This paper describes how a building information modelling (BIM)-based approach for building circulation enables us to change the process of building design in terms of its computational representation and processes, focusing on the conceptual modelling and representation of circulation within buildings. BIM has been designed for use by several BIM authoring tools, in particular with the widely known interoperable industry foundation classes (IFCs), which follow an object-oriented data modelling methodology. Advances in BIM authoring tools, using space objects and their relations defined in an IFC's schema, have made it possible to model, visualize and analyse circulation within buildings prior to their construction. Agent-based circulation has long been an interdisciplinary topic of research across several areas, including design computing, computer science, architectural morphology, human behaviour and environmental psychology. Such conventional approaches to building circulation are centred on navigational knowledge about built environments, and represent specific circulation paths and regulations. This paper, however, places emphasis on the use of 'space objects' in BIM-enabled design processes rather than on circulation agents, the latter of which are not defined in the IFCs' schemas. By introducing and reviewing some associated research and projects, this paper also surveys how such a circulation representation is applicable to the analysis of building circulation-related rules.
- Building circulation
- Building information modelling (BIM)
- Conceptual modelling
- Industry foundation classes (IFCs)
- Space object