Tomorrow I will be presenting this workflow using a basic test model at the IStructE BIM conference. A few screenshots from this are below. The main verification support article will be published in the next few days at the web page below:
With all of this development stream - the lion's share of credit, thanks for hard work and technical excellent lies with BIM Academy and the work they have done with their xBIM Software Development Kit.
The verification workflow starts with the definition of information requirements, then the development of information in response to these requirements, then the submission of this information, followed by validation and then ultimately (hopefully) acceptance.
|The verification workflow|
Please note that this project below will not win any architecture awards - it simply demonstrates the functionality.
The BIM Toolkit allows information requirements to be defined.
|A project is created "The BTK Test Project"|
|Requirements for two types of space are defined.|
|Requirements are added for an asset that needs maintained|
How does the user then create a submission file that is compliant with BS 1192-4:2014 (aka COBie)?
The answer is that they have three choices:
(a) Write it themselves in MS Excel
(b) Export using a plug-in for their BIM design tool
(c) Export IFC from their their BIM design tool and then create COBie from this
Assessing these three options, as part of this project, our strategy was to base everything around buildingSMART IFC and the read-write access to IFC that the xBIM SDK provides.
Generating IFC from a BIM design tool that has spaces and assets classified using the correct IFC field is a challenge and is a different process depending on what BIM design software you use. Providing support for every BIM platform out there is beyond the scope of this project - but we do want to work with users of different platforms and help put the knowledge out in the public domain.
The basic process is below...
|Produce a model, classify it correctly, download enhanced IFC exporters, configure them and then click "export to IFC"|
(documentation to follow to be shared with beta testers)
|How good is your IFC?|
|Generate COBie from the IFC|
|Each instance of each space has the correct classification|
|Each component is of the correct type, with the correct classification against this type|
The COBie may look like good COBie, but if in Microsoft Excel format, it's not an intergal relational database. So it is possible to check the COBie for relational errors.
|Is it perfect COBie?|
|Spaces delivered checked against spaces types required|
|Assets delivered checked against assets required|
The final step is to automatically check the data and generate an acceptance report.
We didn't quite have this working on our servers at the time of writing the blog post. So the screenshot below is from the BIM Academy presentation. But hopefully it demonstrates the journey.
|A simple report comparing requested information with what has been delivered|
It's fundamentally all about getting the data into a common documented standard format (IFC/COBie) so it can be checked. It is pushing the boundaries a little as traditionally IFC is used for clash detection and geometric visual checking. But this was a project about innovation and open standards - so writing some software routines that compared two MS Excel files was not an option.