BEEP project deals with building data exchange between the different software used
Within a BIM (Building Information Modelling) process, the collaborative generation and evolution of the models is a key aspect, as it provides stakeholders with a source of reliable geometric and semantic information that can be extracted and exchanged to support decision making. As multiple disciplines are involved in the activities of designing, constructing and maintaining a building, and usually each expert tends to use specific software for specific tasks, it would be ideal if every workflow could exchange information without parallel modelling or data loss, also considering that an overall software for all construction domains seems still pretty far from reality.
Interoperability represents the possibility to ensure that data created by a party can be properly interpreted by all other parties. With the growing importance of software solution in the construction industry, interoperability is becoming a major-issue, as the exchange of data, if performed inadequately, can become a waste of time and a cost on its own. Few software houses have developed a suite of different software for different BIM applications in the construction industry. These different applications are theoretically interoperable within themselves and with software from other parties but in reality interoperability is still lacking. Operators who receive information in a given proprietary file format tend to be forced to use the same software for changes or implementations. File formats also tend to decay, as the possibility to open a file in a given software is not guaranteed after 10-20 years, that is a sound lifespan for building maintenance activities. When dealing with historical buildings, that are supposed to last indefinitely, this period is certainly longer.
Interoperability and data storage are the reasons why, at international level, stakeholders of the construction sector decided to promote the use of a standard called “openBIM standard”, that allows the readability of files even if it is in a previous standard version, ensuring the interoperability among any software now and in the future if they are compliant with the specific file format. The non-profit organization buildingSMART International has tackled the challenge by developing the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), that is the most widely recognised non- proprietary standard for BIM based data exchange. "gbXML" is another widely used exchange format, expecially suitable to enhance interoperability between BIM software and Energy and Environmental Simulation software.
NOTE: The content of this news is an extract from Output 3.1 / chapter 3.3 of the BEEP project where you can find all duly referenced bibliographic citations (click here).
About the BEEP project:
BEEP project aims at strengthening the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to enhance energy efficiency in buildings. The testing of this emerging technology on built heritage will be performed to demonstrate its scalability to the entire building stock. The project will provide public administrations with a powerful method for the energy rehabilitation of public buildings to be supported with private funds through the Energy Performance Contracting (*). The project main outcome will be an innovative methodology based on the integration of emerging technologies tested on 9 heritage public buildings located in Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt.
(*) Energy performance contracting (EPC) is a mechanism for organising the energy efficiency financing. The EPC involves an Energy Service Company (ESCO) which provides various services, such as finances and guaranteed energy savings. The remuneration of the ESCO depends on the achievement of the guaranteed savings. The ESCO stays involved in the measurement and verification process for the energy savings in the repayment period. ESCO and energy performance contracting are mostly found in the public sector and to a lesser extent in the industrial and commercial building sectors (Hilke and Ryan, 2012). Source: European Comission