Building Information Modelling (BIM) enables intelligent use and management of building information embedded in object-oriented CAD (Computer-aided Design) models. The widespread use of object-oriented CAD tools such as ArchiCAD, Revit and Bentley in practice has generated greater interest in BIM. A number of BIM-compliant applications ranging from analysis tools, product libraries, model checkers to facilities management applications have been developed to enhance the BIM capabilities across disciplinary boundaries, generating research interests in BIM servers as tools to integrate, share and manage the model developed in distributed collaborative teams. This chapter presents a computational model for applying Augmented Reality (AR) as a novel approach to interfacing BIM servers for design collaboration in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries. The chapter firstly elicits technical requirements for a BIM server as a collaboration platform based on: (1) a case study conducted with a state-of-the-art BIM server to identify its technical capabilities and limitations, and; (2) an analysis of features of current collaboration platforms used in the AEC industries. The findings are classified into three main categories including: (1) BIM model management related requirements; (2) design review related requirements; and (3) data security related requirements. An integration framework is then proposed for adopting AR as the primary interface for a BIM server, supporting the above technical requirements for design collaboration in the AEC industries. The adoption of AR opens up new opportunities for exploring alternative approaches to data representation, organisation and interaction for supporting seamless collaboration in BIM servers.
Built Environment: Design Management and Applications p. 319-333