Total BIM: Toward transforming construction

Year: 2024
Author(s): Oliver Disney
Publication Type: Licentiate thesis

Building Information Modeling (BIM) was expected to rapidly transform the construction industry, but its uptake has been unexpectedly slow. Furthermore, even state-of-the-art BIM projects have been challenged by hardware and software issues, limiting BIM’s implementation in the construction phase. This research explores an emerging approach to construction: Total BIM. Total BIM embraces BIM in its totality in that BIM is actively used in the construction phase by implementing model-based construction processes. It replaces 2D drawings as the legally binding source of information, enabling site workers to interact with modern cloud-based BIM software to create and extract necessary and relevant information.

Until recently, there has been a lack of real-world cases successfully implementing BIM as the single source of information for construction workers, which has hindered the possibility for researchers to explore the use of Total BIM in practice. However, this is beginning to change in Sweden and Norway, with the emergence of pioneering Total BIM projects. The purpose of this study has been to explore how Total BIM can be implemented as a single source of information across the design and construction phases of real-world projects. To achieve this, three in-depth case studies were conducted, collecting qualitative data from semi-structured interviews, observations, workshops, and more.

The findings, presented in four appended papers, demonstrate that implementing Total BIM in construction projects is possible and may even be preferred compared with traditional ways of working. Total BIM could serve as the missing link for advancing digitalization in the construction industry. Construction workers become an important part of structured data creation, through integrated processes such as requests for information (RFIs), controls, checklists and photos. This structured data enables new opportunities for informed, data-driven decision-making and site monitoring.

This research contributes rich empirical data from real-world case studies of Total BIM projects, illustrating how Total BIM overcomes limitations observed in previous state-of-the-art BIM projects. Additionally, it questions whether Total BIM could represent the digital disruption that the construction industry has been missing. For practitioners, this research provides real-world examples from Total BIM projects, demonstrating Total BIM implementation and highlighting key processes, while highlighting how Total BIM can create value.

The architectural application of shells whose boundaries subtend a constant solid angle

Year: 2024
Author(s): Emil Adiels, Mats Ander, Christopher John Kenneth Williams
Publication Type: Journal article

Surface geometry plays a central role in the design of bridges, vaults and shells, using various techniques for generating a geometry which aims to balance structural, spatial, aesthetic and construction requirements.

In this paper we propose the use of surfaces defined such that given closed curves subtend a constant solid angle at all points on the surface and form its boundary. Constant solid angle surfaces enable one to control the boundary slope and hence achieve an approximately constant span-to-height ratio as the span varies, making them structurally viable for shell structures. In addition, when the entire surface boundary is in the same plane, the slope of the surface around the boundary is constant and thus follows a principal curvature direction. Such surfaces are suitable for surface grids where planar quadrilaterals meet the surface boundaries. They can also be used as the Airy stress function in the form finding of shells having forces concentrated at the corners.

Our technique employs the Gauss-Bonnet theorem to calculate the solid angle of a point in space and Newton's method to move the point onto the constant solid angle surface. We use the Biot-Savart law to find the gradient of the solid angle. The technique can be applied in parallel to each surface point without an initial mesh, opening up for future studies and other applications when boundary curves are known but the initial topology is unknown.

We show the geometrical properties, possibilities and limitations of surfaces of constant solid angle using examples in three dimensions.

Digital Tvilling för Energi– Effekter av ett varmare klimat och renoveringar på byggnadsbestånd

Year: 2024
Author(s): Liane Thuvander, Daniela Maiullari, Claudio Nägeli, Holger Wallbaum, Andreas Rudena
Publication Type: Magazine article

Hur kommer klimatförändringar och stigande temperaturer att påverka byggnaders energiprestanda? Vilka effekter ger olika renoveringsåtgärder
och hur kan dessa kommuniceras till beslutsfattare för att uppnå mål om klimatneutralitet?

The influence of parameter variability on subsidence

Year: 2023
Author(s): Pierre Wikby, Ayman Abed, Mats Karlsson, Jonas Sundell, Minna Karstunen
Publication Type: Paper in proceeding

Leakage into rock tunnels covered by thick soft clay deposits may cause a pore water pressure drop over large areas through underdrainage, resulting in settlement problems and potential damage to structures. In urban areas, heterogeneity in soil properties can be substantial. In this paper, a case study with a systematic sensitivity analysis combined with coupled hydro-mechanical finite element analyses was performed for three key parameters (overconsolidation ratio, vertical hydraulic conductivity and hydraulic anisotropy) considering one scenario of underdrainage. The results show that both the magnitude and uncertainty of settlements are strongly stratigraphy-dependent. The overconsolidation ratio contributed the most to the settlement uncertainty and the effect of vertical hydraulic conductivity was also found to be significant, while the changes in hydraulic anisotropy had negligible influence.

A Review and Case Study of Neural Network Techniques for Automated Generation of High Level-of-Detail 3D City Models

Year: 2023
Author(s): Vasilis Naserentin, Georgios Spaias, Anestis Kaimakamidis, Nikos Pitsianis, Anders Logg
Publication Type: Paper in proceeding

The growing interest in creating digital twins of cities has sparked a surge in the development of detailed 3D models. In this paper we examine the current state-of-the-art in generating high-resolution 3D models of cities using neural network techniques. Additionally, we showcase the outcomes of two case studies that demonstrate the practical applications of these techniques in 3D city model generation. The first case study focuses on rooftop segmentation using publicly available Swedish cadastral data, while the second case study explores façade feature extraction using Google Street View data.

