A method for discrete event simulation and building information modelling integration using a game engine
Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Discrete Event Simulation (DES) are tools widely used in the context of the construction industry. While BIM is used to represent the physical and functional characteristics of a facility, DES models are used to represent its construction process. Integrating both is beneficial to those interested in the field of construction management since it has many potential applications. Game engines provide a human navigable 3D virtual environment in which the integrated BIM and DES models can be visualised and interacted with. This paper reports the experience obtained while developing a simulator prototype which integrates a BIM and a DES model of a single construction activity within a commercial game engine. The simulator prototype allows the user to visualise how the duration of the construction activity is affected by different input parameters interactively. It provides an environment to conduct DES studies using the user's own BIM models. This approach could increase the use of DES technologies in the context of construction management and engineering outside the research community. The presented work is the first step towards the development of a serious game for construction management education and was carried out to determine the suitable IT tools for its development.
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