[Dublin Rules of Measurement on the BIM schema related

Dublin Institute of technology, bolton street

An Evaluation of the Intergration of ARM4 into the IFC
Schema to enhance Collaboration with Quantity Surveying Profession on BIM
Collaborative Technologies Module

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MSc Construction Informatics


Student; Pól
O Maolagain


Dissertation Abstract. 3
List of Abbreviations. 4
1.0 Introduction. 5
1.1 Introduction to
dissertation. 5
1.2 Automated QTO in
Practice. 6
1.3 Dissertation
Hypothesis. 6
1.4 Research Aim.. 7
1.5 Research Objective. 7
1.6 Structure of
Dissertation. 7
2.0 References. 9



Building Information Modelling
(BIM) is one of the most promising developments in the modern construction
industry (Eastman et. al, 2011). With the increasing level of collaboration
amongst industry professionals in recent years, BIM isseen as an emerging tool
which is revolutionising how buildings are designed, built and operated.

The process is triggering a
revolution in the construction industry, and the concept known as 5D BIM, which
ultimately is concerned with a cost dimension being added to objects contained
within the BIM model, and has the potential to be used by quantity surveyors
(QSs) to streamline their workflows and increase the quality of the services
they provide (Harrison, C. Thurnell, D. 2014). There is a huge potential using
5D BIM by quantity surveyors in such tasks as automated quantity take-off,
estimation and cost management, in a collaborative project environment.

Quantity take-off is a principal
function undertaken by a Quantity Surveyor. The measurement of accurate
quantities is fundamental to the service provided be the QS, the more accurate
the quantities and the quicker the time taken to measure those quantities – the

The constraints associated with
traditional cost planning and estimating tend to be compounded by the complexity
associated with the deployment of the BIM technology. This paper aims to assess
the impact of integrating the Agreed Rules of Measurement on the BIM schema
related to the QS practice on construction projects. The likely impact could
affect the current BIM schema for cost management.











of Abbreviations


ARM4                    Agreed
Rules of Measurement 4

BIM                        Building
Information Modelling

QS                          Quantity

QTO                       Quantity
Take Off

SCSI                       Society
of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

3D                           Three

5D                           Five
















Introduction / Rationale for the Research


Building information modelling
(BIM) and automated quantities technologies provide both opportunities and
challenges for the project cost management profession(Smith, 2014).

BIM offers capabilities that can
aid QSs and increase efficiencies in their work practices. One of the primary
benefits of BIM for QSs is that it can automate Quantity Take-Off (QTO) and
free up time to concentrate on activities that would add further value to their
clients(Kehily, 2017).

Quantity takeoff is one of the
key tasks in the construction process since it is the foundation for several
other tasks – the building elements are measured, and these quantities are then
used to estimate their cost and the relevant workload (Monteiro, 2013).
Automated QTO results from 3D based quantity take-off which represents the
extraction of quantity data such as length, size, and volume related to
quantity from 3D CAD models and connecting the data to the content (Kim, 2009).

Studies by Matipa (2009) suggest
that the need for effective cost planning has become increasingly important
following the recession in the late 2000s, there is also evidence to suggest
that there has been an increased use of IT supported cost planning systems
being used by the QS. However, some suggest that the constraints associated
with the traditional cost planning processes have become even more difficult by
the complex nature of IT systems, let alone the process of BIM.When carrying
out cost planning and QTO from a BIM model the QS in Ireland is governed by the
‘Agreed Rules of Measurement Four’ (ARM4).The Agreed Rules of Measurement
provide a uniform basis for measuring building work and embody the essentials
of good practice. (Cunningham, T. 2015).

This paper aims to highlight that
from a QS’s perspective the data related to cost management in the building
information model remains static and there is an over reliance on schemata from
other domains of the AEC sector.The rationale for the research aim to highlights
the importance of using ARM4 within a BIM schema as a catalyst to increase
effectiveness of cost management and QTO from BIM, while enhancing
collaboration with the QS profession on BIM related projects.

Research by Hallberg (2011) also
suggests that for a long lasting effort and collaboration among several actors,
there is a need for integration and consolidation of the information in a model
server. This dissertation examines the collaborative relationship required
between the BIM designer and the QS in order to facilitate automated QTO.The
idea with the collaborative approach is to eliminate all non-value adding work
(Tulke, Nour and Beucke 2008). A collaborative relationship would ensure the model
construction could facilitate automated QTO, as the QS could specify to the
designer, the quantities they are seeking to extract from the model, and the
processes & techniques used to extract those quantities. One of the major
problems with the Irish construction industry is its inherent fragmentation
(Stewart 2017).Disciplines and professions have always worked apart.
Architectural firms, Mechanical and electrical consultants, fire consultants,
acoustic engineers, structural engineers etc. are often different practices and
even when they are under the one practice name, they are often run as separate

The author also conducted a case
study on the automated extraction of quantities from a BIM model. I’ve carried
out a case study on the processes involved in extracting quantities from a 3D
BIM model. The study aims to present the authors ability to analyse, use and
integrate data from different data sources, while identifying major concerns
with the nature of the quantities obtained from the model and their lack of
compliance with the ARM4 governing the QS profession in Ireland. The results of
the case study can be located in Appendix 1.