Adaptive bone re-modelling for optimization of porous structural components

Year: 2022
Author(s): Jens Olsson, Mats Ander, Christopher John Kenneth Williams
Publication Type: Paper in proceeding

This paper presents a speculative application of adaptive bone-remodelling to generate porous structures for building components using a numerical meshless method. We hypothesize that such porous structures could then be 3d printed to achieve light weight and material efficient
building components. The meshless model is built up of particles that are connected by arms to their neighbours within a distance called a horizon. The re-modelling adaption is then based on the ratio of arms strain over average arm strain which is mapped to a third-order polynomial function and used to scale the arm stiffness in a way that mimics the resorption and densification of bone tissue. The method is shown to work rather well in the recreation of the structural patterns found in cross section of a femur bone. The translation to a geometry which can be manufactured with additive techniques is not tackled specifically and suggest a direction for further work.

Procedural digital twin generation for co-creating in VR focusing on vegetation

Year: 2022
Author(s): Liane Thuvander, Sanjay Somanath, Alexander Hollberg
Publication Type: Paper in proceeding

An early-stage development of a Digital Twin (DT) in Virtual Reality (VR) is presented, aiming for civic engagement in a new urban development located in an area that is a forest today. The area is presently used for recreation. For the developer, it is important both to communicate how the new development will affect the forest and allow for feedback from the citizen. High quality DT models are time-consuming to generate, especially for VR. Current model generation methods require the model developer to manually design the virtual environment. Furthermore, they are not scalable when multiple scenarios are required as a project progresses. This study aimed to create an automated, procedural workflow to generate DT models and visualize large-scale data in VR with a focus on existing green structures as a basis for participatory approaches. Two versions of the VR prototype were developed in close cooperation with the urban developer and evaluated in two user tests. A procedural workflow was developed for generating DT models and integrated into the VR application. For the green structures, efforts focused on the vegetation, such as realistic representation and placement of different types of trees and bushes. Only navigation functions were enabled in the first user test with practitioners (9 participants). Interactive functions were enabled in the second user test with pupils (age 15, 9 participants). In both tests, the researchers observed the participants and carried out short reflective interviews. The user test evaluation focussed on the perception of the vegetation, general perception of the VR environment, interaction, and navigation. The results show that the workflow is effective, and the users appreciate green structure representations in VR environments in both user tests. Based on the workflow, similar scenes can be created for any location in Sweden. Future development needs to concentrate on the refinement of buildings and information content. A challenge will be balancing the level of detail for communication with residents.

Evaluation of social facilities coverage: A case study of Sofia city

Year: 2022
Author(s): Stoyan Boyukliyski, Dessislava Petrova-Antonova, Sanjay Somanath
Publication Type: Paper in proceeding

In order to aid the decision making process related to the provision of public services as to maximize the benefits for society, it is crucial to evaluate the current social facilities demand in terms of spatial distribution and access. The paper aims to solve this problem by proposing a method for automated assessment of the coverage of public services within an urban region using a capacitated graph. The methodology abstracts residential buildings into demand nodes and public service buildings into supply nodes within a graph and then uses shortest distance calculations in order to balance the two, while prioritizing residential buildings based on distance. The paper is focused on creating a general pipeline that can be used on any type of public services, as long as a certain geospatial and demographic data are available. The method is described without referencing specific tools, but focusing on the general procedure. The procedure is then applied to the whole city of Sofa, focusing on assessing the coverage of kindergartens using the 15 minutes walking distance, followed by a brief discussion of results.

Data-Informed Urban Design: An Overview of the Use of Data and Digital Tools in Urban Planning and Design

Year: 2020
Author(s): Alexander Gösta, André Agi, Jacob Flårback, Jesper Karlsson, Ellen Simonsson
Publication Type: Journal article

This article aims to map how different digital tools can be useful for architects and how they might affect their work processes. Researchers and professionals were interviewed to investigate what they found valuable to measure, which methods they used within their analyses, as well
as the opportunities and risks they see for the future of the field with regards to digital tools. As part of the survey, a workshop was held with architects and project managers examining the possibilities of connecting existing methods and tools to the sustainability certification system,
City Lab Action Guide, and through that, to achieve a more ambitious set of sustainability goals for the projects. Findings from the study indicate that there are risks associated with giving data an increasingly important role in the design work. A working model never provides the full truth
but is inherently limited by its constraints. It is important to acknowledge that all angles and aspects of a problem can never be represented in a model. Another possible risk identified lies in the quality of, and access to, data. In a scenario where data plays an increasingly important
role, it is not only the quality of the datasets that is of utmost importance, but it is equally important that the urban planners who request the analyses ask the questions first, and then collect the necessary data, instead of vice versa.

BIM in construction production: Gains and hinders for firms, projects and industry

Year: 2020
Author(s): Viktoria Sundquist, Alessio Domenico Leto, Mathias Petter Gustafsson, Mikael Johansson, Mattias Roupé
Publication Type: Paper in proceeding

The construction industry strives to implement digitalization and Building Information Modelling (BIM). Studies of BIM in construction claim that a pronounced BIM strategy, knowledge of the subject and a willingness to change are important factors to succeed, but even when such conditions are in place, BIM implementation in construction production is scant and has limited impact. So how should the construction industry go from grand digital visions to practical application in reality? By identifying gains, obstacles and success factors on company, project and sector levels the paper aims to set out a road map for successful BIM implementation in construction production. Data sets, both qualitative and quantitative from eleven studies of using BIM in construction production, show that although the industry is making progresses in implementing BIM and digitalization, the full potential is far from realised. Specifically, the research presents an analysis of factors in relation to (1) strategy and innovation, (2) technology, (3) organizing, and (4) ecosystem. Conclusively, all these levels are strongly interdependent and need to be considered by adopting a holistic approach to reach an enhanced implementation.

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