Specifying parametric building object behavior (BOB) for a building information modeling system

Ghang Lee, Rafael Sacks, Charles M. Eastman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

301 Citations (Scopus)


Parametric modeling has been proposed as an effective means to embed domain expertise in models of buildings. As information technology becomes more powerful in terms of the ability to manipulate large parametric models, the potential grows to build increasingly sophisticated functional systems for designing, modeling and fabricating buildings. Implementing more powerful systems implies greater functional specificity, which requires elicitation and capture of increasingly detailed and complex domain-specific semantics and knowledge. This paper explores the extent to which design and engineering knowledge can be practically embedded in production software for building information modeling (BIM). It focuses on a building object behavior (BOB) description notation and method, developed as a shorthand protocol for designing, validating and sharing the design intent of parametric objects. Examples are drawn from an advanced BIM system development project for precast concrete.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-776
Number of pages19
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded in part by the North American Precast Concrete Software Consortium (PCSC) under grants to Georgia Institute of Technology and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. We thank PCSC members, particularly Dave Mahaffy, Skip Wolodkewitsch, David Fiedler, Amado Malonjao, Chris Carasone, Wayne Kassian and Paul Smoot, for allowing us to publish their parametric connection examples. We also thank Tekla Corporation for kindly sharing examples.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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