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authors Amor, R.W.
year 1991
title ICAtect: Integrating Design Tools for Preliminary Architectural Design
source Wellington, New Zealand: Computer Science Department, Victoria University
summary ICAtect is a knowledge based system that provides an interface between expert systems, simulation packages and CAD systems used for preliminary architectural design. This thesis describes its structure and development.The principal work discussed in this thesis involves the formulation of a method for representing a building. This is developed through an examination of a number of design tools used in architectural design, and the ways in which each of these describe a building.Methods of enabling data to be transferred between design tools are explored. A Common Building Model (CBM), forming the core of the ICAtect system, is developed to represent the design tools knowledge of a building. This model covers the range of knowledge required by a large set of disparate design tools used by architects at the initial design stage.Standard methods of integrating information from the tools were examined, but required augmentation to encompass the unusual constraints found in some of the design tools. The integration of the design tools and the CBM is discussed in detail, with example methods developed for each type of design tool. These example methods provide a successful way of moving information between the different representations. Some problems with mapping data between very different representations were encountered in this process, and the solutions or ideas for remedies are detailed. A model for control and use of ICAtect is developed in the thesis, and the extensions to enable a graphical user interface are discussed.The methods developed in this thesis demonstrate the feasibility of an integrated system of this nature, while the discussion of future work indicates the scope and potential power of ICAtect.
series other
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