B-processor is BIM software that has been and currently is still developed by the Aarhus School of Architecture in cooperation with the Alexandra institute. While it follows the main concepts and definitions of BIM, some essential ideas are quite different. This is owed to the fact that B-processor was developed from scratch, not as an add-on or further development of existing CAD software.
In B-processor a consequent 3d working method is pursued. Top, front and side views are abandoned. All modelling takes place in a perspective 3d view which results in a very realistic and intuitive workflow. The usability and tool design is related to google’s sketch up software and therefore more intuitive and simpler to learn than any common BIM software.
Meanwhile it provides a clear and strict object structure which is the key for successful Information Modelling. All objects in B-processor are spatial and therefore volumetric. They can either be functional spaces (rooms) or construction spaces (building elements like walls). All spaces are tagged by specific attributes describing either their function or properties. The latter are classified using the hierarchical order of the Danish Building classification standard (Danks Bygnings Klassifikation). Spaces can contain further spaces which are then referred to as elements. These can be further subdivided into element parts. This provides a strict rule of how detail is added to the design model.
Relations of elements are automatically stored in the model and updated when any change is made. A surface between two adjacent spaces i.e. stores the functional information of these spaces.
In addition to the main space objects, B-processor allows the usage of so-called ’Modellors’ forming the base for plug-in tools to improve the workflow for the creation of detailed elements or repetitive tasks. The Modellors can vary from tools for specific building elements like windows, doors or bathrooms up to plug-ins for specific geometries or products. The setup of these Modellors is kept simple. Using guideline objects, called ’B-Net’, a Modellor links geometric information parametrically to the resulting objects.
A B-Net can be a line, a shape or a set of shapes, a surface. Modifying the B-Net automatically changes the attached geometry. Typically a B-Net might define the centreline setout of a construction.
B-processor also integrates evaluation processes, called ’Evalors’. Obvious ’Evalors’ are area calculators and cost calculation. The information in a B-processor model might
also be used to calculated energy loss or structural properties of a construction. In other words, ’Evalors’ could be simulation tools that work within the environment of B-processor.
This very powerful and simple setup of Modellors and Evalors might be an ideal starting point to develop simulation driven complex geometry tools. B-processor is coded in Java and sourceforge is used to create an open platform for the code. This setup as an open source project should provoke the industry to use and contribute to B-processor. The intention is to establish a new and free BIM platform for a community that adds to and modifies the software to its own needs.
Manufacturers might provide plug-ins for their products; architectural companies create libraries of their standards and engineers simulation tools to solve specific problems.