2.0 Indicative Relationship between
BIM and ARM4

Building Information Modeling
(BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of
a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a
facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle, defined
as existing from earliest conception to demolition (SCSI). Building Information
Models are made of ‘smart’ objects which represent physical elements like doors
and columns and encapsulate ‘intelligence’. An AEC or FM smart object is
different to a CAD that holds little or no meta-data. Object flows between BIM
stakeholders are both critical and detectable variables of BIM maturity (Halfway
and Froese, 2002). BIM data flow transferscan take several formats, for example
they may include structured data (e.g: databases), semi-structured (e.g:
spreadsheets) and non-structured data (e.g: images) between computer systems
(Succar, 2009).

When working on a built
environment product there is a requirement for professionals to interchange and
exchange data. A BIM data exchange occurs when a BIM player exports or imports
data that is neither structured nor computable. An example of a data exchange
frequently carried out by QSs in the industry involves the export of 2D CAD cut
sheets from a 3D model, however this process result in a significant loss of
geometric data. Data exchanges assume that there is a capacity between the
sender and the receiver systems – this interworking relationship is referred to
within the industry as ‘Interoperability’. Interoperability is the ability to
exchange data between applications, which smoothes workflows and sometimes
facilitates their automation (BIM Handbook). Interoperability becomes a quality
ofincreasing importance for information technology products as the concept that
“The network is thecomputer” becomes a reality (Techtarget). This
definition of interoperability is very relevant for theBIM process where a
variety of software and instruments are required in order to carry out the
BIMprocess efficiently and effectively.

BIM can support collaborative
working environments for enabling: i) the owner to develop an accurate
understanding of the nature and needs of the purpose for the project; ii) the
design development, and analysis of the project; iii) the management of the
construction of the project; iv) the management of the operations of the
project during its operation and decommissioning. (Grillo, 2010)

At the simplest level, BIM tools
enable collaboration between users through better visual understanding of the
building artefact (Matipa, 2010). A recent survey carried out by the SCSI (BIM
Surevy 2017) indicates that the majority of QSs in Ireland are using BIM for
visualisation purposes. However, collaboration is greatly enhanced if the
partners can utilise the models not only for visualisation purposes, but for
direct analysis, editing and development including automated QTO.The results of
the survey (figure 1) suggest that
there is a significant number of QSs in Ireland (53% of respondents) using BIM
for automated QTO, which is an encouraging development.

                Figure 1 – SCSI BIM Survey 2017


Collaboration is also required
when sharing data information between the different partners and various BIM
software, especially between design and fabrication. In order for the data
exchange to be effective, the object based data exchanged is required to
include geometric shape, appropriate levels of detail regarding embedded
components, building piece structure and assembly property data. The data also
needs to address design intent, fabrication and other production details, and
the interface between systems, such as connections and pass-throughs (Eastman
et al., 2008).

The indicative relationship
between ‘ARM 4’ and the that the information model schema is developed using
the information model, and represents the data under the different domains as
shown in figure 2.

                                Figure 2 – Schematic Overview of the IFC2x4
Beta 3 (Source: Building SMART)


2.1 Implementing ARM4 into the IFC


While some domains have actual or physical data types,
the ARM can only be modelled using the “Process Model” (highlighted in red
circle), which requires an “abstract” data type objectification to ensure that
it is incorporated in the schema (Matipa, 2010). Such data types are available
and exist in the current schema. The Building SMART alliance (2009) outlines that
the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)refers to an open  neutral specification schem and a
non-proprietary ‘BIM file format’. Most of the BIM  software software tools support the import
and export of IFC files. The IFC schema is developed by various components
within the alliance, as shown in figure 2. Although the schema currently does
not contain a domain for Quantity Surveying, there are several other domains
that contain necessary data that could be used for elementary quantity
surveying such as IfcQuantity Resource (highlighted in black).

The IFC file format represented in figure 2 is IFC2 x
Edition 4. The purpose of this file formatis to enhance the capabilty of the
IFC specification in several areas of building elements, building service
elements  and structural elements and
accompanying basic definitions. (BuildingSMART).

