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ARCHICAD in vanguard of a major process change in building regulation automation

ARCHICAD is the only solution to fully integrate with Singapore's ground-breaking automated regulation-checking platform, driving yet more value from the 3D Virtual Building's rich data through its IFC open standard.

Singapore, February 28 - Graphisoft® announces that its ARCHICAD 3D virtual modeling solution is the only design platform to have passed both phases of the electronic regulation-checking system in Singapore, which is gaining wider global acceptance. This introduces new advantages for practices designing in 3D, where an IFC-based code-checking system can greatly speed up the code compliance process and unify it through one stop of government contact.

"Through the CORENET e-Plan Check system, we are revolutionizing the Building Control process and are setting an example worldwide. Besides enhancing the productivity of building designers, the CORENET e-Plan Check system also helps to remove all the ambiguities and subjectivity in building code interpretation and application. This will result in reduced designer liability and improved performance in the design process," explains Wong Wai Ching, Director (Building Plan and Management) for the Building & Construction Authority in Singapore. "I am glad to see that Graphisoft is ahead of other CAD vendors in implementing IFC functionality to support our goals and has paved the way for the rollout of the CORENET e-Plan Check system."

The new system greatly reduces the designer man-hours spent on certifying code compliance, and aims to eventually remove all the subjective and ambiguous elements in building design authorization that stand in the way of a unified building-lifecycle information flow. Because the rules engine is modulized, the process has received substantial interest from cities and countries around the world, with take-up set to spread.

"In order to automatically check the fire, energy conservation and disability building regulations, CORENET e-Plan Check demands the highest quality building models to facilitate the necessarily complex geometric calculations and mappings," said Dr. Zhong Qi, Graphisoft's Managing Director for South-East Asia and Greater China. "We believe ARCHICAD is the best modeling tool for this, and are pleased to know that the virtual modeling solution is at the leading edge as countries move to automate their checking processes which are, of course, not unique to Singapore."

Singapore's $22.6 million Construction and Real Estate Network (CORENET e-Plan Check) project is an integrated approvals system based on IFC (International Foundation Classes) - the accepted format for information exchange within the building industry worldwide. It has been sponsored by the Singapore government but developed by IT vendor NovaCitinets. Alongside the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability; the consortium responsible for the IFC) NovaCitinets jointly established a certification process that demands a required level of IFC collaboration. ARCHICAD® is the only design platform to have passed both technical and practice-related levels at this point.

Licensed designers submit the petition for the building permit along with the electronic submission of the building design data in IFC format. The proposed building is then evaluated against the Authority regulations. This evaluation is handled by EPM's EXPRESS Data Manager™ software - the same IFC translation engine selected by Graphisoft for ARCHICAD in December, 2004.

CORENET e-Plan Check plugs directly into the Virtual Building™ data to actively begin the project assessment, taking the plan submission process way beyond merely filing, logging, and confirming that the correct documents have been received. It allows designers - and architectural practises as a whole - to save considerable time fulfilling their client obligation of securing full regulatory acceptance for their projects, a process which could be measured in years.

In Singapore, CORENET e-Plan Check can greatly accelerate business planning and decision-making processes during the multiple cycles of a project's path to regulatory acceptance. It also delivers consistent, speedy and objective decisions to designers who have, in the past, had to contend with a bureaucratic and subjective approvals minefield. Naturally, the final building permit is issued after it has been reviewed by the building department, in person.