BIMwood is a research project that focuses on the development of Building Information Modelling-based solutions for project-related cooperation for the design of prefabricated timber structures.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an important driver of digitalisation in the construction industry.[AJ1]  In the construction industry, the term "Construction 4.0" is used in analogy to "Industry 4.0". It is based on the digitalisation of the construction industry on the one hand and the industrialisation of construction processes on the other. These ideas have been partially implemented in the production of prefabricated timber buildings, but not yet universally in a digital chain. Production is characterised by a great proportion of off-site manufacturing. One obstacle is the fact that the data exchange between the planners involved is not standardised and, subsequently, the exchange with the company carrying out the work entails considerable loss of information and additional work. Prefabricated timber construction comprises a large number of multi-layered component assemblies, which lead to a higher degree of complexity in the construction method compared to mineral construction. So far, the use of BIM has been predominantly adapted to the (planning) processes of mineral construction and does not take into account the specific requirements of prefabricated timber construction. The greater complexity of component assemblies and the principle of prefabrication require decisions and specifications to be made in early planning phases as to which geometric and alphanumeric information needs to be included in the model of a timber construction project and by when.

BIMwood first identifies the special requirements for prefabricated timber structures and in the next step develops solutions for a range of aspects in a timber construction-specific BIM process. The BIMwood reference process is developed analogously to the established planning phases on the basis of a simulative methodological approach, which includes two levels of observation: the descriptive level describes the structured multidisciplinary data, the procedural level describes the exchange processes in the context of the assigned roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, the basics for the creation of 3D models are devised with regard to geometric specifications (modelling), and the demands on the models are clarified concerning the necessary component data. The proposed solutions thus provide the basis for developing an implementation strategy in a real project to improve data exchange between planners and contractors to complete the process chain from planning to production.


Duration: August 2019 - February 2023