Rathnapala, Delpagoda Gamage Tharinda (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
Conventional business procedures are increasingly being replaced by dynamic and revolutionized growth due to the integration of Information and Communication technologies to meet changing business requirements. For survival in this highly competitive field of construction, the adaptation of new technologies enhancement and its revolution is considered as an essential requirement. Emerging ICT developments and new construction techniques have generated much needed discussion about how these two streams are connected together. The concept of prefabrication has grown in recent years to change conventional construction processes and simultaneously Building Information Model (BIM) has emerged to brighten up traditionally ill functioned business communication flow. Building Information Modelling in the early stage of building construction development provides the vehicle to bring the construction industry into line with other technically driven fields, such as Automotive and Aerospace. However, in the past this has not given much consideration towards interaction between itself and the much improved construction industry prefabrication process. This research has reviewed the current state of BIM capability in the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) professions and establishes what is technologically possible. It also closely scrutinises one of the leading UK‟s cold rolled steel prefabricator‟s design and manufacturing process. The result of the findings leads the research to undertake in-depth benchmarking process to review and select an appropriate BIM application for live implementation. Upon selection, BIM application is customised to cater current and future design process of the above SME unit and implemented within a live construction project environment. Latest design process within SME unit along with BIM solution then evaluated against commercial criteria which determine the validity of incorporating construction industry prefabricating processes into current BIM applications iiand highlighted its overall benefits for the prefabricators and construction industry as a whole. Latter part of the research investigated the latest technological advancement available within BIM applications. Review has lead to highlight Application Programming Interface (API) available within the BIM applications. API provided much needed control mechanism to end users via standard programming mechanisms which captured during this research as the gateway to incorporate prefabricating information into BIM. Future Novel Framework developed based on API capabilities of the BIM applications in order to incorporate prefabricating processes into BIM Applications
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