BIM between GIS and mechanical- and plant engineering


The discussion about BIM has given us an exciting challenge. With the theme of BIM are changing at once the views of the working methods and digital collaboration. 

Depending on the perspective, we talk about Smart City, Industry 4.0 or Building Industry 4.0. For me everything is going under the term digitization. 

Meanwhile, all areas have their own ISO standards and data formats used for object descriptions. There are the GML format (ISO 19136: 2007) in the field of GIS, the JT format (ISO 14306: 2012) for mechanical and plant engineering and the IFC format (ISO 16739: 2013) for the architecture and building industry. 

GIS describes the big picture and looking at a building just to its outer shell. BIM describes the building and the objects it contains. The mechanical and plant engineering (ME) describes the objects in their depth to the smallest element. 

Each area needs the other and all depend on the context of digitization on the help of all. Examples: 

  • GIS -> BIM: Give me only the shell of the building and the connection points for cables and entrances.
  • BIM -> GIS: Give me the information about the land and the location of roads and main lines.
  • BIM -> ME: Give me the envelope of the machines and equipment and their connection points for supply and disposal.
  • BIM -> ME: I need information about when the machinery and equipment should be inspected and maintained.
  • ME -> BIM: Build me a building, so my conditioning and my employees are protected. 

As long as the building planners have done their 2D drawings, the three major areas of GIS, Architecture/Construction and Engineering had nothing or little to do with each other. Everyone has been working independently, although all areas have always been in a real interdependent. 

Now the world is going digital, and we need to think about how we manage elegant transitions from GML to IFC, IFC to GML, JT to IFC and IFC to JT. In the short term then we noticed mostly only interfaces. But if we have as a goal to try to have consistently cooperate in the planning, does not help us a way of thinking in interfaces. 

The other areas have only been waiting for it, that the building industry wakes up. Now we embark on the theme BIM on the road and have not only BIM meaningful structures and guidelines provide, but also need to always remember that we want to work consistently with the other areas.


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