These file attachments have been under embargo and were made available to the public after the embargo was lifted on 20 April 2011.
In this research I explore the use of a Building Information Model (BIM) to generate 3D visualisations for design evaluation in the hospital design process. I measure what effects information abstraction in the visualisation has on design evaluation by the medical specialist. BIM is a concept for integral management of design information during a building process by connecting all information to a virtual 3D model. In the current application of BIM is few use of the 3D information for generating 3D visualisations. Therefor the use of BIM does not provide additional advantage to the user of the building during the design process. Correct use of these 3D visualisations however provides a solution to the following problems the medical specialist faces as a user in the designprocess.
* The medical specialist does not oversee the relation between his initial demands and the design to be reviewed, because he has to interpret much design information because of the limited amount of evaluation moments.
* The design consequences of his demands are difficult to understand by the medical specialist, because of the lack of experience in interpreting architectural design documents.
* The demands of the medical specialist are very specific and the consequences of design decisions have to be reviewed against the specific demands in an early design stage.
“What information output from a Building Information Model is required to produce visualizations that enable medical specialists to generate useful feedback in order to interact with the architect and actively control the quality of the design consequences of their initial information input?”
The research is divided into two parts. The first part is an investigation of the design evaluation process of the new hospital design for the Meander Medisch Centrum in Amersfoort with the use of interviews. I use the obtained information as input for the setup of the experiments that form the second part of the research. The design of the new Meander Medisch Centrum is in final design stage at the time of this research. They use BIM in the design process to manage the design information. Though BIM is just used to generate 2D visualisations of the design in the form of technical drawings.
With the use of six experiments I investigate the influence of information abstraction on the design evaluation with 3D visualisation from BIM. By the use of five elements from the design brief I simulate design evaluation with the medical specialist in these experiments. These elements are: surface area, inventory, athmosphere for the specialist, athmosphere for the client and hygiene. In the experiment the medical specialist is shown Virtual Reality 3D visualisations with variants of a room in which the abstraction level of the information differs. The abstraction of the information is divided in three levels for the two variables spatial information and material information. With these variants I measure how well the medical specialist is able to evaluate the design with each abstraction level. For the result I can get the following findings for the evaluation of each of the elements from the design brief:
* There are no significant differences for the evaluation of spatial dimensions between the different abstraction levels.
* De surface area is underestimated in all cases.
* A medium detail is the optimal level for information concerning the inventory that is the addition to the BIM.
* The high detail level for material information is important for the evaluation of the athmosphere. The detail level of spatial information does not play any role.
* For the evaluation of the athmosphere for the patient, the medical specialist uses more mental imagination at lower detail levels than for the evaluation of other elements from the design brief.
* The low spatial detail level is not suitable for the evaluation of the hygiene. Material detail levels are not relevant for the evaluation of of the hygiene.
In general the two main conclusions of this research are:
* The highest detail level for both spatial and material information is not required. The medium detail levels provide similar results during design evaluation in the hospital design process.
* The low detail level meets the demands for evaluation of spatial aspects that are now correctly reviewed at later design stages.
The restrictions that are applied to the control of the virtual camera have proved to be too strong. The specialists have indicated that this might have a negative effect on the evaluation at all detail levels. This should be considered when the results of this research are used in practise. Also the influence of the interaction between specialists on the interpretation ability during the design evaluation in the user groups is not taken into account. What the effects of this interaction may be should be investigated in followup research.