Neighbourhood Information Models: 3D digital tools supporting surveyor-architect-planner workflows

  • YEAR
    Cookes, Simon D.
    2015 Conference Papers
    Building and City Information Modelling
    Conference Papers


The City of Melbourne lacks affordable, quality and sustainable housing choices. Addressing these complex needs, professionals are currently performing information discovery, design and planning assessments with outdated tools and processes. What would be the impact of integrating disciplinary technologies of land surveyors, architects and planners into a 3D virtual place called a Neighbourhood Information Model (NIM) to assist their work leading to statutory planning approval? As NIM did not exist, qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed by the writer to explore emerging 3D sharable tools and processes. Surveys of land surveyors and architects in Victoria were conducted and professionals, researchers and software providers were interviewed. Tools explored included: 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry, Building Information Models, parametric scripting, 3D city models and Electronic Development Approval. Result themes included: tool engagement, efficiency gains, adoption drivers and limiting factors. Results show a growing professional engagement with sharable 3D digital information tools, especially for central Melbourne apartment developments. Their use was found to increase overall workflow efficiency and increase communicative and decision-making power. This paper proposes that NIM tools and associated integrated Knowledge Management processes improve practice efficiency and efficacy of built outcomes. There remains a need for further research, tool development and testing.


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