We want to prepare for possible software and file format changes in the coming years, and to create more drawing related services that better serve our customers. Therefore, we conducted a space management feasibility study.
We examined different possibilities from the perspective of modelling software: how different file formats, such as IFC (Industry Foundation Classes), can be utilized and, in general, which would be the most beneficial technologies to use to create and maintain drawings.
Trials, studies and findings
Priority 1: Customer needs
We interviewed our clients' about their experiences, objectives and needs related to IFC format. The interviewees clearly divided into two categories: the 1st group is already familiar with IFC format, and routinely uses models for new construction or renovation projects. For them, it is important to be able to benefit from already modelled material in space management. The 2nd group of clients is not very familiar with IFC format, and they will not utilize IFC models in the near future. For the 2nd group, it is important to be able to utilize space management drawings for other purposes, such as visualization.
Utilization of IFC in space management
IFC material quality varies. In our tests we have found, however, that good-quality IFC models can be utilized to produce space management drawings for our Optimaze space management system without removing the original space information, model objects, or IFC data. We maintain and update the model in DWG format, and have the possibility to export it back into IFC format, which permits the maintenance of IFC models.
One drawing, many applications
IFC models from space management drawings
We also found that utilizing current space management drawings, we can create simple IFC models. We can enhance and further process the models here at Rapal or clients can choose another service provider. They serve as a good starting point, for example for visualizations or marketing material.
Always up-to-date floor plans
We also created a new, innovative DWG maintenance service. During space management drawing updates, we can simultaneously update the original source material and document the changes directly on the DWG floor plan. This means that our customers can use their space management drawings as up-to-date floor plans. Especially in small changes, this means completely sidestepping costly drawing office service fees.
The main advantage of our service is that our customers are always able to obtain good quality, up-to-date drawings for a wide variety of uses from Optimaze system.
Our vision for the future of our services
In the coming years we will further develop IFC support. Our vision is that we will be able to create, maintain, and use IFC models in space management. In addition, we offer our customers the possibility to take advantage of their space management drawings for a wider variety of new applications, as well as existing ones like Optimaze space utilization studies.