According to latest research, the most practical and productive way to benefit from building information modeling is to combine the process with web technologies based on linked data.
Building information modeling and management are no longer considered a process of centralizing all building-related data to a single model but rather a distributed, linked network of models published for various purposes by the various disciplines involved in a construction project. The point of latest research is to start utilizing linked machine-readable semantic data to control the project information workflow more efficiently.
Distributed Transactional BIM
Distributed Transactional BIM, DRUM, is a logical next step for developing BIM collaboration further and it offers great future-development possibilities. This could be a huge breakthough towards cloud-based management and operation of the actual building in the future, even if this kind of development was not the target of this program to begin with.
Latest research results from DRUM studies in Finland support the idea of keeping data records saved at construction project parties’ own computers and organizing the links between them using web technologies as routers. Up-to-date building data thus stays distributed among its publishers and no other parties are able to touch their formats, only to retrieve relevant information for their own purposes.
Web brings BIM to a much larger group of users
Distributed building information by utilizing web technology may open a whole new market for information management. Internet is available to everybody while the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) standard currently in use requires many kinds of special expertise and tools that only few possess.
Bringing BIM on the Web exposes it to a larger, more diverse group of users, enables relating various external information to buildings, and creates new kinds of applications. At best, this may mean an increase in innovation and activity comparable to mobile phones and social media.
M.A.D (Micro Aided Design) Oy
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA
VTT Technical Research Center of Finland