Impact of Incompatible Software on HVAC and Sheet Metal Contractors

Researchers:
Anil Sawhney, Ph.D.
Arizona State University
Del E. Webb School of Construction
Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering
P.O. Box 870204
Tempe, AZ 85287-0204
Tel: (480) 965-7417
Fax: (480) 965-1769
Email: anil.sawhney@asu.edu
Website: www.construction.asu.edu
Avi Wiezel, Ph.D.
Arizona State University
Del E. Webb School of Construction
Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering
P.O. Box 870204
Tempe, AZ 85287-0204
Tel: (480) 965-4121
Fax: (480) 965-9061
Email: awiezel@mainex1.asu.edu
Website: www.construction.asu.edu

Summary

The main research objective of this study was to identify the impact of incompatible software on the HVAC and sheet metal industry and to investigate recent interoperability initiatives within the architecture, engineering, and construction and facility management industries.

The study also:

  • Documents the processes involved in the execution of a typical HVAC and sheet metal project and provides a generalized process map for such a project.
  • Identifies initiatives being taken worldwide in the field of interoperability and Building Information Modeling (BIM) to eradicate the ills of incompatible software.
  • Reports extensively on the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) with the HVAC domain being the subject of special interest for the study.

A detailed explanation of the IFC schema for the HVAC domain is presented in this report.

A recent report commissioned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stated that waste and inefficiencies engendered by incompatible software applications in the construction industry costs that industry $15.8 billion annually. The New Horizons Foundation research report includes estimates of the waste attributable to HVAC and sheet metal industry stemming from the absence of interoperability in software applications. The study also offers several recommendations to the industry as the advent of open systems takes hold.