Integrating BIM and gaming for real-time interactive architectural visualization

Wei Yan, Charles Culp, Robert Graf
Automation in Construction, Volume 20, Issue 4, July 2011


This paper presents our findings of current applications of computer games in design visualization and education, and our solution to address interoperability between games and building models to enhance architectural visualization and education. We demonstrate our BIM-Game prototype that integrates Building Information Modelling (BIM) and gaming into architectural visualization. Our system supports an innovative Design-Play process that allows designers to play in their own designed environments with the capability for simulations of physical dynamics and user activities. The implementation of this BIM-Game provides a variety of connections among several fields including architecture, engineering, computer science, visualization, and game development. These connections bridge diverse areas such as building modelling, equipment simulation and visualization, character modelling and animation, collision detection, navigation, path planning, materials and lighting, and interaction through game controllers and user interfaces. The paper presents a framework for integrating BIM and games, and a sample experiment of real-time, interactive, and photorealistic walkthrough with a virtual user model to demonstrate the use and the potentials of the framework. We expect this research to extend the study and adaptability of computer games in design education.

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