Thursday, 22 September 2011

buildingSMART Singapore - Day Four

Today’s topic was one of the most fascinating challenges in BIM - to automatically check BIM models against the initial requirements for compliance.

To produce such a system to do this is one of the holy grails of BIM.

Imagine the start of a project, there are many requirements: from the client, in the building regulations and in the environmental point schemes. As the design progresses, in this vision, the BIM would be used for fully automated checking against these requirements. Imagine the design team being able to check a BIM for compliance prior to an official building regulations submission… and getting the results back in a few minutes. The inspectors for the local authority could then officially do the same check prior to issuing the approval. Equally a report on any additional client requirements from the BIM could be generated following design to ensure all requirements are met prior to construction starting.

Many countries around the world are trying to achieve this and have made progress in this journey.
  • In Singapore, they have the ePlanCheck’s system. IFC files are submitted to a central repository where the authority can go through the regulations and then mark up the elements that have queries against them and submit this back in a final report.
  • In Korea a similar project has IFC files being uploaded to set IDM schemas
  • Two projects in the US were described, the first from FIATECH where trials are underway to move to automated checking.
  • The second was work AEC3 are doing in the US on turning paper documents specifying requirements into structured rules through an innovative digital mark up system.
  • Finally, the Norwegians have been working on this since 2003 - progress is being made and they have a road map through to 2015.
It seemed to be accepted that digitalising 100% of compliance checking may be a huge challenge, but it seems clear that BIM will allow at least a portion of this activity to be digitalised.

The final session of the day was Cheng Tai Fatt, Director of Development for the Singapore Building and Construction Authority, outlining the road map for BIM in Singapore.

There has been a $150m budget to provide 2/3% year-on-year savings on construction in Singapore. One key thread is “technology adoption”.

As in many countries around the world (including the UK), BIM is being seen as the main technology driver here and the government are taking the lead through promotion of BIM, investment in education and insistence on BIM adoption on public projects.
  • A full BIM will have to submitted digitally for code checking starting from 2013 for 20,000 m2 buildings and then 5,000m2 buildings from 2015
  • There will be an investment in the training for university students in BIM and also material available for construction professionals
  • Government subsidies will be available to cut the cost of BIM technologies to construction professionals to cut costs by 50%.
And now it’s a few hours until it is time to go back to the airport and then the flight to Heathrow. Looking forward to six back-to-back movies on the plane :)

Update - there was a time for a quick trip up the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands. Check it out on Wikipedia -a truly amazing building. When I get home I'll upload a set of nice pics from my proper camera (not iPhone camera):
Don't swim too close the edge mind!


  1. The guys at are also working on technology to do automatic rule checking on IFC models. This technology will be published open source very soon.

  2. I believe there's even a cocktail bar up there...


  3. @Keith

    See for some better pictures.

    I hope you and Christine made your flight in time.

    Also, cocktail bar? There was no time for cocktails, work, work, work I seem to remember! :)


  4. Sometimes building regulations could be a cause of headache! Too many provisions and things like that. Well, but we cannot deny the fact that it is indeed important to follow these building regulations since it's still for our own good. haha. Thank you so much for this post.