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Integration of manufacturers' product data in BIM platforms using semantic web technologies
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Civil Engineering and Lighting Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9164-6485
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Civil Engineering and Lighting Science.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Department of Computing, Jönköping AI Lab (JAIL).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1303-9791
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Civil Engineering and Lighting Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4216-9165
2022 (English)In: Automation in Construction, ISSN 0926-5805, E-ISSN 1872-7891, Vol. 144, article id 104630Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As building information modeling (BIM) gains popularity in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, manufacturers are required to distribute their product specifications in digital product models. Currently, manufacturers mainly employ proprietary formats, such as BIM objects supplemented by PDF documents to represent their product data descriptions. However, these formats do not support flexible automated product search and data integration. This paperdescribes the use of Semantic Web technologies in combination with BIM-based visual programming language (VPL) to automatically integrate product data from external databases. To facilitate data integration, we introduced a method to semantically represent product data linked with the CEN/TS 17623:2021 standard using ontologies in web ontology language (OWL). The study has focused on the use case of a manufacturer of lighting products. Results show that building designers are able to execute a more efficient product search that satisfies their query requirements and returns suitable products of their choice from the manufacturer's database based on their requests. This approach eliminates the time-consuming and error-prone process of manually entering product data into BIM software.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022. Vol. 144, article id 104630
Keywords [en]
BIM, Information exchange, Product Data, Semantic Web technologies, Linked Data, Dynamo, Visual programming language, Standards
National Category
Building Technologies Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-56002DOI: 10.1016/j.autcon.2022.104630ISI: 000878542300002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85140790514Local ID: HOA;;1642671OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-56002DiVA, id: diva2:1642671
Note

Included in thesis in manuscript form.

Available from: 2022-03-07 Created: 2022-03-07 Last updated: 2023-08-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Integration of building product data with BIM – Semantic representation of product data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integration of building product data with BIM – Semantic representation of product data
2022 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The adoption and implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM), as technologies and processes, in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry marked a significant step forward in advanced digital transformation. One of the distinctive features of the AEC industry is that it necessitates a collaborative effort between several actors from different domains to realize building projects effectively. The involved actors employ different BIM platforms and tools that best suit the task they perform. In addition, the actors rely on one another for information to successfully perform their tasks indicating the crucial importance of digital collaboration and information exchanges between the involved actors.

Building product manufacturers are among the important actors in the AEC industry and digitizing how building product data is shared and exchanged is an essential factor for the success of digital BIM processes. The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is a widely used data schema for representing building information in a neutral format to support information exchanges between different digital tools. Currently, IFC is supported by several BIM applications employed in the industry and can successfully exchange geometric information of a product.

However, the IFC data schema does not cover explicit semantic definitions for domain-specific, innovative or multifunctional product data descriptions, making semantic enrichment of product data difficult. In addition, semantic queries, consistency checking, reasoning and automated data processing are challenging to apply on the IFC models. Several studies suggest using web-based standards and technologies, including the semantic web, to digitally manage and share information.

Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate how the semantic web technologies can support information interoperability and data integration processes between the manufacturing and building industries. As a proof of concept, a prototype is developed to investigate and demonstrate the feasibility of using the semantic web technologies for information exchanges.

The design science research methodology frames the research work presented in this thesis and guides the development and evaluation of the prototype. The prototype is evaluated, with industry representatives, based on product description requirements derived from the research problem and related studies. The outcome demonstrates the feasibility of applying the semantic web technologies in the AEC industry, implying the potential benefits the semantic web could provide in addressing the industry's long-standing information interoperability challenge.

Abstract [sv]

Implementeringen av Byggnads Information Modeller (BIM) har varit en katalysator för digitaliseringen inom samhällsbyggnadssektorn. En av de utmärkande egenskaperna hos samhällsbyggnadssektorn är att det krävs samarbete mellan ett stort antal aktörer, från olika domäner, för att effektivt realisera byggprojekt. De inblandade aktörerna använder oftast olika digitala verktyg, anpassade för de uppgifter aktören utför. De olika aktörerna är också helt beroende av de andra aktörernas information för att framgångsrikt kunna utföra sina uppgifter. Detta gör att ett väl fungerande digitalt samarbete och informationsutbyte är av avgörande betydelse.

Då byggnader och anläggningar till stor del består av produkter från tillverkningsindustrin så är tillverkarna en kategori viktiga aktörer inom samhällsbyggnadssektorn och digitaliseringen av produktdata är en väsentlig faktor för digitaliseringen av sektorn. Informationsutbyten mellan aktörerna sker idag främst med hjälp av Industry Foundation Classes (IFC).

IFC täcker inte explicita semantiska definitioner för domänspecifika, innovativa eller multifunktionella produktdatabeskrivningar vilket gör det svårt att semantiskt berika produktdata. Dessutom är sökning efter produktdata, med hjälp av semantiska frågor, och automatiserad databehandling utmanande i dagsläget. P g a dessa problem föreslår flera studier att man bör applicera standarder och tekniker framtagna för WWW, inklusive teknologier från området semantiska nätverk, för att digitalt hantera och dela information.

Syftet med denna forskning är att undersöka hur dessa teknologier kan stödja informationsutbytet mellan tillverknings- och byggindustrin.

Forskningen utfördes enligt forskningsmetodiken Design Science Research (DSR). En prototyp har implementerats. Prototypens funktionalitet och användbarhet utvärderades tillsammans med branschrepresentanter. Dessutom utvärderades prototypen med hjälp av en kravlista som utformades med hjälp av vetenskaplig litteratur inom området. Resultaten från utvärderingen visar att teknologin från området semantiska nätverk kan användas för att informationsutbyten av produktdata mellan tillverknings- och byggindustrier. Resultaten visar också att denna teknologi kan lösa vissa av de problem som länge varit en utmaning i samhällsbyggnadssektorn.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2022. p. 59
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 067
Keywords
BIM, Information exchange, Product data, Semantic web technologies, Linked Data, Design science, BIM, Informationsutbyte, Produktdata, Semantiska Nätverk, Länkad Data, DSR
National Category
Building Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-56005 (URN)978-91-87289-72-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2022-04-01, Gjuterisalen, E1405, Tekniska Högskolan, Jönköping University, Jönköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2022-03-07 Created: 2022-03-07 Last updated: 2023-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Kebede, Rahel ZelekeMoscati, AnnikaTan, HeJohansson, Peter

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