Querying a building information model for construction-specific spatial information
Nepal, Madhav Prasad, Staub-French, Sheryl, Pottinger, Rachel, & Webster, April (2012) Querying a building information model for construction-specific spatial information. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 26(4), pp. 904-923.
The design and construction community has shown increasing interest in adopting building information models (BIMs). The richness of information provided by BIMs has the potential to streamline the design and construction processes by enabling enhanced communication, coordination, automation and analysis. However, there are many challenges in extracting construction-specific information out of BIMs. In most cases, construction practitioners have to manually identify the required information, which is inefficient and prone to error, particularly for complex, large-scale projects.
This paper describes the process and methods we have formalized to partially automate the extraction and querying of construction-specific information from a BIM. We describe methods for analyzing a BIM to query for spatial information that is relevant for construction practitioners, and that is typically represented implicitly in a BIM. Our approach integrates ifcXML data and other spatial data to develop a richer model for construction users. We employ custom 2D topological XQuery predicates to answer a variety of spatial queries. The validation results demonstrate that this approach provides a richer representation of construction-specific information compared to existing BIM tools.
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