Barekati, Ehsan (2016-12). A BIM Compatible Schema for Architectural Programming Information. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Having access to architectural programming information that documents the predesign requirements for the building throughout the lifecycle of a building can add value to design evaluation, facility management, renovation and extension. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a new approach to manage the information that represents the characteristics of a building throughout its lifecycle. Architectural programming, although a key part of Architecture/Engineering/Construction/Operations (AECO) processes, has not been well integrated into Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards. Although research for many years has established computational data models for a BIM, there is not yet a comprehensive and standard data model to store architectural programming information that is compatible with BIM data modeling standards. This study investigated the possibility for a Universal Format for an Architectural Program Of Requirements (UFPOR) that can connect the architectural programming information to the BIM. Three well-known formats for architectural programming were analyzed to produce data models representing each format. The data models were further analyzed and compared to form a common data model that can bring together all three formats, producing a Universal Format for Architectural Program Of Requirements (UFPOR). The capabilities of UFPOR in representing PORs from the industry was further analyzed by modeling a POR excerpt using UFPOR. In the next phase, the data schema for the industry standard International Foundation Classes (IFC), which represents Building Information Models, was analyzed to explore its capabilities in supporting architectural programming information. Previous attempts to use IFC in documenting architectural programming information were reviewed and analyzed. The findings were compared with UFPOR to evaluate the capabilities of IFC in supporting a universal format for architectural programming. The result was a subset of IFC that can partially represent UFPOR (UFPOR-IFC). The limitations of IFC to fully support UFPOR are also discussed. In the next phase, a computer application prototype (Target) was developed based on the findings of the previous phase to demonstrate how a limited subset of architectural programming requirements can be represented in IFC based on UFPOR-IFC. The output of the application was tested to ensure the IFC physical files produced by the application accurately reflect the data inserted by the application's user. UFPOR-IFC was tested by modeling two architectural programming documents to assess the external credibility of the findings. The devised system offers a blueprint for creating a link between real-world Architectural Programs and BIM models through IFC physical files. For future work, the findings of the study can be further analyzed by testing the extensibility of the UFPOR-IFC in modeling architectural programming requirements in different subdomains such as lighting, earthquake resilience, and acoustics. Enhancement of IFC to fully support UFPOR could also be investigated and devised. The capabilities of UFPOR-IFC to create a link between UFPOR information and other BIM models should be further tested and analyzed.

publication date

  • December 2016