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This paper describes how a building information modelling (BIM)-based approach for building circulation enables us to change the process of building design in terms of its computational representation and processes, focusing on the conceptual modelling and representation of circulation within buildings. BIM has been designed for use by several BIM authoring tools, in particular with the widely known interoperable industry foundation classes (IFCs), which follow an object-oriented data modelling methodology. Advances in BIM authoring tools, using space objects and their relations defined in an IFC's schema, have made it possible to model, visualize and analyse circulation within buildings prior to their construction. Agent-based circulation has long been an interdisciplinary topic of research across several areas, including design computing, computer science, architectural morphology, human behaviour and environmental psychology. Such conventional approaches to building circulation are centred on navigational knowledge about built environments, and represent specific circulation paths and regulations. This paper, however, places emphasis on the use of 'space objects' in BIM-enabled design processes rather than on circulation agents, the latter of which are not defined in the IFCs' schemas. By introducing and reviewing some associated research and projects, this paper also surveys how such a circulation representation is applicable to the analysis of building circulation-related rules.
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BIM-enabled Conceptual Modelling and
Representation of Building Circulation
Regular Paper
Jin Kook Lee
and Mi Jeong Kim
1 Department of Interior Architecture Design, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Housing and Interior Design, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
* Corresponding author E-mail:
Received 24 May 2013; Accepted 05 Mar 2014
DOI: 10.5772/58440
© 2014 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract This paper describes how a building information
modelling (BIM)-based approach for building circulation
enables us to change the process of building design in
terms of its computational representation and processes,
focusing on the conceptual modelling and representation
of circulation within buildings. BIM has been designed
for use by several BIM authoring tools, in particular with
the widely known interoperable industry foundation
classes (IFCs), which follow an object-oriented data
modelling methodology. Advances in BIM authoring
tools, using space objects and their relations defined in an
IFC’s schema, have made it possible to model, visualize
and analyse circulation within buildings prior to their
construction. Agent-based circulation has long been an
interdisciplinary topic of research across several areas,
including design computing, computer science,
architectural morphology, human behaviour and
environmental psychology. Such conventional
approaches to building circulation are centred on
navigational knowledge about built environments, and
represent specific circulation paths and regulations. This
paper, however, places emphasis on the use of ‘space
objects’ in BIM-enabled design processes rather than on
circulation agents, the latter of which are not defined in
the IFCs’ schemas. By introducing and reviewing some
associated research and projects, this paper also surveys
how such a circulation representation is applicable to the
analysis of building circulation-related rules.
Keywords Building Information Modelling (BIM), Industry
Foundation Classes (IFCs), Space Object, Building
circulation, Conceptual modelling, Circulatio, Rules
1. Introduction
Building information modelling (BIM) has impacted
broadly on the architecture, engineering, construction
and facility management (AEC-FM) industries and their
associated work processes. BIM can be regarded as a
‘process’ because it designates the holistic environment
required and the informational technology applied to
produce, maintain, control and apply BIM throughout the
entire building lifecycle. Experiences, lessons learned and
improvements made have been actively shared and
discussed through various industry- and government-
driven BIM projects, whether completed or in progress [1,
2]. From the perspective of BIM-enabled building design,
it has been designed for use by several BIM authoring
tools, in particular the widely known interoperable
Jin Kook Lee and Mi Jeong Kim: BIM-enabled Conceptual
Modelling and Representation of Building Circulation
Int J Adv Robot Syst, 2014, 11:127 | doi: 10.5772/58440
International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
industry foundation classes (IFCs), which follow an
object-oriented data modelling methodology. Advances
in BIM authoring tools have made it possible to model
and visualize circulation within buildings in an
automated way prior to construction, by using space
objects and their relations defined in IFC schemes [1, 4].
