digiMABS The digital future of road construction

With digiMABS, digitalisation has arrived in road construction. The digital method "digiMABS" aims to enable efficient analysis and evaluation of road infrastructure projects in the future.


  • Lead school(s) School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Institute Institute for Infrastructure and Environment IIU
  • Duration (planned) 01.04.2020 - 31.03.2023
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Nicolas Bueche
  • Head of project Dr. Clemens Kielhauser
  • Project staff Joël Lenk
  • Partner HEPIA, HES-SO Genève

Current Situation

Digitalisation is making a significant contribution to increasing productivity and quality in many sectors of the economy. In the construction industry, it is essentially driven by building information modelling (BIM). While the entire life cycle of a building can be simulated in structural engineering, a similarly powerful model is not yet available for civil engineering and road construction.

The planning, construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling of road infrastructure projects are complex. The reasons for this are the geometrically demanding alignment of roads, the invisibility of underground road layers, as well as their varying lifespan. With a data model that digitally interprets standards for all life cycle phases, road infrastructure projects can be quickly and reliably checked for conformity to standards. This avoids errors in execution and thus saves costs and resources.


The aim of the project is to develop a digital methodology for the efficient analysis and evaluation of road infrastructure projects (digiMABS). The data model to be developed for this purpose must be able to integrate data from different sources (database/GIS/CAD). Those VSS standards that are necessary to check road infrastructure projects for standard conformity will be identified and prepared for use in a knowledge-based system. This system and the data are made available on a central server. digiMABS also assesses the quality of different road infrastructure project variants.

This project creates the digiMABS module "Planning & Construction". After the project, the VSS transfers the methodology to the operation and maintenance and dismantling phases. Specific customer needs are taken into account through various licensing options for the flexible use of digiMABS. The separation of data model and knowledge of standards allows the integration of other sets of rules than those of the VSS and thus also dissemination abroad.


A good two years after the project was launched, the project is taking the next big step. The research team consisting of the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the Haute école du paysage, d'ingénierie et d'architecture de Genève, which is carrying out this project together with the VSS, has already been able to develop the basic system components, requirements, data formats and processing steps and will now transfer these to programming.

«We will further develop this project so that we can digitally manage the road infrastructure over its entire life cycle.»

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Bueche

«digiMABS prepares standards, codes and regulations quantitatively and checks whether a project is compliant with standards.»

Prof. Martin Stolz