Development of OntEIR Framework to Support BIM Clients in Construction

Development of OntEIR Framework to Support BIM Clients in Construction

Shadan Dwairi (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK), Lamine Mahdjoubi (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK), Mohammed Odeh (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK) and Mario Kossmann (Airbus, Bristol, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJ3DIM.2016010104


This paper discusses an ongoing research that is conducted to develop a framework that will support employers in making informed and sound decision in defining their requirements. The aim of this research is to develop an ontology-based, BIM enabled framework for EIR (OntEIR), it will examine the ability of this framework in capturing, analysing, and translating these requirements based on an ontology model. This framework will enable the project team to capture requirements and convert them to constructional terms understood by all stakeholders. It is the contention of this research that this process will save time, effort and cost, and will provide an informed basis for delivering a successful project that satisfies both the employer and the supply chain.
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1. Introduction

The adoption of BIM concepts and workflows is increasing rapidly across the construction industry. A clear and comprehensive Employer Information Requirements (EIR) is considered one of the key components for a successful delivery of construction projects, using Building Information Modelling (BIM). Its importance emerges from the significant information it holds, which is critical for the delivery of the project that include the information to be delivered and the standards and processes adopted.

This paper proposes a radical innovation in assisting construction clients to define their requirements for a project lifecycle. It sought to develop an Ontology-based, BIM-enabled Framework for EIR, to support clients of construction projects in defining complete requirements. It harnesses advances in Requirements Engineering to produce a better quality EIR in terms of completeness, correctness and consistency.

A robust EIR is considered one of the key components for a successful delivery of construction projects using BIM. It includes requirements in three main areas regarding the project delivery which are: technical, management, and commercial information. For a construction client, EIR is essential to communicating information requirements as well as establishing information management requirements. EIR helps to review the contents of the tenderer’s BIM Execution Planning, confirming its completeness (BIM Task Group, 2013). EIR is the cornerstone for a successful project. The importance of OntEIR is derived from the fact, that defining adequate EIR is an important step in the forming of the BEP, which will have the most influence on the project outcome. Another key reason for considering this system to be critical, is in its novelty in being addressed to main key players of the different disciplines involved in the BIM project, it seeks to provide answers and address questions and issues that will be of great importance for the formulating of the project programme for all disciplines.

It is necessary at this point to make a clear distinction between client and employer, which introduced by the PAS 1192. The employer is the legal entity named in the contract, and is responsible for procuring the asset (BSI: PAS 1192-2:2013). The employer could be appointed by the client, who is considered the body which incorporates the interest of the buyer of construction services, prospective users, and other interest groups (Kamara et al, 2000).

As suggested by Kamara et al (2002), types of requirements are:

  • Client requirements: requirements of the Client, which describes the facility that satisfies his or her business needs. These incorporate employer requirements, developer requirements, user requirements and the lifecycle requirements of operating, maintaining, and disposing of the facility.

  • Site requirements: these describe the characteristics of the site on which the facility is to be built.

  • Environmental requirements: these describe the immediate environmental (climatic factors, neighbourhood, environment conservation, etc.) surrounding the proposed site of the facility.

  • Regulatory requirements: building planning, health and safety regulations, and other legal requirements that influence the acquisition, existence, and demolition of the facility.

  • Design requirements: requirements for design which are translation of the employer needs, site and environmental requirements.

  • Construction requirements: requirements for actual construction, which derive from design activity

However, there are yet another very important set of requirements, when dealing with BIM projects, which are “information” requirements. They require a great deal of attention in order to be able to achieve the full potential of BIM across the whole lifecycle, for the important information requirements and deliverables information it holds, which are essential to make strategic and operational decisions during the project’s lifecycle. Clear identification of Information requirements along with the project requirements and business requirements, is important for the delivery of a successful BIM project, in other words, a clear and comprehensive EIR is the basis of delivering a successful BIM construction project.

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