Open Journal of Social Sciences
2013. Vol.1, No.5, 10-14
Published Online October 2013 in SciRes (
Open Access
A Study on the Interoperability between 2D Drawings
and BIM-Based 3D Drawings
Myoung Bae Seo, Ki B eom Ju
ICT Convergence and Integration Research Division,
Korea Institute of Construction Technology, Goyang-Si, Republic of Korea
Received September 2013
While it is expected that the introduction of BIM, which recently emerged as a new paradigm in the con-
struction industry, will bring about various effects, 2D-based products cannot be easily substituted with
BIM. As such, the 2D and 3D works that designers and contractors have to perform at the same time will
lead to increased construction costs and tasks. To minimize the overlapping of BMI and 2D drawings so
as to reduce the construction costs, this study surveyed the products list based on electronic design draw-
ings and on the existing supply guidelines in South Korea, and examined the 2D-based products among
them that can be substituted with BIM models if the existing electronic supply system is changed to a
BIM ordering system. Based on the results of the survey, this article proposes a BIM-based product sup-
ply and future development plan at the current time, when 2D and 3D drawings coexist. It is expected that
the results of this article will be used as reference data for considering the interrelation of a BIM-based
product supply system to 2D drawings as well as the existence of alternative drawings.
Keywords: BIM; Standard; Civil Engineering; Drawing; Product
BIM, which has emerged as a hot issue in the construction
industry, is a new technique with which to manage various
products that are currently managed as 2D in existing construc -
tion projects in 3D, and can be used in interception reviews,
energy analyses, constructability reviews, process control, cost
management, and facilities maintenance control, among others.
Construction and various other licensing processes, however,
still use 2D-based products and the related guidelines required
for the submission of 2D-based products, for which reason
designers and contractors have to perform 2D and 3D works at
the same time, leading to increased construction cost and tasks.
While this is the first matter that needs to be addressed to pro-
mote BIM, due to the domestic circumstances, 2D and 3D BIM
products have to coexist until BIM is established.
Therefore, this study surveyed the existing products list
based on electronic design drawings and the existing supply
guidelines in South Korea, and examined the 2D-based prod-
ucts among them that can be substituted with BIM models if the
existing electronic supply system is changed to a BIM ordering
system. Based on the results of the survey, this article proposes
a BIM-based product supply and future development plan at the
current time, when 2D and 3D drawings coexist.
Review of Previous Researches
The review of the previous researches, as part of the survey
of the interoperability of BIM models and 2D drawings for road
construction projects, focused on the researches on the 2D
drawing information standards, BIM-ordering-system-based
drawing supply plans, and BIM-based drawing methods. Kwon
et al. (2008) proposed a direction for standardization, such as
basic categorization systems for drawing elements and BIM
objects for using 2D drawings, by producing drawing types
through the analysis of the CALS/EC drawing categorization
system and actual drawing cases. Seong et al. (2009) pointed
out the necessity of substituting 2D drawings in the transitional
period with BIM by researching on 2D drawing extraction from
BIM models based on the consideration of the existing 2D
electronic drawing standards and a method of extracting 2D
electronic drawings from a BIM model, using templates. O h et a l.
(2013) proposed the scope and expression standards of struc-
tural drawings by design stage based on a research on BIM-
based structural drawing standards. Chae et al. (2011) analyzed
the problems of drawing expressions and completion techniques
using the BIM system based on domestic and foreign design
firms’ final projects, and described various issues and im-
provement plans in relation to the implementation of BIM
drawing methods that extract drawings from 3D models, break-
ing away from the existing method of extracting 2D drawings.
The review showed that while the past researches examined
various problems and improvement plans for the coexistence of
2D and 3D drawings due to the implementation of BIM, the
primary focus was on showing the necessity of establishing
standards and guidelines and of revising the drawing categori-
zation system. What was lacking in the previous researches,
however, was an examination of the process of recycling 2D
drawings from BIM. This therefore shows that the research on
the interoperability of BIM models and 2D drawings, which is
presented in this article, is time ly and crucial.
Current Status of the 2D-Based Electronic
Drawing Creation and Supply System
To survey the extraction of 2D drawings using a BIM model
M. B. SEO, K. B. JU
Open Access
and whether those drawings can substitute for the existing
drawings, it is necessary to examine the existing roadwork
product supply and drawing system. As such, this article sur-
veys the current status of the 2D-based product supply system
of the Ministry of Land and Transportation, which is currently
conducting a large-scale nat ional SOC civil engineering project
[Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs (2012)].
