Building Information Modeling (BIM): Site-Building Interoperability Methods


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Nowadays, many companies in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) industry are using Building Information Modeling (BIM) in achieving a faster, sustainable and more economic project. Among the new developed concepts and BIM applications, two of the concepts most frequently used with the support of BIM technology in the planning, organization and scheduling of projects are 4D and 5D in which a 3D model is tied to its time execution (4D) at any point in time and its corresponding cost (5D). However, most of these applications concentrate on modeling the building but it does not include a corresponding modeling of the site in which the building is located. To date, there are few studies and systematic implementation of the site and the building integrated into one BIM model. This site-building integrated model can also be conceptualized as ¡°6D BIM¡± model. The benefit of integrating the site and building together into one model is that the building is no longer treated in isolation of its surround site but incorporates extremely helpful short-term and long-term information for the owner, designer, and builder regarding site topography, landscaping, access roads, ground conditions and the location of site utilities. Major existing research and technology issues that are preventing this site-building integration deal with functionality and interoperability of the BIM software, different orientation and coordination of building model and site model. The objectives of this thesis are to explore current organizational and technological issues preventing this integration, to investigate a feasible method to create a site-linked BIM model, and to discuss the benefits and limitations of bringing BIM concept to the site conditions. The research has been conducted by an extensive review on the literature related to the topic of interest published primarily by AEC. A review on current applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has also been included because of the wider context provided by this technology to the specific topic of this research. Related BIM software developed by three different vendors ¡ªhas been discussed and compared to determine the level of feasibility and operational features of technological support necessary to implement the site-linked BIM model. A case study based on the design and construction of the WPI Recreational & Sports Center, currently under construction, was developed to explore and understand the details that are involved in creating a new site model and to link it with the existing 3D building model. What has been learned from the analysis of this case study is presented, discussed and analyzed in terms of benefits and limitations. Recommendations for future extensions from both the research aspect and the technology support aspect finally presented. These include the creation of 3D BIM Campus Map, which is one site model with several building models placed on it to facilitate future planning of new building and/or maintenance and operation of the current buildings and campus infrastructure.  

  • English
  • etd-090711-090955
Defense date
  • 2011
Date created
  • 2011-09-07
Resource type
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