However, it can be argued that the IfcQuantityResource
may not articulate the necessary rules that are now included in the ARM4.
Essentially the ARM4 is a virtual schema, because is outlines formal
measurement rules to the QTO process, and considering that the QTO rules could
be articulated under the IFC process, it could be argued ARM4 should be
considered for a separate IFC schema, which would provide the basis for
quantity extraction rules. The ARM4 ‘schema’ provide the basis for a structured
framework for quantity extraction that, if incorporated in the IFC schema,
would enhance the partition of the quantity surveyor on BIM related projects.

This paper examines the possibility of incorporating
the ARM4 into a IFC schema to enhance the participation and of the QS on a
project team that uses BIM as a structured basis for collaboration.


2.2 Automated Quantity Take-Off (QTO) from BIM


Quantity take-off is a precursor
to completing a cost estimate to determine whether the design meets the project
budget. In the early design stage, quantities used for estimating are building
or elemental level quantities as more detailed design information is usually
not available. For example the conceptual stage might allow for the following;
(Open Geospatial Consortium, 2011)

Walls and slabs by area

Windows by count and size

Spaces by area

Structural systems by facility area

Heating systems by facility area

Cooling systems by facility area

The process of outputting the QTO
is cyclical to match the design submittal requirements. It supports the cost
estimating requirements to verify that the project design is within the
required budget. The QTO will have increasing complexity as the project progresses
from early concept to detailed design. The 3D CAD information included within a
conceptual BIM model is often very useful for a QS to prepare a pre-tender
estimate, as the information required at this stage comprises of non-detailed
areas and spaces. However, as the design progresses to tender, the QS is
required to prepare an accurate bill of quantities in compliance with the
measurement rules based on more a more detailed BIM model – which is not
frequently constructed or designed in accordance with the QSs rules of

                Figure 3 – Prepare / adjust the BIM for QTO

Figure 3 above indicates the
process involved in preparing the BIM for QTO. At this point the concept design
BIM is passed to the concept designer to prepare the BIM for QTO, the designer
might still be the architect, or any other consultant, or indeed a combination.
This is the optimum stage for a design consultant to adjust the BIM to account
for the QS’s desired rules of measurement i.e ARM4.

2.2.1 Automated QTO using ARM4


At present BIM technologies allow
for a wide range of analytical such as; collision detection, energy efficiency
analysis and structural analysis. Automated QTO is also another function of BIM
technology which could be greatly enhanced through the introduction of
measurement rules within the BIM schema. Cost estimation and automated QTO are
important model based collaboration functions for the QS profession. Estimating
model based collaboration functions allow the QS to connect a cost to the model
scope, and manage and cost changes more efficiently with model changes, this
concept of linking individual 3D CAD components with schedule constraints and
then with cost related information (5D BIM)

In preparing the BIM for QTO one of the first steps the
concept designer must do is;

                a. create
a project construction type

modify the building design geometry

create project space types

It is at this stage that the
concept designer, with the assistance of the QS can implement the rules of
measurement and adjust the BIM to accommodate ARM4.  The process requires ‘project space types’ to
be established for the various building elements using from data libraries
within the IFC. A data library for ARM4 would be required to be created which
could be accessed from a server over the web or from directly within the BIM
authoring application. The various spaces or zones within the BIM must be
related back to the laws governing the rules of measurement (ARM4). For
example, wall, floor and ceiling areas not exceeding 300mm wide are measured
separate to areas exceeding 300mm wide, as they attract different cost rates.
These areas can be separately defined by modifying the building design geometry
and creating separate space types for the two separate areas. Supplementary
space data information can also be added to the BIM that might not necessarily
be defined fully in the project space type library. 

Once the geometry, construction
types and space data modifications are made to the building, the BIM is ready
to be validated for QTO. Validation often occurs by exporting an IFC file and
using a model checker to ensure the Model View Definition (MVD) requirements
are achieved. The MVD is a specification which identifies the properties and specifies
the exchange requirements of model views. A ‘standard’ MVD is a subset of the
IFC schema intended for software developers (not end uses) to implement into
their BIM software tools, often referred to Information Delivery Manual (IDM) (BuildingSMART).

