University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > DIAL seminars > The Future of Construction and Infrastructure Information: BIM, the Death of the Document, the Importance of Information Retrieval and Future-proofing in Design

The Future of Construction and Infrastructure Information: BIM, the Death of the Document, the Importance of Information Retrieval and Future-proofing in Design

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As more and more civil engineering work becomes digital, the amount of information that engineers need to handle is growing exponentially. While this presents opportunities for supporting design decision-making, reusing design information and increasing productivity, there remains the challenge of navigating around huge repositories of digital content. This presentation outlines a research line spanning over a decade in Information Retrieval to manage civil engineering design and construction content, such as drawings and building models. The field of Information Retrieval is concerned with systems that help users to fulfil their information needs. Common examples of Information Retrieval systems include web search engines and library catalogues. The basic aim of the research presented here can therefore be expressed informally as “to develop search engines for civil engineering design content”. However, in the case of civil engineering applications of Information Retrieval, systems can exploit the inherent structure of engineering/construction project information (the CoMem and Needles research projects) and the links to the 3D artefact being designed (the 3DIR research project) The emergence of Building Information Models (BIM) in recent years adds some urgency to this line of research. The presentation will argue for the importance of Information Retrieval concepts, even if, in the era of BIM , “documents” are no longer central. It will conclude by setting a research agenda for exploring the opportunities to support design decision-making that are afforded by this additional information being managed. Can the information being modelled be used to guide the designer on how to future-proof the design?

This talk is part of the DIAL seminars series.

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