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Guidance for Digital Data Exchange and Best Practices to Support Civil Infrastructure Project Delivery

Description:

Effective digital project delivery requires appropriate technologies, tools, and best practices that can accelerate and enhance the detail and accuracy of project designs, accelerate construction, reduce construction costs, and facilitate management of the transportation infrastructure throughout its lifecycle. Limitations of plan views, profiles, and cross sections in traditional two-dimensional (2D) project files include (a) the need for multiple views to depict real-world objects in adequate detail; (b) lack of connectivity between different elements within the views, making edits more difficult and increasing the risk of errors and redundancy; and (c) difficulty associating attribute data with graphical features. Although the computer aided design (CAD) files might appear to contain all the necessary information, a close analysis reveals problems such as overlapping or disconnected graphical elements, inconsistent use of levels or design libraries, inconsistent use of file naming and folder structure conventions, and inability to link business process databases to features in the files. Implementing effective digital project delivery applications is hampered by the lack of robust data exchange business practices and standards. Categories of data exchange issues include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) Data content issues (e.g., data inside files and databases); (2) Data management issues (e.g., file structure and file naming conventions, data storage, and permissions); (3) Spatial and temporal issues, not just during project development and delivery but also throughout the entire lifecycle of a transportation facility (e.g., varying levels of data detail, completeness, and accuracy requirements from planning to preliminary design, design, construction, and post-construction); (4) Business process issues (e.g., varying data requirements by different users of the data for applications such as project management, data certification and verification, surveying, information modeling, detection and management of utilities, and production and maintenance of as-built records); and (5) Technology compatibility issues involving 2D, three-dimensional (3D), CAD, geographic information system (GIS), building information modeling (BIM), and CIM. For example, over the years, it has been possible to exchange 2D and 3D data in a variety of formats. Support for extensible markup language (XML) to export data is increasing; however, data interoperability and efficiencies issues require addressing.

Objective:

The purpose of the research is to develop a compendium of best practices and a guidance manual for conducting digital data exchange effectively both throughout project development and delivery and during the lifetime of transportation facilities. The research will examine geospatial and non-spatial data requirements as well as relevant business processes, including, but not limited to, project management, data certification, surveying, information modeling, real-time verification, detection and management of utilities, production and maintenance of as-built records, and asset management. The research will also examine data content and data management issues as well as technology compatibility issues.

Benefits:

Anticipated benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

More effective digital data management practices at transportation agencies and other organizations.

  • More effective digital data management practices at transportation agencies and other organizations.

  • Substantial reduction or elimination of unnecessary silos of information that discourage or preclude the implementation of robust data management practices.

  • Standardization of data practices.
  • Simplification of the process to collect, assemble, and exchange data throughout project development process and delivery.
  • More effective maintenance and operations practices resulting from a tighter integration between as-built documentation and relevant operational and maintenance activities.
Related Research:
  • XML development efforts include the following: LandXML, ifcXML, InfraGML, PipelineML, 3D Information Management (3DIM) Domain Working Group, agcXML, CityGML, and TransXML.
  • Utility data mapping standard development efforts include ASCE/CI 38-02 and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) S250-11.
  • Utility research initiatives include SHRP 2 R01A and R15B/R15C.
  • FHWA Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM) Standardization report.
  • WSDOT’s research report on LIDAR for Data Efficiency.
  • NCHRP 15-44, Guidelines for the Use of Mobile Lidar in Transportation Applications.
  • NCHRP 10-96, Guide for Civil Integrated Management (CIM) in Departments of Transportation.
  • NIBS buildingSMARTalliance, AIA/CSS/NIBS National CAD standards (NCS), NIBS National BIM standards (NBIMS)-US, and NIBS COBie.
  • EUBIM Congress of International BIM Industry Alliance for Interoperability.* BS ISO 16757-1:2015.
  • UK BS1192:2007, PAS1192-2:2013, PAS1192-3:2014, BS1192-4:2014, and BS1192-5:2015ISO 12911:2012, ISO 29481-1:2013 and ISO 16739:2013 (IFC).
  • ANSI/BICSC 003-2014.
  • OGC LandInfra Model.
  • FGDC Standards Reference Model, Geographic Information Framework Data Standard (XML), Address Data Standard (XML), and Content Standard for Digital Geographic Metadata.
Tasks:

The phase descriptions below are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. Proposers are expected to describe a research effort that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers’ current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the problem and the soundness of their approach for accomplishing the project objective. The work proposed for each phase must be divided into tasks, and proposers must describe in detail the work proposed in each task.

PHASE I. The purpose of Phase I is to develop a compendium of practices for conducting digital data exchange throughout project development and delivery and during the lifetime of transportation facilities. The research should examine geospatial and non-spatial data requirements taking into consideration typical business processes that involve digital data exchange activities, including, but not limited to, project management, data certification, surveying, information modeling, real-time verification, detection and management of utilities, production and maintenance of as-built records, and asset management. The research should also examine data content issues (e.g., related to data inside files and databases), data management issues (e.g., related to file structure and file naming conventions, data storage, and permissions), and technology compatibility issues. The research should examine case studies to capture both the current practice as well as examples of best practices. The research should also conduct a review of applicable data standard formats and data exchange standards, and examine the need for potential changes or updates to appropriate data exchange standards. The deliverables should include a Phase I report providing (a) an executive summary overview; (b) documentation of the results of the analysis; (c) a draft outline for a guidance manual; and (d) an updated work plan for Phase II.

PHASE II. The purpose of Phase II is to develop a guidance manual for conducting digital data exchange effectively both throughout project development and delivery and during the lifetime of transportation facilities. Phase II deliverables should also include a final report that (a) documents the entire project, incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research, and (b) provides an executive summary overview that outlines the research results. Note: Following receipt of the preliminary Phase II deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised final deliverables. Even though the work for Phase II is dependent on the work plan developed in Phase I, proposers should present their current thinking on plans for Phase II in their proposal.

Implementation:

The research has significant potential for changing data collection and maintenance practices at transportation agencies nationwide. It is also highly relevant for the development, implementation, and maintenance of a number of relevant data exchange standards. Research implementation success will therefore require active participation and leadership by NCHRP, FHWA, DOTs, AASHTO, trade organizations (e.g., engineers, consultants, and contractors), software vendors (e.g., CAD, GIS, BIM, CIM, and VDC), and data standards organizations to adopt the recommendations and business practices resulting from the research.

Implementation will likely require seed funding to (a) promote the research findings at venues such as conferences, events, and data standard committee meetings; (b) engage champions to generate momentum needed to develop and/or adopt new or updated data exchange standards; and (c) promote pilot implementations throughout the country using proof-of-concept pilots, lead adopter incentives, or user incentives.

Sponsoring Committee:AED80, Visualization in Transportation
Research Period:24 - 36 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Authors: Cesar Quiroga (Texas A&M Transportation Institute) Charles Jahren (Iowa State University) Guohui Zhang (University of New Mexico) Zenobia Fields (NJ Transportation Planning Authority) Lance Parve (Wisconsin Department of Transportation) Charles Hixon (EDGE-Global Technology Solutions) Kevin Gilson (WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff) Francesca Maier (WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff) Phil Bell (New York State Department of Transportation)
Date Posted:02/22/2016
Date Modified:10/13/2017
Index Terms:Project delivery, Best practices, Infrastructure, Geographic information systems, Computer aided design, Data collection, Contract administration,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Highways
Administration and Management
Construction
Design

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