Product data modelling

Considerable potential to increase quality and efficiency can be achieved through the targeted use of computers in the design, construction and use processes.

Modern AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) software systems have now very much evolved from being merely "digital drawing boards" and allow the application of improved methods of planning and constructing. They can create the technological basis for the realization of integrated computer-based planning.

The basis for such a computer-based component-oriented procedure is a consistent and integrated virtual building model that can also be validated - also domain-neutrally referred to as a product data model. Such a building information model (BIM) is a digital model that can be used to illustrate, link and manage the various parts and components of a building with their wide-ranging aspects (e.g., geometry, materials used, structural attributes, costs, processes, etc.) and structures (topology) over the entire life-cycle.

In construction, the modelling of objects extends from the illustration of individual buildings through the digital representation of entire cities to the documentation and description of the characteristics of the geological and meteorological half-space. Developments and interactions across life-cycle phases (planning-production-use-disposal) are becoming increasingly important.

National and international product and object model standards are already being widely used in the abstract descriptions of various products (buildings, cities, roads) and some aspects of their life-cycle (geometry, topology, energy properties, costs, etc.).

Individual models are often lacking when it comes to the description and analysis of complex interactions in the structural and urban context. Efforts are therefore being made to integrate other aspects into models and thus to achieve integrated product models for the respective context.

Due to their extensive information potential, product models are of key importance as central knowledge repositories, but only the accessibility of this knowledge for processes in the life-cycle of products in the constructional context allows them to be exploited in higher-level workflows. The development of methods and tools for collaborative management and the process-related analysis (model review) of integrated product models are therefore also important.

The BLM works in the context of research projects on the implementation and consolidation of these integration approaches.