AbstractUnderground piping remains one of the key uncertain infrastructures in urban development. Because they are buried underground without a clear vision, the management of the underground piping system is more complicated than other infrastructure. Their records are not usually fully available or accurate, and excavation to validate underground structures is often needed in infrastructure projects. Detection of unexpected obstacles may lead to project delay, increased time spent, and risk of damaging existing piping. The traditional underground piping system management relies on computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and historical empiricism. Still, it cannot meet the strict requirements of infrastructure management nowadays or make the management efficient and sustainable because of the technical limitations and conceptual obsolescence. Therefore, to address this issue, this paper proposes an innovative method that aims to manage the underground piping life cycle. This method is to develop a building information model (BIM) in a geographic information system (GIS) environment by integrating heterogeneous data from both BIM and GIS, which not only achieves three-dimensional (3D) visualization but also seamlessly connects to portfolios, programs, projects, and assets throughout the life cycle of urban underground piping. This is a critical development to integrate and analyze geometric and nongeometric information of aboveground and subsurface building assets and the surrounding environment to stimulate interaction with real-world context. This paper also introduces a case study in China to further prove the feasibility of this method and the format based on it in practice. In the case study, the proposed method is implemented together with a piping sensor to further illustrate the effectiveness of the method over trenchless detection and real-time monitoring for daily management of underground piping. Because the model is visible and the monitoring is in real time, the management would be straightforward. At the same time, this method can analyze, plan, and monitor activity, so the management of urban underground piping systems would become smart. Therefore, an efficient and sustainable management performance can be achieved. This method is meaningful for managing the urban underground piping system, especially for those with expansion, refurbishment, or maintenance for an urban underground piping system.

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