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Graphisoft Aids Singapore Government in Building Planning Re-engineering Project

Singapore's Building and Construction Authority on track to implementing advanced building planning submission using IFCs

Budapest, October 3, 2002 - Graphisoft, developer of the Virtual Building™ concept today reinforces its commitment to International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) through strengthened development of Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs). Such increased support for IFC development will aid the Singapore government to meet tough targets for re-engineering the business processes of the construction industry. CORENET (Construction and Real Estate Network) is the major IT initiative undertaken by the Singapore Ministry of National Development to implement the project. The Building and Construction Authority's (BCA) choice of IFC format reflects the increasing use of object model software.

The IFC 2x specification is the foundation of the Integrated Plan Checking Systems that includes the Integrated Building Plan (IBP) and Building Services System (IBS). An advanced system, IBP/IBS automatically tests digital plans for compliance with building plan and building services regulations. Developed using a new and more efficient platform, IBP will expand upon the existing system (BP Expert) to include such requirements as fire safety, environmental health, and vehicle parking. Improved consistency in analysis and higher productivity are expected benefits from such an intelligent system, which requires expert knowledge in plan checking as well as artificial intelligence and computer-aided design and drafting. IFCs serve as the standard format for submitting plans to the system.

Current 2D methods of design and documentation are inadequate; the object model approach supports much improved business processes in the industry, and provides data over the whole life cycle. "The ability to efficiently exchange data electronically is essential to the project. The Building Construction Authority decided this could be best achieved using IFC 2x format for submissions," explained Tai Fatt Cheng, Project Manager (CORENET).

Graphisoft accelerated and prioritized work for the Integrated Plan Checking System Project. The first part of the program is to deliver accelerated IFC 2x features in ARCHICAD R 7.0 IFC Add-on, working with Novasprint, the BCA's expert system solution provider. This expert system will be completed next month. "I am very pleased that the Singapore government chose Graphisoft for such a large scale and forward looking project because it proves the industry is adapting object model software to support better quality, faster construction project delivery," relayed John Mitchell, Graphisoft's liaison to CORENET.

A revolutionary approach to building planning, the success of the initiative is being closely watched by other national building planning authorities. "We have set demanding targets. First, to expedite the business planning and project evaluation processes and streamline the plan approval system within the planned time frame; and second, to do this as the first of its kind in the world, " explained Tai Fatt Cheng, "Cooperation with such business partners as Graphisoft, is crucial to the Singapore Government having its targets met."

The BCA's project has entered phase two of development, with IBP/IBS targeted for completion by the end of next year. As the basis for efficient electronic information exchange, IFC development will continue to hold a crucial role in the future of building planning in Singapore.