Project

Semantic Construction Project Engineering (SCOPE)

Goal: With regard to the use of renewable energies, facades offer great potential. Due to the existing and commonly unused facade surfaces, conversion surfaces can be created by using multi-functional facade components, especially in heavily populated areas. However, the use of the multi-functional components with current BIM-methods is complex and expensive, which is why the usage of façade surfaces for energy generation in urban areas has not been able to prevail on a large scale so far. The reasons for the complexity of applying such components are numerous, but the main points to name are the strong need for cross-company and cross-disciplinary collaboration, the lack of existing or insufficiently supported digital product descriptions and the flood of information generated by such complex products. Although these challenges are particularly evident when considering multi-functional components, they generally affect the entire construction process.

Within the research project SCOPE (Semantic Construction Project Engineering) approaches that relate to the product and building life cycle are developed. At the center of these approaches stands an application-independent data management, which will facilitate collaboration between different project partners using different software applications. In order to achieve this, schematics for the description of product and project data as well as concepts for a decentralized data management (e. g. for a product catalogue) are developed. To ensure data security, said data will be provided with an access rights management system, and interfaces for secure data exchange are defined. To allow an easy integration of the product and building model into existing software, preprocessing routines are designed to reduce information and transform data. These should have a modular structure to allow a high re-usability and a wide field of application. The developed methods and concepts are implemented demonstratively and used in example projects. Findings on possibilities for improvement identified from these test runs will be taken into account in the course of the project within iterative steps for the further development of the methods.

The research project will be jointly conducted by the Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE, the Institute of Numerical Methods and Informatics in Civil Engineering at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Ed. Züblin AG edited. In addition, associated partners from the considered disciplines as well as ITC Engineering GmbH & Co.KG are involved in software development.

The joint research project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as awarding authority based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.

https://www.projekt-scope.de/

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Project log

Christian-Dominik Thiele
added 3 research items
Model checking is an important task in the BIM collaboration process to prevent expensive planning errors. The submodels of the individual disciplines are transferred into a coordination model. Part of the transfer is a conversion into an exchange format. The exchange format allows the import into the model checking application. In the model checking application routines are performed to check the model against collisions and building regulation violations. During the transfer into the exchange format, information may get lost, especially with parameters that are not yet part of the exchange format supported by the authoring software. In recent years, ontologies have been investigated as a feasible approach to combine the submodels, since they model data in a flexible manner. Hence in the conversion process to an application-specific ontology, the data structure of the submodels can widely persist, which could lead to smaller information loss in comparison to converting the data into a standardized exchange format. The evaluation of the geometric properties of the building is indispensable for detecting and analyzing collisions. The basis for the connection of the different sub models could be the BOT (Building Topology Ontology), which defines the topological structure of a building and can be used to represent further building information by linking it with other ontologies. The relevant geometric relationships for the collision model checks have to be derived with a geometry kernel. For the research in this paper pythonOCC, a wrapper for the geometry kernel Open CASCADE is used with the Semantic Web's own query language SPARQL, queries can be formulated to analyze the collision relationships in combination with other semantic information. These queries can be used to verify model correctness. By connecting the information from different domains, more sophisticated tests are possible than in an exchange format dependent model checking application. The goal is to integrate the developed functionalities into a project platform. This platform is based on an extensive project description in an ontology-based data model and is connected to different authoring tools for the exchange of information.
The advancing digitization in the building industry highlights weak points in the digital infra-structure. Due to heterogeneous software landscapes, cross-application data exchange is a frequently criticized process in particular, for which no satisfying solution exists so far. Open and application-independent data formats are necessary, and therefore the current research project SCOPE focuses on developing such formats by applying Semantic Web Technologies. This article proposes an approach that enriches a graph with relevant information for structural design and provides the enhanced description as a calculation basis for structural analysis software. A novel ontology, the TDY-Ontology, is designed to connect geometry descriptions with structural-specific semantic information, like the standard of the analysis to be executed, bearing arrangements, bedding of floor slabs or the definition of joints and loads.
The advancing digitalization in the building industry highlights weak points in the digital infrastructure. Due to heterogeneous software landscapes, cross-application data exchange, in particular, is a frequently criticized process for which no satisfying solution exists, so far. To overcome interoperability difficulties, open and application-independent data formats are necessary and the communication between software applications needs to be standardized. For the first aspect, the current research project SCOPE investigates the extent to which Semantic Web can be used as an alternative to conventional approaches. The ontologies developed and applied in the research project focus on geometry descriptions, the linking of geometric and non-geometric contents and the abstract description of building products. The second, overarching aspect is addressed by defining an underlying architecture. Hence, a microservice structure is proposed that allows the data to be extended and enriched with the help of the aforementioned ontologies. DOI: 10.14279/depositonce-9977
Anna Wagner
added a research item
The exchange of construction-related data over the Web via Semantic Web Technologies is gaining interest in current research. However, most research focuses on non-geometric data, neglecting the description of geometry. While several methods to include geometry descriptions into a Semantic Web context exist, no uniform approach or general recommendation exists for the endeavour of describing building components in their entirety – including geometric descriptions –, leading to an increased suspension in applying Semantic Web Technologies in the construction domain. To therefore ease the description of geometric data in a Semantic Web context, we conduct an extensive literature review and analyse the identified, oftentimes isolated implementations for geometry descriptions in that context, with focus on requirements set by domain-specific use cases. Based on this analysis, we group the currently available implementations into approaches and compare them to offer means for deciding on which approach or implementation suits individual use cases. The identified approaches vary in their depth of the geometry description's integration into the Semantic Web and are subsequently studied regarding their overall aptness and characteristics in consideration of their application for future industry and research projects. In respect of the ongoing research in the field of the application of Semantic Web Technologies, not only in the construction domain, this article poses as an important foundation by giving a clear overview of existing implementations and relevant open research questions. Having this overview, the suspense for adapting to Semantic Web methods for describing geometries can be overcome by users more easily, while software developers can start to connect their clients' use cases to suitable approaches and related implementations to represent geometry in a Semantic Web context.
Anna Wagner
added a research item
This is my PhD defence on the topic of Linked Building Product Data and the three ontologies I developed therefore: The Building Product Ontology (BPO) for generic product descriptions, the Ontology for Managing Geometry (OMG) for relating non-geometric objects to geometry descriptions, and the Ontology for Parametric Systems to define equation-based parametric systems
Anna Wagner
added a research item
Digital planning methods are changing the needs of construction stakeholders. It should be as easy as possible to compare product data from different manufacturers and integrate them into the planning model without detours. Web technologies not only offer great potential to enhance existing ways of working, but also open up new business models for product manufacturers in the service and IOT domains. However, manufacturers have a legitimate interest to retain control over the disclosure of their product data. Therefore, it is often only available offline and on demand. Of technical interest are therefore solutions, in which a large part of the data autonomy and access control remains on the side of the manufacturer, but the project planner is allowed to search the product data of all manufacturers like an interconnected system. Frequently, such a searchability is ensured by a uniform data schema and storage of the data in a central storage location, a so-called data warehouse. Nonetheless, this stands in contrast to the natural interest of the manufacturer for data sovereignty. This paper focuses on systems that can replace centralized data storage with distributed data management on manufacturer-owned servers, without losing accessibility for planners. Manufacturers should have as much freedom of implementation as possible when establishing the security concept, modeling their data and integrating the proposed approach into their operating procedure.
Anna Wagner
added an update
After the publication of our paper on the Building Product Ontology, we also created a public repository containing the releases of the BPO: https://github.com/tudaIIB/bpo
Feedback, forks and applications are highly appreciated !
Also, we are currently working on updating the HTML documentation to the current version, V1.1 (currently still for V1.0)
 
