A Vision for the Future of the Computer-Aided Tolerance Management in Construction Based on the Lessons Learned from Manufacturing

Saeed Talebi, Patricia Tzortzopoulos, Lauri Koskela, Mani Poshdar, Iris D. Tommelein, Algan Tezel, Ricardo Antunes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Tolerance problems are amongst the most common and recurring defects in construction projects. Since its establishment, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been expected to prevent tolerance problems as it does for clashes between components. However, the solid modelling tools within BIM software do not contain tolerance information, but rather rough dimension of building components (e.g., windows, doors) and clearances between them (e.g., a bathroom partition from an adjoining wall), etc. In essence, this shortcoming is contrary to the principles of smart construction which require the utilisation of digital technologies to avoid quality defects such as tolerance problems. Conversely, in manufacturing, the use of commercial software for computer-aided tolerancing (CAT) is common and has been successful to eliminate defects at stages preceding the time of assembly. This study is a small-scale preliminary exploratory research to understand the functions in CAT systems for tolerance analysis and scheme that can be potentially adopted for BIM software systems. Six BIM and two CAT systems are reviewed for this purpose. The contribution of this paper is twofold: (a) shortcomings of currently available BIM software systems for tolerance analysis and scheme are discussed, and (b) a basis to enable BIM software systems for a more effective tolerance management in a construction based on functions of CAT software systems is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the CIB World Building Conference 2019
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2019
EventCIB World Building Congress 2019 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 17 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


ConferenceCIB World Building Congress 2019
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong


  • Tolerance Management
  • Computer-Aided Tolerance Software Systems
  • building information modelling


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