Computational design and classification systems to support predictive checking of performance of building systems

Carlo Zanchetta, Paolo Borin, Cristina Cecchini, Gregorio Xausa


The aim of control the economic, social and environmental aspects connected to the construction of a building imposes a systematic approach for which it is necessary to make test models aimed to a coordinate analysis of different and independent performance issues. BIM technology, referring to interoperable informative models, offers a significant operative basis to achieve this necessity. In most of the cases, informative models concentrate on a product-based digital models collection built in a virtual space, more than on the simulation of their relational behaviors. This relation, instead, is the most important aspect of modelling because it marks and characterizes the interactions that can define the building as a system. This study presents the use of standard classification systems as tools for both the activation and validation of an integrated performance-based building process. By referring categories and types of the informative model to the codes of a technological and performance-based classification system, it is possible to link and coordinate functional units and their elements with the indications required by the AEC standards. In this way, progressing with an incremental logic, it is possible to achieve the management of the requirements of the whole building and the monitoring of the fulfilment of design objectives and specific normative guidelines. The informative model, indeed, offers through the whole building process, the possibility to list the expected performance requirements defined at the design level for the singles technical elements. Once filled in those values and given the model interoperability to analysis platforms, we can gather the results and publish them by using computational design algorithm in parameters of functional units with the aim to monitor the relation with the expressed specifications. In that way, the model assumes the role of decisional basis for the building process because it allows to gather the technical specifications of simple components and functional units and in the same time compare them to the performance requirements of building products and to all the system composing the building, both active or passive. This research is proposed as a hypothesis for the extension of the project informative content, with the aim to support the decision-making skills related to information management to ensure the success on projects. The work has been developed during a research program in partnership between University of Padova and F&M Ingegneria S.p.A., an Italian company operating on engineering and architecture. In the first phase of work the study focused on the literature analysis dealing with development and spread of standard classification codes, with more attention on OmniClass and its implementation in BIM platforms. In the second stage, it concentrated on the implementation of the standard classification system and the performance specifications on the BIM platforms used for project design and management. The result has been achieved through the use of Computational design and data integration solutions, developed with the help of visual programming language (VPL). The same solutions have been used to fill in the performances of the whole system that has been simulated with FEA software and to validate the choices in relation to the proposed aims and to the normative prescriptions by comparing requirements and performances. The project has made possible to activate a real integrate performance-based design process thanks to the realization of the map previously mentioned and to the fact that BIM technology can define the relationship between technical elements and determined spaces and, at the same time, to monitor functions and requirements on that space.


performance based building design; building information modeling; encoding; classification; building systems; interoperability

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