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Social BIMCloud: a distributed cloud-based BIM platform for object-based lifecycle information exchange

 

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March 12, 2015 http://www.viejournal.com/

Authors: Moumita Das, Jack CP Cheng and Srinath S Kumar

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Background

The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry lacks a framework for capturing, managing, and exchanging project, product, and social information over the lifecycle of a building. The current tools have various limitations, such as lack of interoperability, slow to transfer huge building model files, and possibility of data inconsistency.

Methods

In this paper, we present a cloud-based BIM server framework namely Social BIMCloud that facilitates BIM information exchange through dynamic merging and splitting of building models. The data model of Social BIMCloud is based on but not limited to IFC. The data model of Social BIMCloud was further extended to accommodate social interactions, by studying the formal modes of communication in the AEC industry. An object-based approach to capture and manage social interactions in AEC projects through a BIM-based visual user interface was also developed and demonstrated.

Results

Social BIMCloud addresses the issues of inefficient data transfer speed and data inconsistency in a distributed environment by facilitating the storage and partial exchange of integrated nD BIM models. Data interoperability is facilitated through open BIM standards such as IFC and direct integration with construction software. High performance, scalability, fault tolerance, and cost effectiveness are facilitated through data partitioning, data replication strategies, multi-node structures, and pay-per-use tariff systems, respectively, through a cloud-based NoSQL database.

Conclusion

The Social BIMCloud framework helps to develop and exchange BIM models, which are rich in project information such as social interactions, cost, and energy analyses. This framework improves the communication efficiency between project participants, leading to better designs and less rework. The information captured by this framework could also be useful to determine important metrics such as industry trends, relationships among project participants, and user requirements.

Keywords: Building information modeling; Cloud computing; Distributed data storage; Partial information exchange; Social interaction

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Published
Source: www.viejournal.com/content/3/1/8