A “digital twin”—or digital replica of a physical entity—can aid construction projects by accelerating and automating traditional design, production, and operational processes.
As such, it can serve as the backbone for prefabrication and as a more significant means for achieving industrialized efficiency. BIM Technology been emerged as a tool to create digital twins for building projects.
The buildings’ information is an invaluable asset in order to provide and deliver timely and professional services (e.g. energy management). At present, buildings are equipped with an immense number of IoTs and smart devices.
These devices are producing a vast amount of live data about the building. Typically, t h e captured information from different information sources are stored in heterogeneous repositories.
Various information resources together with the live data can be used to improve efficiency of services to the habitants.
These software environments creating building information are not necessarily able to exchange their outputs with each other.
This exchange of information is essential due to the fact that some changes in e.g. structural plans may necessitate changes in architectural plan and drawings.
Enabling exchange of information between environments and other digital devices, and supporting independence of the technical skill for the creators of information.
The suggested research topic for this domain is associated with enabling information exchange between software environments (e.g. between Revit and AutoCad), digital devices (e.g. digital meters) and other sources of digital buildings information.
Creation of digital information for buildings
Digital twin creation
Plans, drawings, details for the construction of buildings
Information exchange issues due to non-heterogeneous information format created in various environments
Missing connection between digital information environments
Update of digital information with as-built information
Digital Twin Update
Creation of as-build plan
Creation of updated digital information/details for sub-contractors
Integration of the digital information from devices into digital twin
Missing connection between digital information creation environments and digital devices
Update of digital information with changes
Digital Twin update
Creation of new services (e.g. energy saving/security), for building spaces
Non-digital information for changes
Integration of live data with digital building information
Missing connection between digital information environments
During the design phase this information is created in various software environments in the form of drawings, plans and many other modes. These environments are not necessarily able to exchange their outputs with each other. This exchange of information is essential due to the fact that some changes in, for example, structural plans, which may necessitate changes in architectural plans and drawings. Similarly, the updated changes in the information about building spaces and devices are created in/by various environments/devices, e.g. data bases created by systems like BMS, paper based drawings, tables, reports, and so on. This issue leads to the following challenges:
- Missing connection between digital information environments
- Missing connection between digital information creation environments and digital devices
- Missing connection due to lack of digital skills
Enabling exchange of information between environments and other digital devices, and supporting independence of the technical skill for the creators of information
Developing an open source interface to enable connectivity between various software environments creating buildings digital information
Description: This research aims to enable connections between various software environments to create digital information for buildings in the form of plans, drawings, etc.
The outputs of various software environments is the input for some other environments. The interoperability issues to exchange these outputs is going to be addressed by:
1) development of a taxonomy of the elements of the output files of various software environments to create digital building information
2) development of a framework of the information exchange requirements establishing on ISO 16739-1:2018 -Industry Foundation Classes-(IFC)
3) development a process to map the created taxonomy to the information exchange requirements framework
To prototype a solution software to enable connectivity between software environments creating buildings digital information and digital devices
Description: This research aims to enable connections between various software environments to create digital information and the digital devices, e.g. digital meters, sensors, etc.
To do so, the collected information for the detected elements in the building space should be related to related elements in the repository of the digital building information.
For this purpose the following research activities should be conducted:
1) development of a methodology to specify the standard identification of the detected device use of various sources;
2) development of a process to access the digital building information repository and to replace the updated information.
To prototype a solution software to facilitate detection and incorporation of the new objects installed in building space and into the digital building information
Description: This research aims to facilitate incorporation of the information for changes in the building spaces , (e.g. for replacement of the faulty devices or refurbishment), for the facility management staff with lower digital skill level.
To do so, this research will develop an interface in the form of the common reports in the operation phase to detect the new replaced objects.
A process will provide the connections between the collected data by facility management staff and the digital buildings information repository.
By this, the update of the digital information for buildings will not need high digital skills and professional knowledge related to the software environments in the construction industry.
List of Publications:
General Public Articles
- Pourzolfaghar, Z., and Helfert, M. (2019). Connected Systems in Smart Cities: Use-cases of Integration of Buildings Information with other Smart Systems, In Proceeding of FSC 2019, Future Smart City Conference 2019 (under publication)
- Pourzolfaghar, Z. and Helfert, M. (2017). Utilising Latent Data in Smart Buildings: A Process Model to Collect, Analyse and Make Building Data Accessible for Smart Industries. IoTM’17 In FedCSIS 2017
- Pourzolfaghar, Z , McDonnell, and Helfert, M. (2017). Barriers to benefit from integration of building information with live data from IOT devices during the facility management phase. In: CITA BIM Gathering 2017, 23- 24 Nov 2017, Dublin, Ireland. ISBN 397809573957
- Pourzolfaghar, Z. and Helfert, M. (2016, July). Investigating HCI Challenges for Designing Smart Environments. In HCI (22) (pp. 79-90)
- Pourzolfaghar, Z., and Helfert, M. (2017). Integration of Buildings Information with Live Data from IoT Devices. In Connected Environments for the Internet of Things (pp. 169-185). Springer, Cham
- Pourzolfaghar, Z. (2015). Improving Knowledge Movement in Building Design Projects. Strategic Project Management: Contemporary Issues and Strategies for Developing Economies, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis