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Paper 0fb9:
Requirements and information structures for building product data models

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Bjork, Bo-Christer

Requirements and information structures for building product data models

Abstract: The term computer-integrated construction (CIC) is often used to describe a future type of construction process characterised by the extensive use of information technology. The key to successful CIC is the comprehensive integration of currently isolated computing applications in different phases of the construction process. Among the several types of data exchange standards needed to support such integration, the standards for structuring the information describing buildings (building product data models) are particularly important. No fully operational building product data models have as yet been formally standardised either on the national or international level, but the topic has been a subject of intensive research during the last few years. Building product data model proposals are usually defined using object-oriented information modelling techniques. The research which is presented in this summarising thesis was carried out primarily during the years 1988-92 at the Technical Research Centre of Finland. The report begins with a brief introduction to the general background of research concerning CIC and building product data models. Fundamental concepts of object orientation and product modelling are explained in a separate chapter. In order to position the author's research results, the "state of the art" in this research field is briefly reviewed. The research results are presented against the background of a kernel-aspect model framework, in line with current thinking among several leading researchers in this field. The results can loosely be classified into three distinctive groups: a number of requirements which building product data models should fulfil; specific information structures in building product data models; and the integration of product models with other types of information used in the construction process. The specific information structures which were studied include the abstraction hierarchies used in building product data models, the type object mechanism and information structures needed for modelling spaces and enclosing objects. The report ends with a discussion of the results, comparing them with the proposals and results of other researchers. Some directions for further research are also outlined.

Keywords: Building Product model, computer-integrated construction

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