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Developing a Multidisciplinary Process View of IFC Standardization


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The industry foundation classes (IFC) file format is one of the most complex and ambitious IT standardization projects currently being undertaken in any industry, focusing on the development of an open and neutral standard for exchanging building model data. Scientific literature related to the IFC standard has dominantly been technical so far; research looking at the IFC standard from an industry standardization per- spective could offer valuable new knowledge for both theory and practice. This paper proposes the use of IT standardization and IT adoption theories, supported by studies done within construction IT, to lay a theoretical foundation for further empirical analysis of the standardization process of the IFC file format.
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IT standards enable the seamless use of information
technology, constituting the most basic building
block for electronic communication. Network proto-
cols, file formats, and hardware interfaces are not
something most end-users have to concern them-
selves about for doing everyday computing tasks.
However, the road traversed for a technology to be-
come a well-established standard, is not always
smooth. Standards are often the end-result of a
lengthy process referred to as standardization. IT
standards can in the most basic way be seen from the
perspective of change-agents, functioning as media-
tors between change and stagnation in the industry
(Cargill, 1989). Network effects heavily influence
the IT standards landscape. The market is very prone
to cluster around certain technological alternatives.
This phenomenon has to do with IT adoption, a part
of the IT literature that looks into factors that have to
do with adoption decision-making on the level of the
individual user or organization.
For the construction industry, IT standards have al-
ways been particularly important. With several or-
ganizations collaborating intensively in temporary
project constellations, having compatible electronic
assets within the project has always been of critical
importance. Neutral standards for product models
have been in development and use beginning with
simple 2D and 3D computer-aided designs (CAD) in
the 1970s, with the IGES standard being a good ex-
ample of an open standard that is still used in many
industries for visual modeling (Gielingh, 2008).
However, a new approach to building modeling has
evolved within recent years, offering the possibility
to go beyond basic visual representations. This new
technology is commonly referred to as building in-
formation modeling, or BIM for short.
The advanced features that BIM software offers
have contributed to a considerable shift to the way
IT is used in the construction industry. The exchange
of BIM files is currently dominated by proprietary
solutions, meaning projects must see to it that all
collaborators have compatible software from the
same vendor. An open file format has been devel-
oped to serve the market with an open standard, the
IFC, which has been in active development for over
ten years ( However, the actual
IFC project makes up only a small part of all actual
time and effort put into standardization work re-
quired to make the standard what it is today. The
technical foundations of the IFC standard reach back
to standardization work done on open geometrical
standards for multiple industries. Work began in
1984 within the ISO 10303 project, which is more
commonly known as the STEP project. (iai-; Gielingh, 2008). So far IFC has
not gained larger scale industry uptake outside indi-
Developing a multidisciplinary process view on IFC standardization
Information Systems Science, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland
ABSTRACT: The industry foundation classes (IFC) file format is one of the most complex and ambitious IT
standardization projects currently being undertaken in any industry, focusing on the development of an open
and neutral standard for exchanging building model data. Scientific literature related to the IFC standard has
dominantly been technical so far; research looking at the IFC standard from an industry standardization per-
spective could offer valuable new knowledge for both theory and practice. This paper proposes the use of IT
standardization and IT adoption theories, supported by studies done within construction IT, to lay a theoreti-
cal foundation for further empirical analysis of the standardization process of the IFC file format.
KEYWORDS: standardization, standard, interoperability, IFC, BIM
vidual pilot projects (Kiviniemi, Tarandi, Karlshøj,
Bell, Karud, 2008), which is one of the primary mo-
tivators for the analysis in this paper.
