Building Interactive Modeling for Construction Education in Virtual Worlds
Mahabaleshwarkar, Pushkar S.
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The number of design and construction professionals who are using Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly growing and simultaneously the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) community is faced with the challenge of remote collaboration as offshore outsourcing continues to grow. While BIM facilitates information sharing between AEC professionals via purpose-built three-dimensional (3D), 4D design, analysis, evaluation, and documentation models, the communication of such 3D data-rich models if often fragmented and typically limits real-time communication and interaction of users who may be geographically dispersed and/or lack the modeling and analyses skills to interact with these models. AEC education needs to expose students to these emerging practice changes while finding new ways to more effectively address the fundamentals of design and construction. Virtual worlds - in this research the Second Life platform - have the potential to address the communication issues and effectively complement traditional teaching approaches and furthermore integrate with BIM to enhance construction education. Nevertheless, despite the potential benefits of virtual worlds, various obstacles exist. This paper presents the concept of Building interactive Modeling (BiM) which complements the capabilities of BIM with social interaction to enhance collaborative information and knowledge sharing. Role-playing scenarios developed in Second Life demonstrate specific opportunities of BiM.