Editorial - Building information modeling applications, challenges, and future directions

Y. Rezgui, A. Zarli, C.J. Hopfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Digital models, the so-called BIMs (Building Information Models), can serve as an efficient means for sharing rich semantic building information across different disciplines and related software applications. Digital models will allow the capture of requirements from the client, end-users, and other relevant stakeholders; the efficient and effective use of various resources needed to deliver and operate a building from a human resources, financial, and supply chain perspectives; the process and product compliance with regulations across the building and facility lifecycle; the selection of sustainable product components and processes, achieving best performance and “buildability”; and the overall improved management of facility assets during their exploitation.The progress made so far in arriving at the BIM concept and its associated tools is undoubtedly a sizeable step forward in the management, communication and leveraging of construction project information. However, both the BIM models used by the commercial vendors and the international standards developed for construction such as STEP and IFCs still exhibit a number of shortcomings. For instance, Building Information Modelling efforts have shown limitations in their static representation of a building and its environment. Further developments are required to provide a dynamic representation of a building necessary to provide real building performance (including energetic) accounts, while ensuring the building lifelong adaptability to its usage and environment.The pragmatic BIM approach naturally leads to a service-oriented view of the world, whereby a particular discipline (and therefore the applications that support that discipline) defines a number of services that it may offer to other disciplines, with clearly agreed semantics that can be understood by the communicating parties without having to change the bulk of the conceptualizations that they use in order to provide those services.While web service technology underpinned by BIM presents some interesting and promising features, there are a number of issues hindering the wide adoption of this technology, including data quality assurance, quality of service (continuity and recovery plans), as well as a trust, authentication, security, validation, and certification framework (authentication and trust). Addressing these limitations would confer web service technology the industrial robustness that would promote its wide adoption on construction projects.This special issue addresses the above challenges and includes nine papers ranging from low-level implementation of BIM-based solutions to strategic reflections on recent developments in the construction sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-616
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
Issue numberSpec.Iss.
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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