This paper is the first step towards finding an answer
to the following questions: What factors influence
the IFC standardization process and how do these
factors affect its progress? By finding out answers
to these important questions we could gain a better
understanding of important circumstances related
both to the development of the standard itself as well
as aspects that are related to its adoption in the in-
Since the research questions span the boundaries of
multiple bodies of research, a multi-disciplinary ap-
proach minimizes the need to ‘reinvent the wheel’,
and enables a sharp focus on issues relevant to the
analysis of IFC standardization. Consequently, re-
search from the construction IT domain is used to
provide the necessary industrial context, and techni-
cal information, while the well-established IT stan-
dardization and IT adoption literature is drawn upon
to provide theory, typology, and contribute to the
analytical lens. Utilizing these research streams in
parallel is for the most part unproblematic as they
share the same functionally oriented research para-
The paper is structured as follows: In the first sec-
tion we take a look at BIM & IFC technologies as
well as look at how they relate to prior research
within construction IT. Next up is a review of rele-
vant IT standardization literature and applying IFC
into that context. This is followed by a similar, albeit
briefer, approach to IT adoption research. Last is a
discussion section with concluding remarks and
suggestions for further research.
Incompatibility leads to redundancy and ineffi-
ciency, which in turn costs building owners money.
The United States National Institute of Standards es-
timated on the basis of a comprehensive multi-
method study that insufficient interoperability in in-
formation technology tools costs the US capital fa-
cilities industry, $15.8 billion USD annually, based
on data from 2002 (Gallaher, O’Connor, Dettbarn,
Gilday, 2004). Capital facilities include commercial,
industrial and institutional buildings. The majority of
the sum, which equates to 1-2% of the whole US
capital facilities industry annually, was identified as
originating from redundant data entry, redundant IT
systems and IT staff, inefficient business processes,
and delays indirectly caused by these inefficiencies.
The study puts standardization within the industry
into perspective, and clearly shows that there are
considerable monetary gains to be had by increasing
compatibility between information systems.
2.1 IFC – Who, when and why?
When the IFC project was initiated in 1995, work on
the standard was not started from scratch, in fact far
from it. The IFC standard is built upon universal
geometric definitions from previous standardization
projects, most notably ISO 10303, which is better
known as STEP (Standard for the Exchange of
Product model data) ( The am-
bitious STEP project was started in 1984 with a mis-
sion to develop open computer modeling standards
for multiple manufacturing industries, and the pro-
ject is still actively in progress. One reason for
branching out IFC as an industry consortium from
the STEP development was that the standardization
process was considered too slow and unresponsive
to meet market demand for the construction industry
(Tolman, 1999). The IFC standard is in the process
of becoming an official international standard of its
own, under the label of ISO16739 ( How-
ever, history has shown that acknowledgement by an
official standards body does not on its own make or
break proliferation of a technology in the industry.
Many formal standards have faded away during the
standardization process; aligning ‘time-to-standard’
with ‘time-to-market’ goals is of great importance.
(Gielingh, 2008).
BuildingSMART is the international non-profit or-
ganization administrating the industry consortia re-
sponsible for IFC standardization. The organization
was formerly known as The International Alliance of
Interoperability (IAI). BuildingSMART has 13 re-
gional alliances around the world, all of them repre-
sented by two delegates in an international council
that meets twice a year to coordinate business and
technical strategy. In the event of a vote, each re-
gional alliance is equal to one vote. The Interna-
tional Technical Committee is responsible for high-
level decision-making and technical project man-
agement within buildingSMART. The Technical
Committee reports straight to the International
Council. (buildingSMART.coma) There have been
several major and minor revisions to the IFC stan-
dard along its development, with the most recent
implementable version being IFC2x3. So far the ver-
sions have been published with quite high variance
in timeframes, some within a year of the previous re-
lease and others with 3 years of development time
For software to get accredited an official IFC certifi-
cation by buildingSMART it has to go through a
two-stage process. In the first stage the software is
tested with a set of synthetic test files during a pub-
lic certification workshop. As a second stage, after
end-users have had at least 6 months to judge that
the IFC-interface is of high enough quality, another
public certification workshop is arranged where real
project data is used (buildingSMART.coma). As-
pects of the certification process have been debated
in the literature (Kiviniemi et. al, 2008; Amor, Jiang,
Chen, 2007). Criticism has mostly been based on ar-
guments that IFC certified software is not working
as could be expected, creating errors in building
models even with relatively simple data exchanges.
