Among different phases of the life cycle of a building or facility, design is of the utmost importance to ensure safety, efficiency and sustainability of the building or facility. How to control and improve design quality and efficiency has been explored for years, and more studies emerged with the popularization of Building Information Modelling (BIM). However, most of them focused on the extraction of design behaviors, while paying less attention to how a design is formed. Therefore, this study proposes an approach to tracking and replaying the BIM-based design process by integrating data logging and 4D visualization techniques. First of all, potential design behaviors and procedures are analyzed and extracted by observing how a designer designs a BIM model. Meanwhile, the required data for logging design process is defined and a relevant method to collect these data is developed based on the APIs of BIM software. Then, strategies on how to visualize different design procedures are designed and implemented via 4D visualization. Finally, a prototype system is developed based on Autodesk Revit and validated through a case study. Result shows that the proposed approach enables intuitively and interactively review of the design process, and makes it easier to understand design behaviors and even identify potential pitfalls, thus improving the design efficiency and quality.
The authors are grateful for the financial support of the University-Industry Collaborative Education Program (Grant No. 202102113020).