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Building a Project Ontology with Extreme Collaboration and Virtual Design & Construction

TitleBuilding a Project Ontology with Extreme Collaboration and Virtual Design & Construction
Publication TypeTechnical Report
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsGarcia, ACristina B, Kunz, J, Ekstrom, M, Kiviniemi, A
Date Published11/2003
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Extreme Collaboration, POP Ontology, Stanford University, Tripod Engineering Process Model, VDC, Virtual Design and Construction, XC

This paper reports on a laboratory study that uses Virtual Design Construction (VDC) modeling and Extreme Collaboration (XC) for early phase building project design. The process creates a specific project ontology that forms the initial design of a building project. Our project ontology explicitly represents the functional requirements, designed forms, and predicted and observed behaviors of the product, organization and process of the project. With collateral drawings, models, analyses and explanations, it becomes the schematic and initial detailed design for the project. We observed a group of six designers (experienced graduate students) developing a first draft project proposal bid for a real project scenario. They created a high-level project model containing about 40 product, organization and process objects that represented their solution to the problem specification. They created and documented a design in one day at a level of detail that often takes engineers weeks to establish using traditional processes. For simplicity, we represented the evolving ontology in Excel and projected it and the corresponding product, organization and process models for all to see in the design meeting. While large generic building project ontologies exist, e.g., the Industry Foundation Classes, we find that our ontology is so simple that teams using any design tools and methods can use it today, and it is helpful. We interpret our results as early evidence that the Tripod engineering process of VDC, XC and use of a generic project ontology together enable a design team to build an ontology for a new project design very rapidly. It can then be used to support downstream detailed design and construction planning and also reuse in other engineering projects.

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