphical outputs far beyond the opportunities of common IFC-viewing-software.

Proposing enhanced 3D-pdfs as an interdisciplinary communication interface, we aim to offer any stakeholder of a buildings planning and construction process a slim and easy to use tool to access, visualize, comment and communicate even the most complex BIM content. Throughout the building’s life cycle, it also empowers both building owners and facility managers to inquire any desired building information by simply opening a single pdf file in Acrobat Reader.

Download Paper