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RP2011u1: Progressing precinct modelling on the UNSW campus and beyond: BIM/PIM and 3DGIS

Project leader name: 
Professor Sisi Zlatanova, UNSW
Project status: 
Project period: 

The UNSW Kensington Campus lies at the heart of an extended precinct which is the subject of intensive strategic planning and assessment as part of both the Greater Sydney Commission Randwick Collaboration Area (comprising UNSW and the four hospitals, and an emerging living laboratory under Randwick City Council’s Smart Cities Strategy. The CRCLCL ran living lab workshop based around this precinct at the end of August 2018.

UNSW Estate Management has an ambitious program to create a ‘Smart Campus’ which will see the campus area more effectively managed within its boundaries and better connected beyond them to the wider precinct.  This provides an opportunity, within a single jurisdiction, to re-visit some of the modelling and assessment challenges at precinct scale explored in RP2011.

This project builds on the work of RP2011 and showcase potential solutions to the challenges of modelling and managing precinct information. Recent advances in technology allow for a quick collection of 3D data and reconstruction of 3D realistic models. These come in addition to detailed 3D BIM models, which are becoming increasingly available as well. However, the integration and maintenance of such 3D data remains problematic. Data and models are scattered in different file formats and layers and maintained by different departments and institutions. This complicates the update of data and the use and re-use of information. Despite international research efforts and developments, many issues related to structuring, semantic identification and management of 3D precinct information require further investigation. This project will address two of the most challenging issues: the effective integration of BIM and GIS for precinct modelling purposes, and 3D data integration and management.  

The developments will be demonstrated on a relatively small, but complex area, i.e. UNSW Kensington campus. UNSW Estate Management (EM) has been pursuing an innovative concept for 3D information management to support the concept of a “Smart Campus”. In discussions with EM, initial requirements have been identified as follows:

  • The 3D data structure should be compliant with national and international open standards to facilitate exchange and update of information between different UNSW EM departments and with external parties.
  • The 3D data structure should be object-oriented, semantically-rich to allow for linking geospatial information with environmental data coming from sensors, as well as energy use and carbon footprints where available, and with non-spatial data such as student curriculum, facility maintenance, event management, safety and security regulations, campus opening hours, accessibility, etc.
  • This project will investigate: 1) a workflow for a 3D integration and reconstruction of the campus site from different data sources and 2) a concept for a 3D spatial data structuring. A prototype 3D workflow will be investigated, aiming at integration of 2D/3D existing data, point clouds (from different platforms), imagery/video (taken from drones or manually), BIM (as-designed and as-built), GIS and PIM. Some of the aspects to be investigated here are:

    • time and effort to collect data
    • resolution and accuracy
    • software and file formats
    • procedure for 3D reconstruction (indoor/outdoor)
    • classification and semantic tagging. 

The 3D spatial data infrastructure should be able to cope with existing BIM and GIS data sets, 2D and 3D, modifications of objects, their attributes and relationships and different semantics and vocabularies. Some of the aspects to be investigated during the modelling are:

  • Applicability of existing standards (IFC, CityGML, IndoorGML, LADM)
  • International experiences, e.g. OGC ESPRESSO project, Digital City London, Port of Rotterdam
  • Vendor driven 3D models: Bentley Systems (iModel), ESRI-AutoCAD (BIM-GIS integration)
  • OGC/ISO standardisation activities: BIM/GIS integration, IndoorGML initiative
  • Standards Australia and CRC LCL and CRC SI experiences.

Publications related to this project

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Conference paper for the 3D Geoinfo Conference 2019 (24-27 September 2019)

CRCLCL Project Reports

This report presents results of inventory of the administrative structure of UNSW Estate Management (EM), software used, datasets and their content.

CRCLCL Project Reports

Precinct Information Modelling (PIM) describes the process of creating a virtual 3D model at precinct scale, defined as a special region in built environment. This technical investigation presents the PIM data schema and database design.

CRCLCL Project Reports

This report presents a way of structuring and visualising geospatial data and their corresponding semantics and metadata in a Precinct Information Model (PIM).