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Paper w78-1988-179:
A systems approach to the conceptual modeling of buildings

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Turner J A

A systems approach to the conceptual modeling of buildings

Abstract:A building project demands and generates an enormous amount of data, As a building design progresses from a vague program to a detailed design, its data progresses from inexact - approximate areas and locations of rooms, alternative building forms - to exact - type, finish and location of each door hinge, exact polygonal representation of each room The traditional building professional has traditional media and tools for storing, retrieving, displaying and modifying building data: Construction documents, specifications, building models, parts catalogs, sketches and one's memory do an effective job. But as we move (are forced?) away from traditional to a more computer-dependent building design, traditional tools and media are no longer useful. Whether computer analogues for traditional tools and media are developed or whether computers revolutionize the building industry, sketches, drawings, specifications and models are being replaced by data-structures, data-bases, rules, facts, and hyper-structures. This paper presents an approach to formally analyzing the structure and relationship of building data for the purpose of defining a CAD building database. A building and its site are assumed to be a collection of systems. A generic system is defined as a framework for specific site and building systems. The paper introduces and uses the NIAM graphical notation for binary relationship conceptual modeling. The paper will also report on the application of this approach to the definition of a standard for exchanging building product data (PDES/STEP)


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Series:w78:1988 (browse)
Cluster:papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class:class.synthesis (0.032609) class.represent (0.028459) class.analysis (0.011645)
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Permission to reproduce these documents has been graciously provided by the Lund University and the Swedish Building Centre. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Per Christiansson and Prof. Henry Karlsson, is gratefully appreciated.


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