Evaluation of the Opportunities and Limitations of Using IFC Models as Source of Building Metadata

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Structured information about the available components in each building is critical to build scalable and maintainable smart building applications. Recent work has proposed a solid knowledge base for what information is needed and how to represent the information as metadata models. However, populating metadata models with information is still an extensive process. Therefore, it is important to consider how other digital sources of information about a building can aid this process. Building information models, such as IFC, are used as a common digital representation throughout the design and construction of buildings. Therefore, IFC models hold the potential to provide many of the elements needed by a metadata model for a building. In this paper, we document to which extend this premise holds by quantifying the IFC model elements that can be used to populate a Brick metadata model, both according to the specification and the actual IFC models implementing that specification. Our results show that considering the specification 4.5% of the elements in an IFC model can map to an element of the Brick metadata model. However, when considering the data in actual IFC models of 20 buildings our results show that only 0.2% of the content can be mapped to Brick. We interview building industry professionals to put a context to those numbers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th Conference on Systems for Built Environments
EditorsGowri Sankar Ramachandran, Nipun Batra
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date7. Nov 2018
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5951-1
Publication statusPublished - 7. Nov 2018
Event5th Conference on Systems for Built Environments - Shenzen, China
Duration: 7. Nov 20188. Nov 2018
Conference number: 5


Conference5th Conference on Systems for Built Environments


  • Brick
  • IFC
  • Metadata
  • Smart Building Applications


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