Robust IFC files to improve information exchange: An application for thermal energy simulation

Qian Chen, Yunus Emre Harmanci, Yaowen Ou, Borja Garcia De Soto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Despite many efforts from software vendors, AEC community and researchers, interoperability is still one of the main issues regarding reliable and robust transfer of information among different applications. In most cases, the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) files fail to provide proper interoperability between geometric building models (architects) and thermal simulation software (engineers). This causes time consuming interactions and manual corrections prompt to errors. This paper evaluated two approaches for an efficient and robust transfer of IFC models considering space boundary characteristics to conduct thermal energy simulation (TES). The first approach was a multi-platform process which IFC files could be used by different TES tools. The second consisted of a single-platform process in which a single CAD software with built-in energy simulation capabilities was used. The two processes were tested with a simple residential building. Results indicated that the first process still required manual corrections and its performance was influenced by the TES tool used. The second approach addressed the interoperability problems, but caused "software dependency". It was found that geometry data reflecting different levels of space boundaries significantly influenced energy simulation results, indicating that proper definition of space boundaries improved the robustness of IFC files. This showed that IFC files can be enhanced to facilitate TES. This study also showed opportunities for improvement regarding interoperability and suggested other ways to tackle this problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISEC 2017 - 9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference
Subtitle of host publicationResilient Structures and Sustainable Construction
EditorsJose M. Adam, Eugenio Pellicer, Siamak Yazdani, Amarjit Singh, Victor Yepes
PublisherISEC Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780996043748
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Resilient Structures and Sustainable Construction, ISEC 2017 - Valencia, Spain
Duration: Jul 24 2017Jul 29 2017

Publication series

NameISEC 2017 - 9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Resilient Structures and Sustainable Construction

Other

Other9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Resilient Structures and Sustainable Construction, ISEC 2017
CountrySpain
CityValencia
Period7/24/177/29/17

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Keywords

  • Building energy model
  • Building information model
  • Industry foundation class
  • Interoperability
  • Space boundaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

Cite this

Chen, Q., Harmanci, Y. E., Ou, Y., & De Soto, B. G. (2017). Robust IFC files to improve information exchange: An application for thermal energy simulation. In J. M. Adam, E. Pellicer, S. Yazdani, A. Singh, & V. Yepes (Eds.), ISEC 2017 - 9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Resilient Structures and Sustainable Construction (ISEC 2017 - 9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Resilient Structures and Sustainable Construction). ISEC Press.