Anna Wagner
added a research item
With the current trend of using Linked Data to describe buildings during their entire lifecycles, the importance of product descriptions in a Semantic Web context is growing while most product ontologies are designed for mass-produced goods of little variance. But especially in the construction industry, products are often innovative and individually manufactured and previous attempts to model them with ontologies failed to include meaningful alignments to already existing approaches. Therefore, this paper gives an overview of existing product ontologies in general and analyses previous approaches in more detail to identify potential improvements that can be made. Based on this analysis, this paper presents the Building Product Ontology (BPO), including its concepts and alignments. To obtain a modular ontology, the BPO focuses on the non-geometric description without defining templates for certain product types and includes concepts to model assembly structures, interconnections of product components, and complex properties and property values as value-value pairs or properties with value ranges. The BPO enables manufacturers to freely model their products while still benefitting from the Semantic Web in respects of findability and availability of product data. By going through the given examples and demonstrations, inexperienced users are supported to apply the BPO and exploit its benefits.
Anna Wagner
added an update
Last week, we presented the Building Product Ontology (BPO) at the 7th Linked Data in Architecture and Construction Workshop that took place in Lisbon, Portugal. The ontology aims to introduce concepts for describing (any) building product's structure, including its defined property values, assembly-structure and interconnections.
To achieve concise and modular ontologies, we suggest to apply concepts of the BPO with individually chosen additional ontologies, i.e. for describing geometry or taxonomies.
You can find the ontology here: https://w3id.org/bpo
 
Anna Wagner
added 2 project references
Anna Wagner
added a project goal
With regard to the use of renewable energies, facades offer great potential. Due to the existing and commonly unused facade surfaces, conversion surfaces can be created by using multi-functional facade components, especially in heavily populated areas. However, the use of the multi-functional components with current BIM-methods is complex and expensive, which is why the usage of façade surfaces for energy generation in urban areas has not been able to prevail on a large scale so far. The reasons for the complexity of applying such components are numerous, but the main points to name are the strong need for cross-company and cross-disciplinary collaboration, the lack of existing or insufficiently supported digital product descriptions and the flood of information generated by such complex products. Although these challenges are particularly evident when considering multi-functional components, they generally affect the entire construction process.
Within the research project SCOPE (Semantic Construction Project Engineering) approaches that relate to the product and building life cycle are developed. At the center of these approaches stands an application-independent data management, which will facilitate collaboration between different project partners using different software applications. In order to achieve this, schematics for the description of product and project data as well as concepts for a decentralized data management (e. g. for a product catalogue) are developed. To ensure data security, said data will be provided with an access rights management system, and interfaces for secure data exchange are defined. To allow an easy integration of the product and building model into existing software, preprocessing routines are designed to reduce information and transform data. These should have a modular structure to allow a high re-usability and a wide field of application. The developed methods and concepts are implemented demonstratively and used in example projects. Findings on possibilities for improvement identified from these test runs will be taken into account in the course of the project within iterative steps for the further development of the methods.
The research project will be jointly conducted by the Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE, the Institute of Numerical Methods and Informatics in Civil Engineering at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Ed. Züblin AG edited. In addition, associated partners from the considered disciplines as well as ITC Engineering GmbH & Co.KG are involved in software development.
The joint research project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as awarding authority based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.