Standardization in the context of IT emerged as a
clearly separate scientific field towards the end of
the 1980s. Prior to that point there had been mostly
descriptive case studies that did not really offer
much in the way of theoretical advancement (Car-
gill, 1989). The demand for standards has steadily
grown as computing has moved away from the iso-
lated workstations of the past to networked personal
computers with increased potential for communica-
tion and collaboration.
The term ‘standard’ has been thrown around with
slightly different meanings in the past, however, ini-
tiatives towards a common typology have been pre-
sented (Cargill, 1989; de Vries, 2005) to reduce am-
biguity of constructs and strengthen the
communication within the research stream. The fol-
lowing definition is used throughout this paper to
support this notion:
”A standard is an approved specification of a lim-
ited set of solutions to actual or potential matching
problems, prepared for the benefits of the party or
parties involved, balancing their needs, and in-
tended and expected to be used repeatedly or con-
tinuously, during a certain period, by a substantial
number of the parties for whom they are meant.” (de
Vries, 2005, p. 15)
‘Standardization’ is defined as the activity of creat-
ing a ‘standard’, which by definition is not limited of
any number or type of tasks. In many instances suc-
cessful IT standardization is a continuous process in
many branches of modern business and it is not al-
ways easy to define the point in time when stan-
dardization ends.
To narrow down the nature of IFC standardization in
accordance to the common standardization typology
presented in de Vries (2005), the following details
are worthwhile to define:
Open, formal, international, consortium stan-
The standardization process is handled by a
global alliance of companies and organizations,
administered by buildingSMART. Both the full
IFC standard specification and information about
standardization developments are available on the
web, free for anyone to view, comment on, and
Indirect horizontal compatibility standard
IFC is a file format that serves as a compatibility
bridge between BIM applications from different
vendors. BIM applications still retain their own
native file formats and internal structures so com-
patibility is achieved indirectly by the use of IFC.
Designing standardization
It is not simply a matter of selecting and agreeing
on features from existing alternatives, even
though the project started out that way with STEP
definitions as a base. The technical solutions have
to be formally designed and created as part of the
standardization process.
Anticipatory standardization
In 1996, when the International Alliance for
Interoperability was formed, IFC could be classi-
fied as an anticipatory standard; meaning that de-
velopment of the standard was initiated in antici-
pation of future demand for compatibility. BIM
technology, as we know it today, was very much
in its infancy back then and the aim was to de-
velop a neutral standard before proprietary solu-
tions take over the market. However, observing
the situation in the year 2009 and the standardiza-
tion work could now be labeled as concurrent
with the development of BIM technology.
Generalizing results from earlier standardization
studies on individual core functions that BIM aggre-
gate, like CAD and B2B communication technolo-
gies, is one possible way of starting the journey into
uncharted waters. However, generalizations of that
kind do not come without their own set of strings at-
In this vein, IFC could then be seen from the per-
spective of a standard for electronic B2B communi-
cation in the construction industry; this enables par-
allels to be drawn to earlier research regarding
standards of that kind, like EDI and XML-based
equivalent standards (e.g. Clark, Atkin, Betts, Smith,
1999: Tolman, Böhms, Lima, van Rees, Fleuren,
Stephens, 2001). However, the IFC standard is much
more complex than the B2B standards that have
been developed before it. IFC is a modular way to
integrate supply-chains between designers, builders,
and fabricators simply by extracting information
from the complex building model containing all
relevant information. What also makes this stan-
dardization effort different is the setting of the con-
struction industry, where business contracts between
companies involved in projects typically are short-
term. There is less incentive to invest time and
money to set up customized electronic interfaces be-
tween temporary stakeholders. There have been
studies looking into relatively simple standards for
electronic procurement, like EDI, which support this
reasoning (Premkumar & Ramamurthy, 1995). As
materials calculation and procurement information
are features supported by IFC, the parallels to exist-
ing standards built solely for that purpose are not too
disconnected from their context if one acknowledges
the limitations with the approach.
