This paper reviews the technical features and requirements of Building Information Modelling (BIM)-servers as collaboration platforms for multi-disciplinary building and construction projects. Multi-disciplinary collaboration is the norm in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industries, especially in complex projects. The widespread adoption of object-oriented Computer-aided Design (CAD) tools that support BIM capabilities has generated greater interest in model based exchange of information across disciplines and consultants who have traditionally collaborated through the frequent exchange of 2D drawings and documents. BIM-servers are collaboration platforms that are expected to provide the technical capability to support this inter-disciplinary exchange of 3D models in addition to intelligent management of the related drawings, documents and other forms of data. Since BIM-servers are a recent technical development a review of their technical features can help further development. This paper serves this objective by providing a review of the technical features and requirements for using BIM-servers as multi-disciplinary collaboration platforms on building and construction projects. The methodologies include focus group interviews (FGIs) with representatives from the diverse AEC disciplines, a case study on a state-of-the-art BIM-server, and a critical review and analysis of current collaboration platforms that are available to the AEC industries. This paper concludes that greater emphasis should be placed on supporting technical requirements to facilitate technology management and implementation across disciplines. Their implications for user-centric technology development in design and construction industry are also discussed.
1st International Conference on Sustainable Urbanization (ICSU 2010). Proceedings of the First International Conference on Sustainable Urbanization (ICSU 2010) (Hong Kong 15-17 December, 2010)