Generative BIM Workspace for AEC Conceptual Design Automation: Prototype Development

Sepehr Abrishami, Jack Steven Goulding, Farzad Rahimian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract:
The integration and automation of the whole design and implementation process has become a pivotal factor in construction projects. Problems of process integration, particularly at the conceptual design stage often manifest through a number of significant areas, from: design representation, cognition and translation, through to process fragmentation and loss of design integrity. Whilst Building Information Modelling (BIM) applications can be used to support design automation, particularly through the modelling, amendment, and management stages, they do not explicitly provide whole design integration. This is a significant challenge. However, advances in generative design now offers significant potential for enhancing the design experience to mitigate this challenge.
Design/methodology/approach
The approach outlined in this paper specifically addresses BIM deficiencies at the conceptual design stage. Where, the core drivers and indicators of BIM and generative design are identified and mapped into a G-BIM framework, and subsequently embedded into a Generative BIM (G-BIM) prototype. This actively engages generative design methods into a single dynamic BIM environment to support the early conceptual design process. The developed prototype followed the Centre for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) “horseshoe” methodology of aligning theoretical research with scientific methods to procure Architecture, Construction and Engineering (AEC) – based solutions. This G-BIM prototype was also tested and validated through a focus group workshop engaging five AEC domain experts. Findings
The G-BIM prototype presents a valuable set of rubrics to support the conceptual design stage using generative design. It benefits from the advanced features of BIM tools in relation to illustration and collaboration (coupled with BIM’s parametric change management features).
Research limitations/implications
This prototype has been evaluated through multiple projects and scenarios. However, additional test data is needed to further improve system veracity using conventional and non-standard real-life design settings (and contexts). This will be reported in later works.
Originality/value
Originality and value rests with addressing the shortcomings of previous research on automation during the design process. It also addresses novel computational issues relating to the implementation of generative design systems; where for example, instead of engaging static and formal description of the domain concepts, G-BIM actively enhances the applicability of BIM during the early design stages to generate optimised (and more purposeful) design solutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Jun 2020

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