Content Conundrums: 3D, 2D or 1D?

As an industry, we continue to go around in circles discussing BIM content specification, with much attention focused on the data aspect, and rightly so.

  • HOW much data should we include?
  • WHEN should we apply it?
  • WHO wants the data?
  • WHERE should it be stored?
  • WHAT are we doing this for???

We are starting to come to an agreement on many of these points, in that lots of different data needs to be on-hand – we just haven’t yet come to a common agreement on exactly how to attach it to the model. But what about the geometry?

As it stands, manufacturers want more precise 3D models which exactly represent the catalogued component, whilst referencing relevant data. The enlightened designer wants a simpler 3D place-holder to position correctly, that is dimensionally accurate and looks good for communication and discussion with all parties, along with reference to relevant data. The contractor needs an accurate 2D drawing to show fixing information and reference to relevant data. The Facility Manager wants a line on a spreadsheet which calls off all sorts of information that no-one else cares about, and doesn’t need any geometry at all; the only thing that the model provides them with is a location, and that can be done with a 1D point, (all together now…) with relevant data attached.

The further through the process we move, the fewer dimensions we seem to need. Is it possible to find a common answer? Can we ever agree on a specification that suits everyone? First, we need the conversation to take place. And if you want to ensure that your perspective is heard, then you need a seat at the table. This year, the furniture van has stopped in Slovenia, so why not come along and join the discussion, and at the same time, explore a new country?

Stay tuned on this blog for more updates on  the Building Content Summit

Yours Truly,

Paul Woddy


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