The Need for Convergence of BIM and 3D Imaging in the Open World

Frederic Nicolas Bosche, Shawn O'Keeffe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Two types of technologies that are rapidly (exponentially) impacting the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facilities Management (AEC/FM) industry are: Building Information Modelling (BIM) and 3D imaging technologies. The latter is currently mainly represented by laser scanning, but is being rapidly complemented with photogrammetry (both terrestrial and aerial), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), as well as their integration with other technologies such as infrared imaging, GPS, and RFID. While these two types of technologies individually offer significant performance improvements in all parts of the sector, it is their integration that promises to provide the most benefits. Integrated, the two types of technologies would form a cyber-physical system that would deliver bi-directional interoperability, allowing seamless coordination between the virtual worlds captured in the BIM model and the real world construction. Yet, it is interesting to note there are very few software solutions that enable the joint visualisation and manipulation of 3D imaging and BIM data/information. Furthermore, none of those solutions are based on the combined use of open standards and tools, thereby limiting the extent to which researchers can develop and test new solutions to increase the value of both BIM and 3D imaging technologies. This clearly demonstrates the need for an open source software platform (based on open source standards and tools) supporting the management and processing of BIM and 3D imaging data, particularly point clouds, for facility lifecycle management.
The paper first builds a case for the need for such a solution, identifying critical Virtual-to-Real, Real-to-Virtual and Virtual-vs-Real applications. A novel open, web-based core software platform is then proposed that utilises the open standards IFC and E57 for realtime bi-directional interoperability between BIM models and 3D imaging data (especially point clouds). Finally, it is revealed how such a system can be developed and grown over time from industry contributions through an open source initiative.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCitA BIM Gathering Proceedings 2015
EditorsAlan Hore, Barry McAuley, Roger West
PublisherThe Construction IT Alliance
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-0-9573957-0-3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventCitA BIM Gathering Conference 2015 - Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 12 Nov 201513 Nov 2015


ConferenceCitA BIM Gathering Conference 2015


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