This paper investigates the needs and requirements for product modelling in the construction industry. A product (or nD) model refers to an extension of the traditional "building information model". This model incorporates multi-faceted aspects of design information (required at each stage of the lifecycle of a building) by integrating additional information (such as time, costs and safety codes) into a three dimensional (3D) computer model, thereby adding intelligence to it The study adopts a qualitative approach where semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 key design and construction professionals from two major Australian companies. Data were coded in relation to six main clusters themes and summaries of results are presented as repertory grids. The paper identifies risks v opportunities of implementing nD modelling in the construction industry. Results show the industry's shift to 3D computer aided design (CAD), with a strong interest being identified for CAD, programming and scheduling integration. Although the use of product models is not seen as feasible at this point in time, the increasing use of 3D CAD is seen as a positive step. Furthermore results indicate a need for alignment models and user-friendly technologies if product models are to assist communication between clients, consultants and construction companies.
Arquitectura 3000 3rd International Conference: the Architecture of In-difference. Proceedings of the Arquitectura 3000 Conference 2004 (Barcelona, Spain 30 June - 3 July, 2004)