However, quite often it’s the little “experimental” items of work that are strangely the most exciting. Our Software Development team have been working closely with Professor Steve Lockley from BIM Academy who has been doing some amazing work writing a set of components that read and write to/from IFC. The results have been so good that we’re going to release them as “beta functionality” in the toolbar.
|The big IFC button|
Within a design there will be different types of objects. Figure 1 below is a screenshot of a simple plan showing two types of door – a small internal door (D10 and D11) and a larger external door (D13). The door types have been associated with the NBS Create specification and these associations are indicated in the tagging.
|Figure 1 - Instances of types of doors|
|Figure 2 - Specifying by system performance in NBS Create|
Figure 3 shows that the specifier has chosen to complete this in the specification. The advantages of this are that the technical guidance, links to standards and regulations, practice guidance and suggested values are all at hand here.
|Figure 3 - The process of specification|
We have a little configuration file that allows the user to link the key property sets together between the geometric model (in this case Revit) and the specification model (NBS Create). So not only are the databases connected, not only are the type objects connected… but now the key performance properties are also connected. Figure 4 below shows the structure of this configuration file. Maybe in the future we’ll write a nice little user interface into this. But as far as XML files go – it’s pretty straight forward.
|Figure 4 - The configuration file|
|Figure 5 - Viewing the combined information set in an IFC Viewer|
|Figure 6 - A rich, integrated door schedule - done|
All of this hopefully demonstrates the power of well-structured objects, clever software and trusted, quality technical guidance. This is the journey we are on with NBS National BIM Library and NBS Create – we hope you like the direction we are going…
…and one final big shout out to Professor Steve Lockley, Research Director at BIM Academy – great behind the scenes IFC work has made our software developers lives easier.
|Prof BIM - Still never beaten me at golf :)|