BIM-based automated design of drainage systems for panelized residential buildings

Nan Zhang, Jingwen Wang, Mohamed Al-Hussein, Xianfei Yin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


The development of building information modelling has facilitated the improvement of cost and time management in panelized construction. This research proposes an automated method to design and draft drainage systems in the BIM environment. The proposed method can improve design efficiency, eliminate design errors, and reduce material waste. In order to improve production efficiency at the panelized construction plant, the drainage pipe network is separated into smaller components at the geometric boundaries of the plumbing panel which is a floor or wall panel through which pipes pass. Meanwhile, a bill of materials for each plumbing panel is generated for the purpose of further cutting optimization. A prototyped BIM extension application, an add-on to Autodesk Revit, is developed as a proof of concept. A case study of residential drainage system design and optimization is presented to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed framework. As the key contribution of this research, the integration of the BIM model with the automated design system, rule-based pipe route planning approach, and optimal cutting stock algorithm achieves the automation in drainage system design in the context of panelized construction to improve design and production efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2683-2698
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of construction management
Issue number15
Early online date11 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • automated design
  • Building information modelling (BIM)
  • panelized construction
  • residential drainage system
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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