There have been studies looking into the standardi-
zation of open standards for CAD from different
perspectives (e.g. Howard & Björk 2007; Gielingh,
2008). However, direct comparisons to findings re-
lated to traditional CAD standardization should also
be made with caution as IFC has a much wider
scope, both in the number of involved stakeholders
and level of technical complexity. As briefly men-
tioned earlier, the IFC format does not only have the
specifications about visual data, it also enables the
use of a rich set of metadata tied to the modeled ob-
jects which potentially make several stages of the
construction process more efficient. Based on the
metadata, calculations like scheduling, cost esti-
mates, and energy consumption can be performed.
The BIM model stored in IFC format is to be used
during the whole lifecycle of the building, not just
by architects and a few select stakeholders during
the design and build stages, like CAD drawings have
been traditionally used.
The possibility to use applicable results from previ-
ous studies where possible is of course always en-
couraged within science, however, one must ac-
knowledge the fact that BIM is a much more
monolithic system than anything before it in the in-
dustry, which should caution against going to far
with deductive conclusions based on individual parts
of the system made in legacy environments.
3.1 The lifecycle of standards
To develop a process-based theoretical framework
for IFC standardization with a strong theoretical
foundation there is definitely a need to look at ge-
neric IT standardization process-models from exist-
ing research. When IT standards started to gain in-
creased scientific interest during the 1980s, the first
process descriptions were linear in structure (Cargill,
1989). However, more recent studies looking at
standardization have noted that reality does not al-
ways follow this linear formula (e.g. Fomin, Keil,
Lyytinen, 2003; Cargill, 1995). It would seem that
particularly technically complex standards and an-
ticipatory standards benefit from an iterative ap-
proach. Like in any healthy developing research
stream there are now several theoretical proposals
for standardization lifecycles. Rather than selecting
just one model, which would be based on the results
of a single study, a more generic approach is made
possible with the help of a recent literature review.
Söderström (2004) reviewed seven published IT
standard lifecycle models and discovered a lot of
common ground amongst the models. The reviewed
models also complemented each other well; most of
the omissions and differences had to do with differ-
ent perspectives on when standardization begins and
ends and which activities to include as part of the
standardization process. The generalized model,
without extensions, can be seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1 Generalized standards lifecycle (Söderström, 2004)
The model depicts six main stages that together
comprise standardization. Initiation, the first stage,
is identified by the need for the standard emerging
and being acknowledged. The next stage, develop
standard, is where the standard is explicitly defined
and developed. Then, depending on the standard at
hand, what follows is either development of products
incorporating the standard or a jump straight to im-
plementation. The implementation stage is identified
by organizations applying the standard into their
own environment. Next up is the use stage, which
means that the standard is actually used in its in-
tended environment. Feedback, a stage mentioned
only in de Vries (2002) lifecycle among the re-
viewed models, is the stage where users of the stan-
dard submit feedback for further improvement of the
Looking at the IFC standard from the perspective of
the lifecycle model makes the complex standardiza-
tion process easier to segment for analysis. Initiation
is easy to pinpoint as the history of the IFC standard
is relatively well documented. In August 1994, 12
US based companies joined together examining the
possibility of developing an open standard for in-
creased compatibility in emerging building informa-
tion modeling software, driven mainly by economic
motivations ( Development of
the standard started soon after that, with the original
consortia opening up the doors for other interested
software vendors and construction industry
stakeholders around the globe. Using definition ma-
terial from existing open CAD file formats, from
within the ISO STEP standard, technical develop-
ment did not have to be started from scratch, and the
first version of the IFC standard was published in
January 1997 ( Implementation
in BIM software did not happen until July 1998,
with several commercial modeling suites supporting
IFC 1.5.1 ( Use in actual pro-
jects is so far weak, even though many commercial
BIM suites have been IFC certified since 2002; 13
applications at that time supported IFC 2.0 (iai- Feedback function is very much
an integral part of the evolution of the standard. New
versions, both major and minor, have been published
at several occasions. The need for predictable re-
lease cycles for the IFC version releases was re-
cently acknowledged as an important factor for im-
proving industry uptake of the standard (Kiviniemi
et. al 2008), which in turn depends heavily on re-
ceiving feedback from testers and implementers.
