bSI International Summit Barcelona

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From the 3rd to the 5th of April the bSI International Summit took place in Spain. bSI is the abbreviation for buildingSMART International Ltd, the organisation responsible for openBIM. bSI is – like – an industry driven initiative that focuses on providing international standards in the area of Building Information Modelling (BIM): the data exchange format IFC (Industry Foundation Classes).

In the context of railways Heinz Ehrbar (DB Netz) and Lukas Spengeler (SBB) had the opportunity to present the challenge for BIM in the domain of railways in Europe. Alain Jeanmaire (SNCF Réseau) took the chance to talk about main use cases of Infrastructure Managers, the digital continuity from design to maintenance and operation, and the opportunity to interface IFC with railML® and RTM.

Furthermore, Chinese university representatives reported about the first test for integration and usage of IFC Alignment V1.1 (not yet officially published) with vendor software. IFC Alignment is the foundation for geometry and geography of linear territorial assets, and the linkage between all network infrastructure objects.

An important step towards the future was made with the signature of an MOU, addressing the collaboration on the IFC Rail project. China, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Finland and Sweden will be part of the standardisation process and enhance the Chinese proposal bSI SPEC Rail.

In comparison to railML, which is capable of defining railway typical alignment elements (e.g. gradients, curves and clothoids) with geographical referencing and more generally constructional elements (e.g. bridges, signals or tunnel cross sections) the IFC is designed to fit the CAD software for describing construction elements of railway tracks with multiple levels of detail required at different phases in construction projects. This difference and complementarity creates a great potential when it comes to combining both standards. A cooperation between both parties is currently established, as we are convinced that both can learn a lot from one another and together secure a smooth data exchange and digital continuity for the future. In a next step UIC's RailTopoModel project and will define the roadmap and organization for this cooperation together with buildingSMART International Ltd.

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