Unityrev – Bridging The Gap Between Bim Authoring Platforms And Game Engines By Creating A Real-Time Bi-Directional Exchange Of Bim Data

Kieran May University of South Australia
James Walsh University of South Australia
Ross Smith University of South Australia
Ning Gu University of South Australia
Bruce Thomas University of South Australia

We present UnityRev: An open-source software package that enables a workflow designed to facilitate a real-time bi-directional and synchronous exchange of Building Information Modelling (BIM) data, by creating a direct link between a BIM authoring platform (i.e. Autodesk Revit) and a game engine (i.e. Unity 3D). Although previous works have explored the integration of BIM with game engines, the currently available tools are limited to a non-synchronous or unidirectional exchange of BIM data, and they do not address specific design issues required to make a BIM authoring platform and game engine compatible (i.e. parametric modelling). This paper describes our software which consists of a compact overview of the system, including design decisions, implementation details, and system capabilities. Two example applications are presented as concept demonstrators to showcase practical collaborative use-case scenarios between BIM authoring platforms and game engines which were not previously achievable without a real-time bi-directional workflow. This work will expand future Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) research, and more specifically, Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) based BIM development and integration, by providing new possibilities and bridging the gap between BIM authoring platforms and game engines. The application of the system as demonstrated in the paper for real-time lighting performance simulation contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Keywords: Building Information Modelling, Game Engines, Revit, Unity, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Lighting Performance Simulation, Sdg 11

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