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Paper w78_2007_77:
Building information models – experts’ views on BIM/IFC developments

Facilitated by the SciX project

Rob Howard, Bo-Christer Bjork

Building information models – experts’ views on BIM/IFC developments

Abstract: The goal of the single building information model has existed for at least thirty years and various stan-dards have been published leading up to the ten-year development of the Industry Foundation Classes. These have been initiatives from researchers, software developers and standards committees. Now large property owners are becoming aware of the benefits of moving IT tools from specific applications towards more comprehensive solutions. This study addresses the state of Building Information Models and the conditions necessary for them to become more widely used. It is a qualitative study based on information from a number of international experts and has asked a series of questions about the feasibility of BIMs, the conditions necessary for success, and the role of standards with particular reference to the IFCs. Some key statements were distilled from the diverse answers received and indicate that BIM solutions appear too com-plex for many and may need to be applied in limited areas initially. Standards are generally supported but not applied rigorously and a range of these are relevant to BIM. Benefits will depend upon the building procurement methods used and there should be special roles within the project team to manage information. Case studies are starting to appear and these could be used for publicity. The IFCs are rather oversold and their complexities should be hidden within sim-ple-to-use software. Inevitably major questions remain and property owners may be the key to answering some of these. A framework for presenting standards, backed up by case studies of successful projects, is the solution proposed for better information on where particular BIM standards and solutions should be applied in building projects.

Keywords: building information models, standards, IFC, CAD, cases, benefits


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