How Solibri Inside’s information-checking tools help architects to create perfect BIM models

Information checking plays a critical role in BIM accuracy. With the Solibri Inside plugin, architects can now check Level of Information, Existence, Naming Convention and more during the BIM design process.

In an earlier article we covered Solibri Inside’s geometry-checking features, which allow architects to measure clearances, heights and other important geometries in the BIM model. In this article we’ll look at a related capability in Solibri Inside that is also critical for BIM architects and designers: information checking.

Every BIM professional knows how important it is to produce an accurate 3D model that contains the correct semantic information. Incorrect or incomplete information in a model can start a project off on the wrong foot and lead to costly consequences down the line.

This is because incorrect object information in the model undermines the planning work of other project participants, resulting in inaccurate quantity calculations and even failure to meet legal requirements. An incorrect BIM model compromises overall project coordination and can even jeopardize safety.

The earlier in the BIM process you can identify and correct missing or incorrect information, the better the end result will be. This is why we’ve introduced Solibri Inside as a plug-in to Archicad, Allplan and Vectorworks. Architects and designers can now check BIM model information during the design process from within their favorite software.

We’ve built a number of information-checking rules into Solibri Inside to help architects and designers spot errors before they are amplified.

Rule types for checking LOI, Existence and Naming Convention

The most important information-checking tool we’ve created is a rule for Level of Information (LOI).

In BIM projects, LOI is critical for ensuring that objects in models contain the exact information for a particular use case. LOI specifications vary for different objects and also evolve as a project progresses.

The IFC data schema is intrinsically linked with the LOI checking rule within Solibri Inside. Each object in the IFC schema has precise definitions, attributes and properties. These are verified by our LOI rule to ensure that objects in the model have the correct level of information for the use case in question.

Using Solibri Inside’s LOI information-checking rule, the BIM modeler or designer can simply run an information check to ensure that an object meets required specifications. The rule can be used to check properties such as the load-bearing capacity of walls, for example.

We’ve also included rule types to check the Existence and Naming Convention of objects.

The Existence rule allows you to verify that minimum requirements are met and maximum requirements are not exceeded. This is critical for self-checking your model, ensuring precise quantity take offs, and meeting regulatory compliance. The rule allows you to check information by specifying parameters such as the following:

  • Has more than

  • Has less than

  • Has at least

  • Has at most

  • Has exactly

  • Has exactly not

  • Has between

The Naming Convention rule type checks that a selected text attribute or property follows a specific naming convention for all target components. The user can compose the naming convention as text, in numerals or as separator tokens – whatever is most appropriate for the requirements in question.

A roadmap to future requirements

Solibri always aims to be at the forefront of developments in the BIM industry. We thus have plans to add several more information-checking capabilities to Solibri Inside that keep pace with new demands and emerging standards.

The standardized properties and attributes within Solibri Inside describe most of the IFC entities and are sufficient for the majority of BIM projects. But some projects may have specific information requirements that demand customized representations in the BIM model. Recognizing this demand for accommodating diverse needs, we are currently expanding Solibri Inside’s information checking capabilities to accommodate Customized Properties.

For example, some projects may demand properties for modeling acoustic simulations, or to accommodate manufacturer-specific products. Local building codes may also have requirements for building height to start from the mean ground level, the number of occupancy units per floor, the total area of each occupancy unit, and so forth.

Another important development is the Information Delivery Specification (IDS) from buildingSMART.

The primary objective of IDS is to enable users to exchange information requirements in both human and machine-readable formats. No decision has yet been made on the adoption of IDS, but as the format is gaining momentum – with many software vendors already committing to it – we’ve been working on testing IDS with the Solibri Inside LOI rule described earlier.