IFC-CENTRIC VEGETATION MODELLING FOR BIM
Keywords: BIM authoring software, IFC interface, 3D parametric modeling, plant representation, plant shapes, plant species
Abstract. There has been a growing interest in integrating vegetation into the built environment in order to ameliorate the negative effects of increasing urbanisation. In Singapore, government policies encourage the inclusion of skyrise greenery into new and existing buildings. To further streamline workflows, statutory BIM (Building Information Modelling) submissions in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries have been mandated. However, landscape plans are still excluded from these BIM submissions due to the lack of a centralised vegetation database and the absence of a standardised BIM format for landscape architectural submissions. This paper presents a streamlined methodology for creating and using a centralised vegetation library for landscape architects. The workflow leverages off the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) standard for data exchange regardless of the BIM authoring software used and provides a framework of four operational modules: an expandable and low-maintenance species-level vegetation library, a BIM authoring workflow that allows inclusion of vegetation objects, an IFC interface, and a lightweight 3D vegetation model generator. This paper also showcases a use-case of embedding information-enriched 3D vegetation objects into a simulated landscape plan. The proposed workflow, when adopted in AEC industries, will enable governing agencies to track diverse greening efforts by the industry and to potentially include other measurements such as cooling performance or maintainability.