By Talida Boanca
Asset Management (AM) processes are often characterized by high diversity of involved stakeholders, each with their own interests, (often non-interoperable) tools and methods of working, and data types used per asset life cycle phase, based on different standards and norms. This, along with the segregation between the design / construction phases and the operation / maintenance phases of an asset, results in data intensive, complex AM processes and costly, inefficient information management throughout the life cycle of assets.
The aim of this research was to investigate ways of reducing some of the AM complexities listed above, and to facilitate thus AM processes. Two different possible solutions were considered: 3D representation and visualization of AM data, and the integration of different systems and data types used in AM processes. In this case, the systems integration studied was that of BIM and GIS in Obsurv.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of generating and managing data of built facilities and assets during their life cycle. By using BIM models in the design and implementation phases of assets, and transferring the information to the next phases of the life cycle, the total costs of Asset management in its maintenance and operation phases can be greatly reduced.
The test environment for the 3D BIM model integration with GIS is Obsurv - a Dutch management system for public space and assets, available as a web-based service (at www.obsurv.nl). Obsurv provides asset information relevant for asset maintenance and budgeting processes.
3D data representation and visualization can help facilitate complex AM processes and increase their efficiency by enabling the storage and visualization of all asset information in one interactive 3D model, facilitating at the same time information sharing between parties involved in different phases of asset life cycle. 3D models of assets also make the understanding of an asset easier across an organization, and help to correctly identify components for maintenance services.
The BIM - GIS integration was tested through the integration of a 3D BIM model of a bridge in Obsurv, the test environment for the case study. The integration was realized at system and data level. The system (or application) level BIM-GIS integration gives users access on the fly to the BIM physical ?le (saved locally or updated to the cloud) through an API (Application programming interface) DBMS (DataBase Management System) or through the joint use of web interfaces and message exchange. This type of integration does not involve geometric or semantic data transformation between the two systems, being thus more a loose coupling between the two systems. Integration at data level is realized through geometric transformation (LOD 4 reduced to LOD 2 by grouping, filtering or aggregating elements based on a similar parameter (family name or material), and the semantic mapping between the underlying standards - IFC and NEN 2767-4 (soon to be automated through the (inter)national dictionary being developed (the CB-NL), mapping terms/concepts from multiple industries (construction, AM, GIS).Information integration enables more cooperation between different stakeholders involved in AM processes, and can help enhance the quality of AM processes, tools and services. The integration of various working methods and data types (in the design and construction phases) can lead to cost effective asset life cycle management, by allowing stakeholders access to a seamless ?ow of asset information over its whole life cycle.