Contributed Talk

Towards generic BIM queries based on the IFC object model and graph theory

Eike Tauscher, Maximilian Wunsch, Kay Smarsly
Bauhaus-Universitaet Weimar, Germany


Building information modeling, widely used in the construction industry, has been a matter of growing interest in research in the past several years. Building information models (BIM), as opposed to traditional strategies, provide a more efficient way of planning for all participating parties. The object model of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is the most used open BIM. The IFC object model comprises a vast amount of potentially useful information, but it is often difficult to extract these information systematically. Existing solutions that are applied to retrieve specific information are usually based on object-oriented databases with predefined queries. However, the utilization of these queries or the definition of new queries requires a deep understanding of database technologies, and it implies profound knowledge of the IFC object model. This paper presents a generic approach towards information retrieval using the IFC object model, which is based on graph theory. Specifically, the internal relations of the IFC object model are used to setup a directed graph that serves as semantic data pool. As a result, it becomes possible to link and query relevant information generically. The presented approach is a promising concept that may serve as a basis for future developments of user-friendly and efficient BIM query languages that do not require expert knowledge.

ISSN 1611 - 4086 | © IKM 2015