Neutral intelligent CAD communication : information exchange in construction based upon a minimal schema

Sammanfattning: An improved information exchange is frequently proposed asone solution to the inefficiency problems which theconstruction industry is suffering from today. Such animprovement is very dependent of the use of informationtechnology, IT. To enable an advanced use of IT, there is aneed for integrated project communications frameworks andintegrated industry wide information. This thesis discusses how product models can be used toimprove the information exchange from design to construction.Today there are several approaches to product modelling. Someresearchers propose very detailed models whereas others proposegeneric models with fewer concepts. In this area there is aclose connection between research and standardisation, which iscarried out by organisations such as the ISO STEP committee andthe International Alliance for Interoperability. To get acceptance for a standard proposal, it has to beaccepted by both users and standardisation bodies. Thus thisresearch, in addition to the technical requirements oninformation content and structure, also discusses successfactors for standardisation, implementation and usage. In order to define important requirements on a product modelfor information exchange between design and construction,current research, development and standardisation in the fieldof product modelling was studied. This thesis advocates a minimal approach in the number ofconcepts used in a product model, in combination with anexternal building element classification, following nationalindustry practice. The minimal NICC schema, developed duringthis research, was tested in a prototype and test study. Threeapplications were tested: PreFacto (planning tool), MicrosoftProject (time scheduling tool) and Calc3(cost estimation tool).From the CAD-system MCAD, NICC files with the building objectswere created and transferred into a relational database fromwhich the three applications received their specific inputfiles. The results of the evaluation of the NICC schema and thetest study demonstrated that a product model based on fewconcepts can manage the required information exchange. Keywords:construction, product models, standardisation,minimal models, requirements, conceptual schema, thesis