TOPOLOGICAL INFORMATION AS LEADING INFORMATION IN BUILDING PRODUCT MODELS
Digital models of buildings are widely used in civil engineering. In these models, geometric information is used as leading information. Engineers are used to have geometric information, and, for instance, it is state of the art to specify a point by its three coordinates. However, the traditional approaches have disadvantages. Geometric information is over-determined. Thus, more geometric information is specified and stored than needed. In addition, engineers already deal with topological information. A denotation of objects in buildings is of topological nature. It has to be answered whether approaches where topological information becomes a leading role would be more efficient in civil engineering. This paper presents such an approach. Topological information is modelled independently of geometric information. It is used for denoting the objects of a building. Geometric information is associated to topological information so that geometric information “weights” a topology. The concept presented in this paper has already been used in surveying existing buildings. Experiences in the use of this concept showed that the number of geometric information that is required for a complete specification of a building could be reduced by a factor up to 100. Further research will show how this concept can be used in planning processes.