Feature-based Product Modeling for Building Construction

Staub-French, Sheryl

Current building product models explicitly represent components, attributes of components, and relationships between components. These designer-focused product models, however, do not represent many of the design conditions that are important for construction, such as component similarity, uniformity, and penetrations. Current design and construction tools offer limited support for detecting these construction-specific design conditions. This paper describes the ontology we developed using the manufacturing concept of features to represent the design conditions that are important for construction. The feature ontology provides the blueprint for the additions and changes needed to transform a standard product model into a constructionspecific product model. The ontology formalizes three classes of features, defines the attributes and functions of each feature type, and represents the relationships between features explicitly. The descriptive semantics of the ontology allows practitioners to represent their varied preferences for naming features, specifying features that result from component intersections and the similarity of components, and grouping features that affect a specific construction domain. A software prototype that implements the ontology enables practitioners to transform designer-focused product models into feature-based product models that represent the construction perspective.


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Staub-French, Sheryl: Feature-based Product Modeling for Building Construction. 2004.

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