Building Information Modeling in the Execution Phase of Conventional Tunneling Projects

Marco Huymajer, Oleksandr Melnyk, Robert Wenighofer, Christian Huemer, Robert Galler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Building Information Modeling (BIM) has become the key technology for the digital transformation of the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector. The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), as an open and vendor-neutral data model, play an essential role in this transformation. Despite all the recent advances of BIM, tunneling needs to catch up with other AEC sectors adopting digital technologies. Currently, IFC is mainly used to capture information directly connected to the structural elements of the final tunnel but rarely as a means to document the tunnel excavation and support. This article proposes an IFC-driven process for the execution phase of conventional tunneling projects by extending the usage of IFC to information about the process, labor, equipment, and employed material. The proposed process is evaluated by a case study demonstrating how to represent data from a conventional tunneling project by IFC. The results show that IFC provides the necessary concepts to express the data of the execution phase of conventional tunneling projects. Implementing an IFC-driven process in this phase significantly contributes to the digital transformation of tunneling projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105539
Number of pages15
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Issue numberApril
Early online date19 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s)


  • Building Information Modeling
  • Tunneling
  • Industry Foundation Classes
  • Construction phase
  • Digitalization
  • BIM
  • IFC
  • Drill and blast
  • Conventional tunneling

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