IDM targets both BIM users and
solution providers. For BIM users it’s important that the IDM is simple to
understand and outlines in plain language the description of the building and
the construction processes to be adhered to. Users should also clearly identify
the requirements for information including any additional information that may
need to be provided. For the purpose of this assignment it is possible that the
IDM may specify the inclusion of ARM4 as a delivery target

                Figure 3 – Overall IDM Components


An exchange requirement is a set of information that needs
to be exchanged between processes. The exchange requirements usually support a
particular business requirement, in our case, the inclusion of ARM4 into the
IFC schema to enhance collaboration with QSs on BIM projects. The exchange
requirement model is then produced by compiling a set of conceptual parts and
business rules to create the ‘useful model 
(J Wixx, 2018). The exchange requirement model is a fully configured,
fully coherent information exchange specification and can also be used as a
completely independent standard to capable of carrying out tasks such as automated

4.0 Issues and challenges associated with implementing ARM into the BIM


There is an opportunity for the
QS profession to amalgamate the BIM schema with the information the information
from ARM4 in order to enhance the ability and efficiency of cost management in
the development process (Matipa et al, 2010). The greatest challenge however is
that of engaging in the development of abstract data types that could be
recognised by other domain in the schema. Research by Matipa (2010) suggests
that that developing an abstract data type such as the ARM4 schema would
require a “quantity surveying mind” with high software modelling knowledge that
can model the process required to implement the rules of ARM4.

                Figure 4 – The IFC process relationships
shown in comparison to the ICON process diagram          (Source: BuildingSMART, 2009)


For example, IFC processes are
are “a set of activities that are interrelated or that interact with one
another. Processes use resources to transform inputs and outputs. Processes are
interconnected because the output from one process becomes the input for
another process. In effect processes are ‘glued’ together by means of such
input output relationships” (buildingSMART, 2009). An IFC Process is defined as
one individual activity or event, that is ordered in time, that has sequence
relationships with other processes, which transform input in output, and may
connect to other processes through input output relationships. An IFC Process
can be an activity (or task), or an event.  Grilo and Jardim-Goncalves, 2009). For the
purpose of this paper it would take place in building construction with the
intent  costing and completing automated
QTO on BIM projects, while adhering to the rules as set out by ARM4.

5.0 Conclusion



6.0 References.


Eastman  C, Teicholz P, Sacks R, Liston K. BIM
Handbook – A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers,
Designers, Engineers, and Contractors,.
John Wiley & Sons inc: Hoboken, New
Jersey; 2008



Grilo, A.Jardim-Goncalves,
R: Value Proposition on Interoperability of BIM and collaborative working
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Halfway, M R
and Froese, T (2002) Modelling and implementation of smart AEC objects: anIFC
perspective, CIB W78 conference – Distributing Knowledge in Building”,Aarhus
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Hallberg, D. Tarandi.THE USE OF
CONSTRUCTION WORKS;http://www.itcon.org/2010/26; Feb 2011

Harrison C , Thurnell P-D. 5D
Unitec Institute of Technology, Aucklan; 2014

Jungsik C, Kim H, Kim I. Open
BIM-based quantity take-off system for schematic estimation of building frame
in early design stage; Journal of computational Design and Engineering 2; 2015;
p. 16-25

Kehily D, Underwood J. Embedding
Life Cycle Costing in 5D BIM; DIT School of Surveying and Construction
Management; 2017

Kim SA, Kim MK, Son TH, Chin SY,
Yoon SW, Choi CH. A development of finish drawing automation system for
improving efficiency on BIM based estimation. In: academic conference of
Computational Structural Engineering Institute of Korea; 2008; p. 429–434.

KimSA, Chin S, Yoon SW, Shin TH,
Kim YS. Automated Building Information Modeling System for Building Interior to
Improve Productivity of BIM-based Quantity Take-Off. Dept. of Civil,
Architectural, and Environmental System Engineering; 2009

Monteiro A, Martins JP. A Survey
on Modelling Guidelines for Quantity Takeoff-oriented BIM –based design:
Automation in Construction 35; 2013; p. 238-253


Definition of
BIM https://www.scsi.ie/professional_groups/quantity_surveying/building_information_modelling_bim;
Accessed 12.12.2017



Chartered Quantity Surveyors Perspective on – Building Information Modelling
(BIM); Survey of Professionals 2017

Smith P. BIM and the 5D Project
Cost Manager; International Cost Engineering Council & University of
Technology Sydney; 27th IPA World Congress; 2014


Stanley R, Thurnell P-D .The
benefits of, and barriers to, implementation of 5D BIM for quantity surveying
in New Zealand; Construction economics and Building, Vol 14, No 1; 2014

Stewart P, BIM; An overview of
the processes from an Irish Construction Project Management Perspective http://www.irishconstruction.com/building_information_modelling_an_overview_of_the_process_from_an_irish_construction_project_management_perspective.PAGE3164.html

Succar, B.,
(2009) Building information modelling framework: A research and
deliveryfoundation for industry stakeholders, Automation in Construction 18,


Wix, J; IDM Technology General Overview; AEC Ltd. Visiting
Professor for Interoperability – University of Salford – Accessed 2018

Tulke, J., Nour, N., Beucke, K.
(2008) “A Dynamic Framework for Construction Scheduling based on BIM using IFC”
17th Congress Report IABSE