Building Life Cycle Management Virtual Simulation (BIM) Center
time: 2022-01-01

The Building Life Cycle Management Virtual Simulation (BIM) Center was established in December 2016, and is now part of the State Key Laboratory of Sub-Tropical Building Science. The BIM center is now also a provincial teaching center for virtual construction teaching.

The BIM Center performs cutting-edge construction informatics research and applications. Since its formation, the BIM center has participated in major construction projects in the Greater Bay Area. Our members have contributed to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project and several other infrastructure projects. Members of the BIM Centers publish paper in highly recognized international journals such as Automation in Construction, Computers in Industry.

Members of the center are mainly from the School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, and form an interdisciplinary teaching and research team with members from School of Architecture, School of Automation Science and Engineering. The center provides service for Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Transportation Engineering, Department of Construction Management. Based on the characteristics of building life cycle management, the center develops virtual simulation experimental hardware equipment and software system, virtual reality, data simulation, network interaction, intelligent design and other technical experimental teaching and research tools. Fully taking the advances of the production and research integration platform, and actively coordinating with domestic and foreign well-known universities and enterprises, the center carries out teaching and scientific research cooperation, through continuous innovation and exploration. We have gradually formed teaching system with virtual experiment and digital construction. The Center not only uses the computer technology to perfect the civil engineering and construction experiment teaching, but also has realized the effective substitution and the content expansion of the project such as the virtual simulation, the data acquisition and the performance simulation which is difficult to be completed in the conventional experiment, and has formed the professional characteristics and the specialty in the subject field. Through the virtual experimental teaching and building life cycle management methods combined, students make full use of computer virtual simulation technology innovation. The center has supported students’ achievements in international student design competition, national teaching awards, international cooperation and exchanges and other aspects.

The center integrates the three experimental teaching modules: 1) building information model (BIM) modeling and information management module, 2)building life cycle virtual simulation module, and 3) built environmental data acquisition module. With the help of software simulation experiment platform, project management sand table, immersion collaborative virtual reality system, unmanned aerial vehicles and three-dimensional laser scanner and other experimental platform, we have built an open, advanced experimental teaching center. Through the experimental teaching of the center, students can simulate the design, construction, operation and maintenance, dismantling and so on in the whole life cycle of the building, with the role of the design side, the construction side, the operation side, and so on. In the conceptual design phase, BIM technology is used for rapid modeling and basic financial and environmental impact assessment, while VR and AR technology supports student project teams to better understand the details of the project and design collaboration in the conceptual design phase. In the architectural design phase, VR and AR technology facilitates better communicate among students, with many project decisions ahead of the design stage. During the construction phase, VR and AR technologies are used to train workers to operate complex processes, visualize the construction process, and monitor the project construction process instantly. In the operational maintenance phase, VR and AR technology to enable the operation and maintenance personnel in the case of not to live on the scene to understand the situation, resulting in a more reasonable operation and maintenance program.

The current building life cycle management virtual simulation (BIM) center has a total construction area of 300 square meters, with 180 sets of equipment and total assets of more than 5 million RMB. The Center also signed cooperation agreements with international institutions such as the British Association of Royal Surveyors (ICES) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to lay a solid foundation for the internationalization of the center.