The nature and the complexity of building codes, including the fire regulations, result in mainly manual verification and, therefore, in subjective potential interpretations or errors. In the case of timber construction, the fire safety regulations are moreover a challenge due to the combustibility of the material. Further integration of fire safety is needed during the design process in order to increase the reliability of the designs in terms of fire safety. Building information modelling (BIM) technologies offer today new tools for automating different tasks in the construction process. The different approaches and available tools have been therefore compared in the context of fire protection code compliance. For that matter, criteria applicable to the tools have been identified based on literature review and on the National Building Code of Canada prescriptive provisions, but also based on a practical manipulation of the available tools. The potential of the different tools is therefore assessed based on their integration of the fire protection concepts and on their adaptability to BIM. This contextualized comparison has shown that the fire protection integration in BIM is limited. The tools for performance-based fire protection design are not exploring enough the information contained by the building model that is beyond the geometry. The BIM-based compliance checking tools, in turn, contain insufficient space for fire safety regulations checking as advanced spatial study is required for this purpose. Thus, this paper demonstrates the need for further development in terms of exploiting the building models’ semantics in the fire protection context.
The study laid out in this report aims to build on the lessons learned from around the globe and in BC to promote and facilitate the deployment of BIM and DfMA in the context of mass timber construction. The study’s objectives were to:
1. Explore BIM tools and software platforms that support collaboration and optimization of design solutions as well as enable seamless exchange of information in the context of DfMA of mass-timber solutions.
2. Investigate the potential impact of the use of BIM tools and software platforms on project and team outcomes in the context of mass-timber construction.
3. Investigate how the modeling process can be streamlined to minimize waste and optimize the DfMA process in the context of mass-timber construction.
4. Investigate the readiness of manufacturers and installer/assemblers to supply BIM data for products and systems.
5. Propose recommendations to position the supply chain to design, manufacture and assemble mass-timber structures.
6. Propose recommendations that identify future training requirements for BIM enabled DfMA in the context of mass-timber construction.
Project contact is Jean-François Lalonde at Université Laval
Mobile digital tools (tablets and mobile phones) are ubiquitous in our lives. The potential of the cameras of these tools is under-exploited if we consider the geo-spatial information that they can provide to the information management systems (BIM) via cloud platforms for example. The images captured by these cameras can be combined with information from other sensors (gyroscope, accelerometers, etc.) and thus aligned with a BIM model. Many of these technologies are commonly used for robotic localization. The project would aim to assess whether current technologies could be used to track construction progress and identify non-conformities. The project would also determine the level of precision that can be achieved.
Fire safety regulations impose very strict requirements on building design, especially for buildings built with combustible materials. It is believed that it is possible to improve the management of these regulations with a better integration of fire protection aspects in the building information modeling (BIM) approach. A new BIM-based domain is emerging, the automated code checking, with its growing number of dedicated approaches. However, only very few of these works have been dedicated to managing the compliance to fire safety regulations in timber buildings. In this paper, the applicability to fire safety in the Canadian context is studied by constituting and executing a complete method from the regulations text through code-checking construction to result analysis. A design science approach is used to propose a code-checking method with a detailed analysis of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) in order to obtain the required information. The method starts by retrieving information from the regulation text, leading to a compliance check of an architectural building model. Then, the method is tested on a set of fire safety regulations and validated on a building model from a real project. The selected fire safety rules set a solid basis for further development of checking rules for the field of fire safety. This study shows that the main challenges for rule checking are the modeling standards and the elements’ required levels of detail. The implementation of the method was successful for geometrical as well as non-geometrical requirements, although further work is needed for more advanced geometrical studies, such as sprinkler or fire dampers positioning.
Many strategies have been investigated seeking for efficiency in construction sector, since it has been pointed out as the largest consumer of raw materials worldwide and responsible of about 1/3 of the global CO2 emissions. While operational carbon has been strongly reduced due to building regulations, embodied carbon is becoming dominating. Resources and processes involved from material extraction to building erection should be carefully optimized aiming to reduce the emissions from the cradle to service. New advancements in timber engineering have shown the capabilities of this renewable and CO2 neutral material in multi-storey buildings. Since their erection is based on prefabrication, an accurate construction management is eased where variations and waste are sensible to be minimized. Through this paper, the factors constraining the use of wood as main material for multi-storey buildings will be explored and the potential benefits of using Lean Construction principles in the timber industry are highlighted aiming to achieve a standardized workflow from design to execution. Hence, a holistic approach towards industrialization is proposed from an integrated BIM model, through an optimized supply chain of off-site production, and to a precise aligned scheduled on-site assembly.
Project contact is Conrad Boton at ETS (École de technologie supérieure)
The objective is to explore the ability of new approaches such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the Integrated Design Process (IPD) to: provide a more favorable design framework for improvement fire safety in high-rise construction projects in solid wood; make the best constructive choices through a constructability study assisted by digital tools of virtual construction; perform more realistic simulations of fire behaviour to better analyze risks and implement more effective management strategies.