Digital library of construction informatics
and information technology in civil engineering and construction


Paper w78-1999-2776:
Constraints of product modelling approach in building

Facilitated by the SciX project

Turk Z

Constraints of product modelling approach in building

Abstract:The ultimate goal of building product modelling has been to define the data structures that could be used to describe our entire built environment. In spite of the huge size and complexity of this task, the theoretical foundations of modelling received little attention. In the paper the traditional foundations of the modelling approaches are questioned. An unorthodox perspective on the computerised representation of the real world is introduced. The view is based on Heidegger's philosophy and Winograd's critique of artificial intelligence. The author exposes the difference between the modelling of material phenomena (such as in structural mechanics) and the modelling of knowledge and information. He makes a distinction between physical models and anthropo-technical models. He claims that the latter are not objective but subjective. This is the major constraint in using product model technology in building. The author concludes that building product and process models do not model objective reality but the modeller's subjective understanding of that reality Therefore several correct but different models may exist. Based on the analysis the following information technologies look promising: simple generic models that allow room for different (even wrong) interpretations; generic software that allows uses outside the intended scope; friendly software that does not build a barrier to engineer's being in the world; non model-based software to support creative design; communication software to support commitment negotiation instead of information exchange. Complete product models and product models for creative design are not possible.


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Series:w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster:papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class:class.represent (0.042295) class.processing (0.014340) class.analysis (0.012618)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


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