Social BIM: Co-creation with shared situational awareness

Zulfikar Adamu, Stephen Emmitt, Robby Soetanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

common data environment (CDE) is a specific requirement for Level 2 BIM in the UK in
accordance with BS1192-2007 and PAS1192-2 standards. It is a central repository of BIM data and examples
include 4BIM and Autodesk 360. These repositories have some disadvantages:(i) it is after synchronisation or
file upload that changes between local and cloud versions of BIM models can be appreciated by remote teams;
(ii) there is a cost associated with subscribing to these servers, which could marginalise SMEs wanting to adopt
BIM; and (iii) during the design phase, these systems do not permit real-time co-creation capabilities or audiovisual
consensus amongst designers. So although these repositories are helpful technologies, it is people who
collaborate (not systems) and in the design phase, audio-visual feedback and consensus can augment the
collaboration experience and outcomes. With socio-technical input, the quality of BIM data/models generated by
team members can be enhanced (and clashes minimised) if visual isolation is eliminated.
This research presents a framework and proof-of-concept which redefines Social BIM (SBIM) as a sociotechnical
mode of BIM that enriches the co-creation process for Levels 2 and 3 BIM. It enables ‘shared
situational awareness’ by empowering remote participants with visual and remote control of BIM models using
GoToMeeting as a ‘groupware’. The BIM data was hosted by surrogate servers linked to cloud-based storage. A
quasi-experiment through a desktop sharing and communication system enabled 14 globally dispersed
participants to control the graphical user interface (GUI) of a host PC in the UK running Autodesk Revit. Four
audio-visual collaboration protocols were developed and three were tested. Participants interacted via the host
PC remotely using computers (which acted as nomadic servers) and with mobile devices. Remote desktop/laptop
users had unlimited control of the data in host PC, while real-time audio-visual communication improved the
collaboration and co-creation of 3D BIM models. The experience of participants in editing BIM models was a
function of internet bandwidth, hardware and operating systems. Unitary optimisation of modelling
efforts/outcomes was possible on shared/coordination models. Divisible optimisation of industry-specific tasks
(i.e. architectural, engineering and management) by participants was enhanced by feedback which was either
on-demand (requested) or just-in-time (spontaneous).
LanguageEnglish
Pages230-252
Number of pages23
JournalITcon - Technology Strategies for Collaborative Working
Volume20
StatusPublished - Feb 2015

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Servers
Visual communication
Groupware
Feedback
Computer operating systems
Remote control
Graphical user interfaces
Mobile devices
Computer hardware
Data structures
Communication systems
Synchronization
Internet
Bandwidth
Network protocols
Computer simulation
Costs
Industry
Experiments

Cite this

Social BIM : Co-creation with shared situational awareness. / Adamu, Zulfikar; Emmitt, Stephen; Soetanto, Robby.

In: ITcon - Technology Strategies for Collaborative Working, Vol. 20, 02.2015, p. 230-252.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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