This guideline presents 20 products, including the master in-
formation, design reports, and structural calculation reports, and
the owner also describes the design and completion drawings
and task orders as well as the products on the contract docu-
ments so that the contractor can submit these documents as part
of the electronic supply products. In the products list, it is the
drawings that are expected to see the most frequent changes
when the BIM supply system is implemented. As shown in
Table 1, the roadwork products under the electronic design
drawing creation and supply guidelines are supplied by 11 pri-
mary categories (general connection, common use, earthwork,
slope safety work, structural work, etc.), 40 secondary catego-
ries (general connection plan, sitemap, etc.), and 83 subcatego-
ries. As the types of drawings supplied difference based on the
types and characteristics of the river and road construction pro-
jects, not all of the 83 subcategories are supplied, and in some
cases, some drawings may not be included in the supply list.
Interoperability of 2D and 3D Drawin gs
To examine the possibility of substituting the 2D drawings
when creating BIM-based drawings, the article selected as its
target zone the Okdong-Nongso zone, in which the enforcement
plan is to be completed by the Regional Construction and
Management Office under the Ministry of Land and Transpor-
tation. This 4.73-km-long zone has a total of nine structures,
including six bridges, two tunnels, and one underground road,
making it optimal for testing. Based on the supplied 2D draw-
ing, the article conducted 3D modeling using Civil 3D for the
lines, and BIM-related S/W for the Revit structures, and exam-
ined the alternative for the existing 2D drawings based on the
list of roadworks among the civil engineering drawing list from
the electronic design drawing creation and supply guidelines of
the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs. Shown
in Figure 1 is the modeling result of the Okdong-Nongso zone
with Civil 3D tools.
Review of Drawing Interoperability
Based on the 3D modeling of the Okdong-Nongso zone, the
article surveyed the applicability of the 2D drawing. Due to the
importance of acquiring objectivity, the article selected those
who have five or more years of experience in BIM-related S/W
and who have supplied BIM products in the past, and asked
them to con duct model ing an d ap plicab ility revie w. In the review,
the results were divided into four items based on the relation of
the product and the task difficulty. The items deemed inappli-
cable were categorized as negative while those deemed highly
applicable were categorized as positive. Shown in Table 2 are
the detailed results.
Shown in Table 3 is an example of a review of the applica-
bility of some parts of the drawing that was supplied as the
standard cross-section. Consisting of a total of five drawing
items, the shown drawing is divided into the fill-up part and
Table 1.
Four-point criteria for reviewing the applicability of a BIM product’s
2D drawings.
Mid-Level Category
Primary Secondary
C: Civil
000: General
01: General connection pla n
02: General connection map
001: Common work
01: General
02: Standard plan
03: Coordinates map
04: Nose (details)
99: Others
002: Earthw ork
01: Main line
10: IC or JCT*
20: Business office*
30: Rest area*
40: National road*
50: Access road*
90: Mass cur ve road
99: Others
003: Slope safety work 01: Slope safety facilities
99: Others
004: Draina ge
01: Drainage plan
02: Drainage structure
90: Drainage standard plan
99: Others
005: Structural work
01: Common issues
02: Bridge name*
90: Retaining wall
99: Others
006: Tunnel work
01: Common issues
02: Tunnel name*
99: Others
007: Paving w ork
01: Paving plan
02: Bridge connection
99: Others
008: Transportation
safety facilities work
01: Transportation safety facilities
99: Other drawings
009: Amenities work
01: Amenities
90: Amenit i es work standard plan
99: Others
010: Site work
01: Land for incorporation
02: Obstacles
99: Others
099: Other works 99: Ot hers
Note: *Extensible Code.
M. B. SEO, K. B. JU
Open Access
Figure 1.
Linear modeling using Civil 3D.
Table 2.
Drawing list of electronic design document creation and supply guideline (road and river) of ministry of land, transport, and maritim e affairs.
Applicability 4-Point Score Related No.
No relation to BIM Impossible 1
While some forms can be used, they are closer t o the existing 2D work s. Negative 2
While they can be used for drawing, they require work in various stages. Weak positive 3
2D extract i on or measurement work is possible after the accomplishment of rel atively simple tasks. Positive 4
details A, B, C, and D. Among the details, detail A is not re-
lated to BIM while details B, C, and D are considered closer to
the existing 2D works. The fill-up drawing on the top, however,
can be used for drawing while requiring tasks in various stages.
Based on this, the results showed four negative items and one
positive item.
