Real-Time Rendering of large Building Information Models
Paper in proceeding, 2012

With the use of Building Information Models (BIM), realtime 3D visualizations have become a natural tool in order to communicate ideas and share information between all involved parties in a project. Currently, several different BIM viewers are available for the purpose of interactive presentations and design reviews. However, as BIMs become larger and more detailed, it provides a challenge for available software solutions to manage them interactively. In this paper we present our findings from analyzing three commonly used BIM viewers - Tekla BIMSight, Autodesk Navisworks and Solibri Model Viewer - in terms of real-time rendering performance. In addition we have developed a prototype BIM viewer to test modern approaches for efficient real-time rendering. Specifically, we have implemented the latest version of the Coherent Hierarchical Culling algorithm. Our results show that existing BIM viewers all share limitations in their ability to handle large and complex BIMs interactively. However, for the same test models, our prototype BIM viewer enables smooth real-time performance with no visual artifacts. The results from our tests thus shows that the technology to enable correct real-time rendering of large and complex BIMs is already accessible, but are currently not utilized by any of the tested BIM viewers.


3D graphics

real-time rendering


Mikael Johansson

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Mattias Roupé

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

CAADRIA 2012, Beyond Codes & Pixels, Chennai, India

Vol. 17 647-656
978-988-19026-3-4 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Other Computer and Information Science

Other Civil Engineering

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Building Futures (2010-2018)



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