Here the scientific community can make a big con-
tribution to the development of the standard. The
many technical research papers evaluating IFC use
in pilot studies have certainly been taken as con-
structive feedback to the developers of the standard
when planning future versions.
Research focusing on aspects of IT adoption is
partly overlapping with that of IT standardization re-
search, the main reason being that standards compli-
ance is a key influence on adoption decisions be-
cause standards enable the existence of network
effects (Hall, Khan, 2003 p. 6). While the standardi-
zation literature only looks at the process of stan-
dardization, the IT adoption literature should be con-
sidered a natural continuation of the same process,
seen from the perspective of organizations or indi-
viduals, depending on the chosen unit of analysis. In
this paper focus is on the organizational and group
level; the perspective or opinion of individual users
is not focused on at this stage. To improve our un-
derstanding of adoption criteria, which play an im-
portant role in creating actual industry demand for
standardization, each stakeholder group should be
studied individually. However, that is beyond the
scope of this paper and something that requires a
thorough empirical study with recent data.
Going by information gathered so far, it would seem
that construction industry professionals using BIM
software are not primarily concerned with support-
ing ideologies of open standards when doing their
work, especially if that means accepting technical
deficiencies as a result. In a recent web-survey prob-
ing industry professionals for criteria when choosing
BIM software “Full support for producing construc-
tion documents so that another drafting application
need not be used” was ranked in 1st place while “IFC
compatibility” came in at spot 16 (Khemlani, 2007).
These results would suggest that the benefits of sup-
porting IFC were not perceived as valuable enough,
at the time of the survey, to sway away from domi-
nating proprietary solutions and their full intra-
compatibility. The results of this individual survey
are perhaps not to be looked into too much when
drawing broad theoretical conclusions, however, it
can be considered to at least give an estimation of
the general climate among industry professionals.
So far the scientific interest for BIM outside of ar-
chitecture, engineering, and construction disciplines
has remained low, even though the technology
brings with it so much more than just a new way to
draw buildings. The low interest and involvement
from the main IT research disciplines might be due
to the building modelling domain knowledge in-
volved which might act as a threshold for a wider
scientific discussion. If once again contrasting to
ERP, which has long been one of the more active ar-
eas of IT integration research, the difference be-
tween the two information systems becomes clearer.
BIM technology has gained strong governmental
support in many countries, public sector demand for
IFC compliant BIM has been credited to be pushing
the technology forward in many reports (Kiviniemi
et. al, 2008; Succar, 2009; Eastman et. al, 2008). For
example, public sector construction projects in the
United States, Singapore, Norway, Finland and
Denmark are all to variable extents required to use
and deliver BIM models at different stages of the
project. Some countries are even specifically requir-
ing IFC models, a factor which is certainly an accel-
erator for the standardization (Kiviniemi et. al.,
2008). As very important customers for builders,
public sector construction organizations have the
necessary bargaining power to dictate the require-
ments. Being an early-adopter of a standard is a con-
siderable investment for companies, both operation-
ally and financially, and incentives have to be there
to make it viable. If buyers do not require open stan-
dards compliance one should not expect providers to
invest in it, they will most likely only sell what there
is actual demand for (Cargill, 1989)
Maintaining momentum is critical to keep the stan-
dardization process in constant movement, and
“time-to-market” is certainly an important aspect to
place emphasis on in standardization. Even though
the IFC standard has endured a long standardization
process, and still has some way left to go, its mo-
mentum shows few signs of slowing down. On the
contrary, there have recently been developments and
commitments made by important industry actors
(e.g. tekla,com Tekla joins buildingSMART
16.2.2009; buildingSMART.comb – two new Ger-
man-speaking public bodies join buildingSMART
For the purpose of mapping and analyzing the fac-
tors affecting IFC standardization it would be impor-
tant to identify the key stakeholders involved, both
those acting within the standardization process, and
those influencing through external or indirect means.
