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Paper convr-2013-46:
A distributed virtual reality application framework for collaborative construction planning using Bimserver

Facilitated by the SciX project

Zhou W,Tah J,Heesom D

A distributed virtual reality application framework for collaborative construction planning using Bimserver

Abstract:As the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) industry proceeds in the direction of digitalisation, computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) enhanced by building information modelling (BIM) becomes realistic for multidisciplinary collaboration in construction. Networked virtual reality (VR) supported by BIM servers, though showing great potentials in connecting multidisciplinary teamwork, is still less clarified for geographically dispersed construction teams to achieve collaboration. Taking the advantages of networked VR through the BIM server connection, this paper discusses a BIMserver-based VR application framework for distributed teams to perform real-time collaborative 4D construction planning and simulation. Through the analysis of current 4D modelling approaches, BIMserver adoption for collaborative 4D planning, as well as enabled VR platform technologies, the paper highlights availabilities of the interactive definition method for collaborative 4D planning underpinned by BIMserver. This method supports CSCW activities like co-navigate, so-sort, co-plan, co-simulate and co-talk for the 4D planning teamwork, together with power wall based semi-immersive VR platform for accommodating group users. On the basis of these discussions, a BIM-VR groupware system named Co-Studio is depicted from system architecture and application features. These discussions lay a foundation to develop a full functioned Co-Studio system as a next step. The systemís applicability will be verified and validated in its subsequent implementation and industry projects.

Keywords:BIMserver,collaborative 4D planning,groupware,virtual reality

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