AISC BIM Standard Project

Investigators: Chuck Eastman, Donghoon Yang, Kereshmeh Afsari, and Yongchoel Lee

The American Institute of Steel Construction's (AISC) strong supports on interoperability and industry's committed efforts has led structural industry wide adoption of CIMsteel Integration Standard (CIS/2), IFC Industry Foundation Class (IFC), and steelXML.

The College of Design's Digital Fabrication Laboratory has been working on this endeavor closely with industry leaders with generous supports from AISC and Fiatech.

The project team has conducted research on the entire workflow for structural steel projects, which laid out overall Information Delivery Manual (IDM) encompassing the process map and the exchange requirements, as defined by domain experts.

Based on the outcome of the structural steel IDM, the team specified detailed Model View Definition (MVD) on specific exchange scenarios in structural contract material take-off and bid documentation developing, and in fabrication detailing and cellular robotic fabrication.

steelXML covers non-model based procurement data exchange not covered in IDM/MVD. The project team specified the data required for implementation of a streamlined approach to every aspect of structural steel procurement.

Information Delivery Manual

IDM defines effective workflows and use cases for steel structure design, engineering, and fabrication. The project team prioritized a set of use case workflows and more detailed individual data exchanges, defined in the IDM format, that cover the most important needs for digital data exchanges in the structural steel domain, generated a detailed functional specification of the implementation requirements for the use cases.

EM7. Structural Contract

The purpose of the structural contract model in EM7 is to provide a detailed structural steel model with enough information to help the steel detailer to design final steel structure layout, to help the steel manufacturer provide the detailed material take-off and also sufficient for the contractor to develop the bid document. This task will be to document the user and domain specialist information needs in terms of detailed information requirements regarding geometry, properties, relations, as defined in the AISC Information Delivery Manual and translate these into the corresponding model view in the IFC schema that supports the specified information exchange. This will be in the form of implementable IFC specification to be used by process plant software systems, such as AVEVA, Bentley, Intergraph, and others.

EM11. Final Steel Detailing

Final Steel Detailing is to define an open standard for supporting data exchange from steel detailing software to CNC fabrication in order to enhance productivity of cellular robotic fabrication and assembly.

It aims to specify detailed Model View Definition on a specific exchange scenario in fabrication detailing and cellular robotic fabrication, and to provide a baseline for future extension and development for steel construction industry specific open standard IFC implementation specification and guideline.

The target is to define an exchange case. It will serve as an example for the full adoption of open standards using IFC in the steel construction industry.

XML for Procurement

The scope of steelXML includes Initial availability/inquiry, RFQ, Purchase Orders, Additional Services, Schedule, Material Test Report Information, Advanced Shipping Notices, Invoicing, and Delivery Notices.

The steelXML schema (XSD) is designed to standardize data exchanges between the various parties for these procurement communications. This enables the steel construction industry to start down the path toward true e-commerce transactions across the supply chain.

A group of industry subject matter experts (SMEs) had several meetings to define the data exchanges, workflows, and full specifications for this schema. The SMEs consist of representatives from major mills, service centers, and fabricators who have been working with real-life examples of various aspects of the procurement process.


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