How one goes about doing this exhaustively is one
problematic aspect yet to be resolved. Because of the
organizationally fragmented nature of construction
work, enhancing collaboration among stakeholders
will be increasingly relevant as IT is integrated and
leveraged in future projects.
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Full-text available
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a set of technologies, processes and policies enabling multiple stakeholders to collaboratively design, construct and operate a facility. There are numerous challenges attributed to BIM adoption by industry and academia. These represent a number of knowledge gaps each warranting a focused investigation by domain researchers. This study does not isolate a single gap to address but espouses a holistic view of the knowledge problem at hand. It contributes to the discussion a set of conceptual constructs that clarify the knowledge structures underlying the BIM domain. It also introduces a number of practicable knowledge tools to facilitate BIM learning, assessment and performance improvement. This study is delivered through complementary papers and appendices to answer two primary research questions. The first explores the knowledge structures underlying the BIM domain whilst the second probes how these knowledge structures can be used to facilitate the measurement and improvement of BIM performance across the construction industry. To address the first question, the study identifies conceptual clusters underlying the BIM domain, develops descriptive taxonomies of these clusters, exposes some of their conceptual relationships, and then delivers a representative BIM framework. The BIM framework is composed of three-axes which represent the main knowledge structures underlying the BIM domain and support the development of functional conceptual models. To address the second question, BIM framework structures are extended through additional concepts and tools to facilitate BIM performance assessment and development of individuals, organizations and teams. These additional concepts include competency sets, assessment workflows and measurement tools which can be used to assess and improve the BIM performance of industry stakeholders. In addressing these research questions, a pragmatic approach to research design based on available literature and applicable theories has been adopted. By combining several research strategies, paradigms and methods, this study (1) generates several new conceptual structures (e.g. frameworks, models and taxonomies) which collectively clarify the knowledge structures underlying the BIM domain; and (2) develops a set of workflows and tools that facilitate BIM assessment, learning and performance improvement. This study delivers an extendable knowledge structure upon which to build a host of BIM performance improvement initiatives and tools. As a set of complementary papers and appendices, the study presents a rich, unified yet multi-layered environment of conceptual constructs and practicable tools; supported by a common framework, a domain ontology and simplified visual representations. Individually, each paper introduces a new framework part or solidifies a previous one. Collectively, the papers form a cohesive knowledge engine that generates assessment systems, learning modules and performance improvement tools.
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Executive SummaryIntroductionTypes of Construction FirmsInformation Contractors Want from BIMProcesses to Develop a Contractor Building Information ModelReduction of Design Errors Using Clash DetectionQuantity Takeoff and Cost EstimatingConstruction Analysis and PlanningIntegration with Cost and Schedule Control and Other Management FunctionsUse for Offsite FabricationUse of BIM Onsite: Verification, Guidance, and Tracking of Construction ActivitiesImplications for Contract and Organizational ChangesBIM Implementation
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The IST 10303 "eConstruct" project (eCommerce/eBusiness in the Building and Construction industry: preparing for the new Internet) is now (November 2001) in its second and final year. The objective of eConstruct is to develop, evaluate and demonstrate how the next generation Internet can be used to improve meaningful communications in the European Building and Construction industry, supporting future eCommerce and eBusiness. The paper presents the goals of the project, discusses the chosen solution, evaluates the results obtained so far and recommends directions for further R&D. Though the paper globally presents the results of the project as a whole, typical eCommerce aspects will be dealt with in more detail (other papers describing other eConstruct results in detail have already been published, or will be published shortly).
