The coordination of mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) and architecture is a most important task in BIM projects. Open data exchange based on BIM formats such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is an important basis for advanced collaboration in complex project environments. It facilitates performance-based design concepts as multidisciplinary teams can more easily combine task-specific design and simulation tools. An analysis of the IFC4 standard pointed out, that MEP components are not sufficiently specified yet in order to provide such functionality. Moreover, MEP specific guidelines and process models describing the various interactions between architectural and MEP design in a BIM project are still lacking. This paper thus presents a comprehensive MEP data model that complements the current state of IFC. In addition, an associated BIM process model using Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) that outlines the application of the data model in different design stages of a project is introduced. For this purpose, we take an air-handling unit as example and apply the developed model to an air-handling unit of a campus building at Graz University of Technology. The presented results support architects, MEP engineers, and BIM managers in the project-specific implementation of air-handling unit models and the set-up of a suitable process for the integration into the project.
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