Lars Oberwinter, Iva Kovacic, Christoph Müller,
Institute for Interdisciplinary Building Process Management
Kristina Kiesel, Linda Skoruppa, Ardeshir Mahdavi,
Institute of Architectural Sciences
Vienna University of Technology
Along with the rising technical capabilities of modern BIM applications, the performance requirements on interdisciplinary data and information exchange interfaces increase drastically. The planning practice reality demonstrated a number of upcoming problems with BIM implementation on technical- (heterogeneous data, interfaces, large data volumes) but even more so on process-level (question of responsibilities and work-load distribution, lacking standards or conventions on building-representation).
This paper will present the first results of exploratory research carried out at Vienna University of Technology in cooperation with seven BIM vendors and market-leading software developers. Project aim is to evaluate the practical suitability of interdisciplinary data exchange interfaces and -methods offered by the current BIM tools and to point out preferable BIM-software combinations at the current state of development to potential users. Also, insights are aimed to be gained on an optimal way of modeling building elements within an interdisciplinary context.
Simulating a BIM-supported planning process with students of architecture, structural engineering and building physics, the students were assigned to design a sustainable office building in interdisciplinary teamwork. Architectural, structural and ventilation models had to be created as well as an energy certificate and thermal and structural simulations. Each student group was assigned to work in a different, pre-defined software constellation and thus forced to handle interdisciplinary data exchange through the given interfaces. Thereby the data on technical issues (interoperability, usability) and process-related issues (efficiency, communication and coordination effort) were collected by the means of protocols and time-sheets.
Evaluating both the primary BIM data and the according process documentation produced by the student groups, first findings are that an integrated, BIM-supported planning process in a heterogeneous software environment remains a big challenge due to interface limitations, regardless of which software constellation is chosen. Anyhow, first improvement solutions concerning both modeling conventions and technical interfaces have been identified.