Among the various applications of BIM, this paper points
out how architectural design could be improved by BIM,
placing emphasis on the use of ‘space objects’ in the BIM-
enabled design process. One of the biggest
methodological differences in using the BIM process in
place of the conventional CAD (computer-aided design)
process in architectural design is the shift from ‘geometric
shape design’ to ‘information modelling’ [3]. The term
‘information’, here, obviously includes geometric shape
data, usually in three-dimensional forms. As shown in
Figure 1, the difference is more clearly specified when the
building information is subdivided according to the
perspective of modelling a ‘building object’ and its
‘properties’ [3, 5]. Figure 1 also illustrates how BIM has
facilitated the modelling and representation of building
circulation within buildings, thanks to rich information
defined in a given BIM model. The group of ‘rectangular
shapes’ in a conventional computer-aided design and
drafting (CADD) model does not have any circulation-
related data per se, while ‘space objects’ have their
topological connections as a fundamental data source of
the spatial network. In this paper, we tackle circulation
issues enabled by ‘space objects’ in a BIM model, rather
than conventional CAD-based circulation analysis or
visualization. As one of the most important building
objects, a space object delivers spatial information that is
reusable in the building lifecycle, even in the early phase
of design [6]. The relation between spaces is defined in
the BIM model, and the adjacency data between spaces
defined in the model is automatically generated. This
dataset is the main source of information required to
compute circulation within buildings.
Thus, in this paper, we use a BIM model when tackling
the conceptual modelling and representation issues of
circulation within buildings and their associated rules.
This paper avoids solving a given specific problem or
proposing a totally new finding that lies beyond the
scope of the work. Also, this paper describes building
circulation and elements within the scheme of IFC in the
perspective of building objects; therefore, some entities
that are not defined in IFC - such as pedestrians - have
been ignored or substituted with space objects. However,
this intrinsic limitation has contributed to the surveying
of several former research and development projects
partially conducted by the authors [2, 3, 5, 6, and 7], and
to building the software-independent and generic
approaches to the conceptual modelling and
representation of building circulation. This paper has a
potential impact on modelling such generalized concepts
in order to develop further applications.
2. Background
2.1 Circulation within Buildings
In the AEC-FM field, the domain of building circulation
modelling and its representation is of special interest to
several participants. Architects and designers need to
express their design intent using spatial planning
programs; building owners and occupants need to foresee
circulation patterns within buildings; and design
evaluators need to assess building circulation according
to intended circulation. In addition to some qualitative
factors of circulation representation, we emphasize two
aspects of circulation representation methods. The first is
to explicitly describe the spatial topology of circulation
between two spaces, and the second aspect is to denote
measured walking distances in a precise manner.
Obviously, many people involved in a building design
project are familiar with conventional topological graphs
on a building floor plan. For example, a bubble diagram
for a space program denotes the adjacency of
programmed spaces or zones in the early phase of design.
It is a well-known topological graph, and one of the
pragmatic, metric, graph-based approaches; its algorithm
was developed by [7].
Figure 1. A space object and its properties for BIM-enabled
circulation modelling and representation: from a CADD model
to a BIM model
2.2 Circulation Research in a Spatial Morphology Area
Within the AEC-FM domain, access and the topology of
spatial networks have their own fields of study, called
‘spatial morphology’ and ‘space syntax’. The general idea
Int J Adv Robot Syst, 2014, 11:127 | doi: 10.5772/58440
is that spaces can be broken down into components,
analysed as networks of choices, and then represented as
maps and graphs that describe the relative connectivity
and integration of those spaces. This has since grown to
become a tool used around the world in a variety of
research projects and design applications in the fields of
architecture, interior design, urban design, planning,
transport, and so on. In general, the analysis uses one of
the many software programs that allow researchers to
analyse the graphs of one (or more) of the primary spatial
components. In this paper, some of the interesting issues
in space planning within buildings are tackled based on
these related approaches and applications, but with the
primary focus on the conceptual modelling and
visualization of circulation. In addition, the ‘spatial
component’ here means the space object defined in a
given BIM model.
Figure 2. Example representation of circulation paths using a
graph structure where each node represents a space object
2.3 Graph and Information Visualization
The visualization of relational data is important, but more
fundamental and critical in display efficiency is the way
in which information is visually translated and encoded.
The value of visualizing such data emanates from the fact
that the perception of visual information and patterns is
an enhanced intrinsic characteristic in people, as opposed
to the exhaustive search for corresponding patterns in
alphanumeric datasets. Graph theory-based visualization,
as shown in Figure 2, is an example of the visualization of
relational data that facilitates navigation through the
visual representation of that data. It is an increasingly
significant area of research that has been widely
implemented in many applications in order to view large
and complex networks.
