Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sydney Opera House Software Technology for Digital Facility Models

Sydney Opera House is a unique building, an icon of 20th century architecture and an iconic symbol of Sydney and Australia. The challenges of maintaining such a building are immense and are dependent upon a vast array of information that begins with as-built documents, Operation & Maintenance manuals, and extends to include maintenance schedules, room data sheets, asset performance data, cost data, etc. Obviously the value of this information for facility management is enhanced by its currency, accessibility and the ability to correlate one data set with another (integration of datasets).

A building information model correlated to these information sources is used as definition for a digital facility model. Such a digital facility model would give transparent and an integrated access to the available information and opens up capabilities for information logistics (the right information, on the right time, on the right spot, in the right format). In order to construct such a digital facility model, two state-of-the-art Information and Communication technologies are considered: 
1) a standardized building information model called the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) (IAI 2006) and

2) a variety of advanced communication/integration technologies often referred to as the Semantic Web (Berners-Lee et al 2001) such as the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) (Fensel 2002).

The following section ‘Facility Information Systems at Sydney Opera House’ will discuss the existing
information systems at Sydney Opera House and highlight the potential benefits of digital facility models. The
‘Software Technology for Digital Facility Models’ will discuss the key technologies available today to
implement a digital facility model. The section ‘Towards Digital Facility Modelling for Sydney Opera House’
will discuss the developed prototype software system.

Several software information systems and agreement practices are present at Sydney Opera House (SOH)
supporting consistent information management for Facility Management purposes. This section discusses a
couple of these systems.


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