Andrew Norrie from 3D Repo made a significant statement during the question and answer session at the recent COBie or not Cobie Forum – which, by the way, was a successful event, allowing us to raise serious issues about the delivery and use of building information by its intended recipients, and what actually happens when COBie, and any other format for delivering asset management information, hits the ground. He stated that future architects and engineers are already immersed in future technology, and that accessing data directly from 3D digital models is ‘child’s play’ to them.
This, as much as anything else, will encourage companies to move towards the 3D federated model as a single source of information, instead of the more formal COBie database (not a spreadsheet – Martyn Horne, Vectorworks, at the same Forum). The problems of ownership of the model and its development throughout the life of an asset still persist, although practical solutions appear to be in place, based on licensed models that allow upgrades and further development to its users.
The trend in construction is towards more efficient access to the information held in the model, whether a company uses 3D Repo’s Open User non SQL Database capabilities with its rather free handling of data from all sources, or Bentley’s OpenRoads Designer, which brings all elements involved in the design and construction of roads and bridges together in a highly visual digital single source model.
The way we present information is advancing rapidly – accelerating, in fact. The challenge to companies is whether they stick with what is comfortable now, or whether they dare look twenty or thirty years into the future, and start planning for it now. The next CAD User has a nice Case Study coming up from Bentley that illustrates that point admirably.
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