Palmer and Rock [8] demonstrated a basic aspect of node-
link diagrams through an experiment. They introduced
the gestalt principle of connectedness as a key issue that
supersedes proximity, size, colour and shape,
perceptually. People tend to perceive nodes that are
linked by line drawings as belonging together, much
more than nodes that are closer in proximity or share the
same colour or shape. The results from this experiment
strongly support the value of the node-link diagram -
where edges are drawn as lines between nodes - as an
effective method of representation.
3. Graph-based Circulation Representations
Graph theory is an effective way to manipulate and
represent spatial problems in fundamental building
design processes in order to visualize this kind of
information. It should be noted that graph-based systems
primarily have two simple, yet very different,
approaches: 1) a building design process enhanced by
graph theory, and 2) a graph theory-based analysis of
predefined building designs. The former approach
describes design-oriented examples, while the latter is
mostly studied for developing building evacuation
models in fire and egress conditions [9, 10]. Our subject
here is the latter. We describe below an overview of the
two approaches, and review the BIM-enabled graph
generation and analysis of circulation.
3.1 Design-oriented Representations
Werner et al. [11] classify navigational knowledge using
route graphs in terms of various agents. The graph-based
approach to circulation and navigational knowledge has
been acknowledged by many researchers because of its
simplicity and efficiency. Architects use graphs in the
form of freehand sketches, such as bubble diagrams, to
represent space-to-space relationships in the early phase
of design. Pioneering researchers seeking to adopt graph
theory in space planning include Eastman [12, 13], who
developed a graph theory-based system for floor plan
generation in the early design phase, and Roth, who
researched a method to convert adjacency graphs to a
floor plan [14].
The previous systems represent information based on the
topological relations within spaces in early concept
design phases. Topologically represented graphs provide
spatial adjacency and connectivity information. Precise
metric information, such as area, volume or distance, is
unsuited for representation by such topological graphs.
This detailed geometrical data could be represented by a
graph structure, mainly controlled by the designer’s
intentions. Hashimshony described this process as three
phases of architectural design [15]: a programmatic phase,
a topological phase and a geometrical phase.
3.2 Analysis-oriented Representations
We focus on a given building model, where graphs are
generated based on the predefined geometry of the model
rather than the prediction or observation of agents’
General Representation of bi-directional
Circulation using Graph Structure:
G: Graph, V: Vertex, E: Edge
G = <V, E>
V = <A, B, C, D, E, F, G>
E = <h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o>
Jin Kook Lee and Mi Jeong Kim: BIM-enabled Conceptual
Modelling and Representation of Building Circulation
movements. Literature from the architecture,
environment and behaviour, space syntax, and spatial
cognition areas provides insights on issues of interest,
such as reflecting human behaviour in graph-based
representations, as well as providing a basis for enhanced
perceptual and cognitive aspects of graph visualization.
Bafna introduced the visibility-based isovist and its
applications [16], while Turner devised an algorithmic
definition of the axial map for an isovist [17]. An isovist
denotes the area visible from a given location in a floor
plan, and its line-based representation is an axial map.
We observe that people generally move from one place to
another following these axial lines because they are
visible paths, and they tend to walk following an easy
and efficient path. In other words, the most ‘human-like’
walking trace will follow the shortest, easiest and most
visible path(s). Calculating walking distances based on
these path lines would provide more accuracy as well as
better visualization. Accordingly, [7] has researched and
implemented just such a metric graph-based circulation
representation method. This is shown in Figure 3, which
also includes other types of graph representations. This is
one of the BIM-enabled circulation visualizations.
Figure 3. Various graph-based representations of circulation
between two spaces. The bottom-right one shows the metric
graph structure ([7], modified).
4. BIM-enabled Circulation Representation
4.1 Fundamental Specification of a Circulation Graph
There are several useful aspects of building circulation
reflecting various of the representation methods and
approaches reviewed in the former section. Given the fact
that BIM models provide rich spatial and technical data for
generating circulation information, we utilize the
previously presented issues in order to informally describe
specifications of BIM-enabled circulation graphs, as follows:
- Building model-independent representation: the graph
represents people movement paths in any given
building model in a consistent way.
- Building object-oriented representation: the graph
represents a building model-centred circulation
model, mostly determined by building design.
Therefore, circulation factors should be considered
(e.g., circulation rules defined in design guidelines)
rather than a free agent-based circulation
representation or simulation.