This paper follows an element of the research programme of the Construct-IT Centre of Excellence, a UK-based organisation responsible for promoting the strategic awareness of IT within construction enterprises. Funding has been granted from the Department of the Environment to benchmark the use of IT within ten mission-critical business processes. Supplier Management is the first benchmark with ten construction contractors interviewed between July and November 1995. The results show that the internal exploitation of IT within the contractor is more advanced than between the separate legal entities of contractor and supplier. Hard copy transfer dominates information transmission with few companies experimenting with technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Of the two measures used, use of IT to support a process and importance to the process, the importance of using of IT is recognised, but does not translate into use. Summaries of the comments made at interviews are provided to give the reader background to the companies' attitudes towards IT in this process area. Reference is made to comparisons with a shipbuilder and automotive parts supplier as out-of-industry examples of companies performing a similar process to assess how other industries use IT within a similar process.
This is a brief history of ERP—enterprise resource planning. Major ERP vendors are discussed as well as the major impact of developments in computer hardware and software on the industry. The industry consolidation that has recently occurred is also discussed. Interviews were conducted with Mr. Ed McVaney, founder of J.D. Edwards, Rick Allen, former VP of Finance and Administration, and Rick Snow, former Chief Legal Counsel of J.D. Edwards. Information was also obtained from Bill Robinson who held the position of “Industry Consultant” with IBM in the mid-1980s.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an expansive knowledge domain within the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) industry. To allow a systematic investigation of BIM's divergent fields, its knowledge components must be defined and expanding boundaries delineated. This paper explores some of the publicly available international guidelines and introduces the BIM Framework, a research and delivery foundation for industry stakeholders. This is a ‘scene-setting’ paper identifying many conceptual parts (fields, stages, steps and lenses), providing examples of their application and listing some of the Framework's deliverables. This paper also identifies and deploys visual knowledge models and a specialised ontology to represent domain concepts and their relations.
One of the central issues in making efficient use of IT in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings is the sharing of the digital building data across disciplines and lifecycle stages. One technology which enables data sharing is CAD layering, which to be of real use requires the definition of standards. This paper focuses on the background, objectives and effectiveness of the International standard ISO 13567, Organisation and naming of layers for CAD. In particular the efficiency and effectiveness of the standardisation and standard implementation process are in focus, rather than the technical details. The study was conducted as a qualitative study with a number of experts who responded to a semi-structured mail questionnaire, supplemented by personal interviews. The main results were that CAD layer standards based on the ISO standard have been implemented, particularly in northern European countries, but are not very widely used. A major problem which was identified was the lack of resources for marketing and implementing the standard as national variations, once it had been formally accepted.
BIM in 2007 -are we there yet? Proceedings of CIB W78 conference on Bringing ITC knowledge to work
  • R Amor
  • Y Jiang
Amor, R., Jiang, Y., and Chen, X. (2007) BIM in 2007 -are we there yet? Proceedings of CIB W78 conference on Bringing ITC knowledge to work, Maribor, Slovenia, 26-29 June, 159-162
Information Technology Standardization: Theory, Process, and Organizations Standards Policy for Information Infrastructure
  • C Cargill
Cargill, C. (1989) Information Technology Standardization: Theory, Process, and Organizations, Digital Press, Bedford, MA Cargill C. In: Kahin, B., Abbate, J. (Ed.) (1995) Standards Policy for Information Infrastructure. MIT Press, Cambridge, 79-99
Standardisation education, ERIM report series: Research in Management, Ref no. ERS-2002-82- ORG, Rotterdam, the Netherlands de Vries
  • H De Vries
de Vries, H. (2002), Standardisation education, ERIM report series: Research in Management, Ref no. ERS-2002-82- ORG, Rotterdam, the Netherlands de Vries, H. In: Jakobs, K. (Ed.)(2005) Advanced Topics in Information Technology Standards and Standardization Research Volume 1, Hershey, PA, USA, Idea Group Publishing, 11-36
Theorizing about Standardization: Integrating Fragments of Process Theory in Light of Telecommunication Standardization Wars Available at: http://sprouts
  • V Fomin
  • T Keil
  • K Lyytinen
Fomin V., Keil T., Lyytinen, K. (2003) Theorizing about Standardization: Integrating Fragments of Process Theory in Light of Telecommunication Standardization Wars," Case Western Reserve University, USA. Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 3 (10) Available at: