Standardization of BIM Objects

BIM Objects

The management of information systems contributes to the economic development of the construction sector by organizing and structuring technical and BIM Objects economic information. It is proposed how BIM Objects (Building Information Modelling) and a Portuguese information system-ProNIC (abbreviation for Protocol for the Standardization of Construction Technical Information) may be interconnected. The scope of this information transmission in construction sector is a step to solve several problems that have been identified in conception of BIM models.

In Portugal, the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) methodology in the construction industry is not yet widespread [1] . However, it is unquestionable that BIM models are a reality to consider with extremely important contributions, not only for the design phase, but also for the remaining ones, contributing to the development of construction sector [2] [3] . Its implementation in the medium and long term will bring success and effectiveness to the sector, considering that it is a methodology for information and communication sharing between all stakeholders and at all phases of a building life cycle [4] .

The integration of BIM models with other tools to support the construction process is important to spread their use. The existence of technical and economic structured and standardized information related to each building element is essential for supporting the designers of all engineering projects. Similarly, the use of information management systems maintains this information throughout all stages of building life cycle, improving the quality and accessibility of information and contributing to the economic development of the construction sector [5] [6] . ProNIC (Portuguese abbreviation―Protocol for Standardization of Technical Building Information) [7] provides an important contribution with technical and economic structured and standardized information. In addition, ProNIC is already developed to work in a collaborative environment for all stakeholders.

The present communication aims to show how information management systems contribute to support the construction industry. It describes and proposes how technical and economic information about construction, existing in ProNIC, can be transferred to standard BIM objects, supporting the engineering projects and addressing the various issues that have been identified within transmission of information from the design phase to the subsequent stages of the building life cycle.

The Construction Information Classification Systems (CICS) have been growing and nowadays have a major role on the organization of the information that is produced by the construction sector. Since their beginning the CICS were developed to solve specific problems on the construction sector. The development of the construction brought higher complexity to design process and a bigger amount of technical information to the process. The CICS followed this development contributing to a better organization and efficiency [8] .

Actually, there are some modern CICS developed internationally, that are a reference for the construction sector. Next is presented some of them, their philosophy and applicability.

Uniclass (Unified Classification for the Construction Industry) is a new classification scheme for the construction industry. It is intended for organizing library materials and for structuring product literature and project information. It incorporates both CAWS (Common Arrangement of Work Sections for building works) and EPIC (Electronic Product Information Co-operation), a new system for structuring product data and product literature. Uniclass comprises 15 tables, each of which represents a different broad facet of construction information. Each table can be used as a “stand alone” table for the classification of a particular type of information, but, in addition, terms from different tables can be combined to classify complex subjects [9] [10] .

The OmniClass Construction Classification System [11] is a means of organizing and retrieving information specifically designed for the construction industry. OmniClass is useful for many applications in the area of Building Information Modeling (BIM), from organizing reports and object libraries to providing a way to roll up or drill down through data to get the information that meets your needs. OmniClass draws from other extant systems in use to form the basis of its tables wherever possible (MasterFormat for work results, UniFormat for elements, and EPIC (Electronic Product Information Cooperation) for products). OmniClass consists of 15 hierarchical tables, each of which represents a different facet of construction information. Each table can be used independently to classify a particular type of information, or entries on it can be combined with entries on other tables to classify more complex subjects.

The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) [12] data model is intended to describe building and construction industry data. It is a platform neutral, open file format specification that is not controlled by a single vendor or group of vendors. It is an object-based file format with a data model developed by buildingSMART (formerly the International Alliance for Interoperability, IAI) to facilitate interoperability in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, and is a commonly used collaboration format in Building information modeling (BIM) based projects. The IFC model specification is open and available. It is registered by ISO and is an official International Standard ISO 16739:2013 [13] .