Figure 1: Process structure of a construction company arranged in terms of LODFW
(Figure: Motzko/Löw/Linnebacher)
Figure 2
(Figure: Motzko/Löw/Linnebacher)

BIM Formwork Technologies Discipline Model (In situ concrete construction)

The formwork industry association Güteschutzverband Betonschalungen Europa e.V. (GSV) in conjunction with leading companies in the construction industry, the Deutscher Beton- und Bautechnik-Verein e.V., representatives of software manufacturers from the construction sector and the Institut für Baubetrieb at the Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) within the relevant standardisation organisation buildingSMART e.V. formed a project group with the aim of creating a BIM Formwork Technologies Discipline Model for in situ concrete construction. BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a new, digital method of working in construction project organisations. The objective of the project group consisted of the agreement of a standardised interface for the transfer of data and information between project participants at specified phases of the project involving the use of formwork and load-bearing, working and safety scaffolds in the planning and realisation processes of concrete structures in in-situ concrete. The agreement of an interface such as this is a prerequisite for the implementation of the computer-aided, networked cooperative forms of working used in BIM. Formwork and load-bearing, working and safety scaffolds are not only temporary structures for construction works, they are also working material that can exercise considerable influence on health and safety at work, construction costs, time and quality. Working together in an atmosphere of openness and mutual trust, the project group successfully agreed the standardised interface and is now publishing the results in the GSV Guidelines "BIM Formwork Technologies Discipline Model (In situ concrete construction)".

The discipline model in the published guidelines complies with the standards of buildingSMART for Information Delivery Manual (IDM) status. It integrates the traditional process structures of construction companies and has been structured in five levels of development, which are referred to as Level of Development Formwork Technologies LODFW, LODFW 100 to LODFW 450. The individual LODFW documents are integrated dynamically into the different construction project phases, which means that project-specific agreements about the flows of data and information are recommended to be drawn up between the project participants.

Using the Information Delivery Manual as a foundation, the project group is currently continuing the development of the discipline model into a Model View Definition (MVD). The MVD represents a focusing of the IDM on a normative data format to allow the requirements relating to parameter availability and parameter specification to be fulfilled. This is necessary to develop further software and to be able to do so in a specific notation which, according to the present state of development, is IFC compliant. The first step in developing the MVD from the BIM Formwork Technologies Discipline Model (In situ concrete construction) is to identify the construction components necessary for the processes of formwork and scaffolding design as model objects of the IFC data schema. Furthermore, the identified process-focused information from the IDM will be translated into model object parameters.

It is worth mentioning that the project group members were successful in agreeing a theoretically well-founded discipline model suitable for use in construction practice in the relevant areas of formwork and load-bearing, working and safety scaffolds and did so within the 16-month period allowed. Detailed specialist knowledge and a culture of openness and trust characterised the cooperative effort of the group. Using the discipline model, it was possible to integrate and systematise formwork and scaffolding design for reinforced and prestressed concrete construction (in situ concrete construction) through a hierarchical and process-related attribution of the input and output parameters, which could be input into and output from the central database core. The GSV Guidelines "BIM Formwork Technologies Discipline Model (In situ concrete construction)" can be viewed by visiting the GSV website at