As such, the article analyzed the applicability of 2D drawings
based on the BIM model, which showed that 88 of the 3767
drawing items (2%) allow 2D extraction and measurement
work using BIM drawings after the accomplishment of rela-
tively simple tasks, and 2.461 items (65%), while applicable,
require tasks in various steps. When the 2D drawing applicabil-
ity of all t he items with we ak-positive scores based on the BIM
products were summed up, 67.67% of all the drawings were
shown to be used as alternatives after several task steps (Figure
The analysis of the applicability of drawings by category
showed that general connection, earthwork, and amenities work
had over 95% applicability, making it easy to extract 2D draw-
ings of them from the BIM model, whereas structural work had
72% applicability and paving work had 34% - 35% applicabil-
ity. Common work, slope safety work, and drainage work,
however, showed very low applicability (Figure 3).
This study examined how many 2D drawings can be extracted
from BIM drawings considering the current condition in South
Korea, where the number of BIM orders is increasing, resulting
in the coexistence of 2D and 3D drawings. The study results
M. B. SEO, K. B. JU
Open Access
Table 3.
Example of t he standard cross-section.
Drawing: Sta ndard Pla n/Standar d Cross-Se ct ion (1) Related No. Check (Quantities)
1 1
2 3
3 1
4 0
Total 5
Figure 2.
Number of drawing items by category.
Figure 3.
Applicability review results by drawing category.
showed that only 2% of the drawings can be used immediately.
After several work steps, about 67% of the drawings extracted
from BIM can be further used. This figure, however, includes
items with weak-positive scores and may lead to a higher error
rate depending on the project characteristics or type. What is
important is that 1218 of the 3767 drawing items (33%) in this
study were found not to have any relation to BIM and to neces-
sitate 2D work. This means that in constructing a BIM-based
product supply system, alternative drawings should be used, or
if alternatives are not available, these drawings should be de-
leted or the existing 2D drawings should continue to be re-
ceived. Furthermore, BIM modelers should keep this in mind
and should extract 2D drawings using the BIM model so that no
overlapping work will occur.
In addition, as it was shown by the survey results, it is be-
lieved that earthwork, structural work, or amenities work will
allow the extraction of 2D drawings, and thus, to minimize the
double work of designers and to make drawing management
effective, the overlapping drawing items in the order documents
or guidelines should be simplified or omitted. If the simplifica-
tion or omission of the existing 2D drawings is difficult, it is
better to extract 2D drawings from the BIM model. To do this,
the information required for 2D drawings should be included in
the BIM object data. The more the BIM object data are, the
higher the probability of having alternatives to the 2D drawings
and related products, but those who perform BIM modeling
will feel greater pressure. Therefore, rather than complete sub-
stitution, the role of both drawings should be established con-
sidering efficie ncy .
This study surveyed the extent to which the existing drawing
products should be substituted based on the BIM model, and
proposed a future development direction for the BIM product
supply system for road construction projects. Based on BIM-
based products, various documents, like 2D drawings, quantity
reports, and statements, can be extracted, making it ideal to
have all the products substituted using the BIM model. Consid-
ering the current conditions in South Korea, however, it has
been determined that it would be reasonable to maintain the
current system while using BIM products as references. Based
on the BIM model, 2D drawings for earthwork, structural work,
and amenities work are possible, and as such, to prevent task
overlapping, the related guidelines should clearly state the me-
thod or the target products so that the existing 2D drawings can
be extracted from the BIM model. It is believed that the results
of this study can be used as reference data for reviewing the
interrelation and applicability of alternatives to 2D drawings
when creating the BIM-based product supply system in the
M. B. SEO, K. B. JU
Open Access
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tasks) of the Development of Infra BIM Standard and Verifica-
tion Technology, KICT (Korea Institute of Construction Tech-
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urements needed for improving the representations and drawing me-
thods of architectural drawings by adopting BIM. Proceedings of
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Kwon, O. C., & Jo, C. W. (2008). A study on the improvement of 2D
digital drawing standards considering the paradigm shift to BIM.
Proceedings of Architectural Institute of Korea, Planning, 24, 49-57.
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design document creation and supply guideline (road and river).
South Korea: MLTM Press.
Oh, H. O., Jung, J. H., & Lee, J. C. (2013). A guideline for structural
drawings based on BIM. Proceedings of Architectural Institute of
Korea, Structure, 29, 39-46.
Seong, J. H., Chae, K. S., Choi, J. C., & Kim, K. C. (2009). A study on
extracting 2D drawings from the BIM model consid ering the Korean
standard for CAD drawings. In Conference Proceedings of Compu-
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South Korea: Computational Structural Engineering Institute Press.