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Paper w78-2010-49:
Introducing a New Methodology to Develop the Information Delivery Manual for AEC Projects

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Shiva (Vahideh) Aram, Charles Eastman, Rafael Sacks, Ivan Panushev

Introducing a New Methodology to Develop the Information Delivery Manual for AEC Projects

Abstract: The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) create a neutral environment for interoperability by providing a comprehensive specification of the information throughout the AEC/FM project lifecycle, globally, across disciplines and software applications. However, IFC schema does not capture the ways in which information is created and shared by practitioners. And lack of defining specific exchange requirements for users in IFC schema has made it difficult to implement IFC compliant software solutions. The Information Delivery Manual (IDM) responds to these problems by proposing a methodology that captures business processes in AEC/FM projects and provides detailed user information exchange requirements specifications. To reach these goals the IDMs involve industry experts to capture their knowledge and industry best practices. In this paper, we propose a progressive method to develop IDMs. In this method Exchange Models (EMs) are utilized to provide the content of information exchanges between users and/or software applications. Exchange Objects (EOs) are introduced as the fundamental elements in an exchange model, which contain the description of information items in non-technical terms that require to be exchanged in an exchange model. EOs are then further developed to provide the detailed technical attributes of the information categories in exchange models. EOs may participate in several exchange requirements. Therefore, they are defined to be reusable within many exchange models. The level of detail and precision, and the representation type of EOs may vary in exchange models in different stages of the project lifecycle and are determined based on the business rules and with participation of industry experts. The details of the information capture to develop the IDM such that the IFC schema can be applied in national, local or even project contexts are further illustrated. The paper finally presents the application of the introduced approach, using the examples of architectural and structural precast concrete as a test base.

Keywords: Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), Information Delivery Manual (IDM), Model View Definitions (MVDs), Interoperability, Building Information Modeling (BIM)


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