- BIM-enabled representation: this inherits highly
advanced privileges from the BIM-enabled features
using a well-defined IFC.
- Representation reflecting human behavioural factors:
the graph represents the most frequently shown
movement pattern of people; for example, people
tend to take the shortest, easiest and most visible
paths, as reviewed in the former sections.
4.2 Circulation Information derived from an IFC
Space information is required in order to handle a
building's circulation issues. The space information can
be represented by name, geometric shape, boundary
walls and doors. A BIM-enabled design process allows
architects to define this information explicitly. Lee [5]
shows those objects and their properties according to four
different criteria: basic (given) properties, relations,
computed relations, and computed and derived
properties. BIM tools utilize this data model to consider
data sharing and the transferring of building information.
Figure 4 provides an example of the description of the
relationship between space and boundary design
components in terms of the IFC schema. The
IfcRelSpaceBoundary entity defines the physical or virtual
delimiter of a space as its relationship to the surrounding
building elements. The entity is defined as an objectified
relationship that handles the element-to-space relationship
by objectifying the relationship between an element
(IfcElement) and the space (IfcSpace) it bounds.
Figure 4. Simplified diagram illustrating how IFC data contains a
spatial topology: The IfcRelSpaceBoundary entity defines
relational information between spaces
As shown in a simple example model in Figure 5, a space
called ‘Conference Room is enclosed by four walls and
three doors. This example is represented as physical data in
Table 1. It shows a physical file format based on ISO/STEP
Part 21 [18, 19]. The physical data can provide information
about space and boundary elements, and also spatial
connectivity data - that is, how a space is adjacent to other
spaces – in order to retrieve a spatial topology.
5. Conceptual Modelling of Circulation
5.1 Definition of Circulation
Inter-space circulation simply means a state of movement
from a particular space to another. All these spaces are in
Int J Adv Robot Syst, 2014, 11:127 | doi: 10.5772/58440
a building - that is, within a built environment - and they
are defined by users utilizing space objects in the BIM-
authoring tools. A route is a concatenation of directed
Route Segments from one place to another [11]. A route
segment consists of two spaces - a start and a target space
- which are connected by a path. Mathematically, the
number of traversal types in general for all paths between
two nodes is infinite in number. In this paper, all paths P
are reduced to closed sub-paths P’ and other iterated
paths P”. A path has no repeated edges or vertices.
#1866=IFCSPACE(‘Conference Room',.ELEMENT.,.INTERNAL
#1332=IFCDOOR('Single-Flush:36" x 84":36" x 84":1100' …);
#1271=IFCDOOR('Single-Flush:36" x 84":36" x 84":1098' …);
#4240=IFCDOOR('Single-Flush:36" x 84":36" x 84":4988' …); ……
Table 1. IFC schema and its instantiation for circulation-related
IFC entities reflecting the example in Figure 5
Using spatial topology data defined in a given BIM model
(refer to Figure 4), circulation can be represented in a
graph structure - as shown in the example in Figure 2 -
and especially as a digraph, which has movement
direction. Put simply, this kind of conceptual modelling
concerns the relations between space objects, which are
represented by the nodes in its graph structure, and a
certain group of edges represents a circulation path.
Based on the example in Figure 2, the circulation path
and circulation elements could be defined as follows.
A circulation path P means a valid path:
P = Pall – Pinvalid
where Pinvalid denotes closed sub-paths, repeated and
cycle paths.
Valid paths from A to G:
P1 = <A, h, B, i, C, l, F, o, G>
P2 = <A, h, B, j, D, m, G>
P3 = <A, h, B, i, C, k, E, n, F, o, G>
Circulation C between A and G consists of all valid paths:
C = <P1, P2, P3>
5.2 Circulation Rules and Rule-compatible Circulation
For architectural design, several rules regulate numerous
paths between two spaces. They are called ‘circulation
rules’. Well-known rules exist for certain types of
buildings based on standard manuals and guides, such as
a generic building design guide, a specific building
design guide (e.g., hospitals, government office
buildings), a safety-related code, a code for disabled
people, general design guides suggested by architects and
researchers, and so on. Our emphasis in building design
is to have paths that not only meet all the rules but which
are also efficient. 'Efficient paths' has a number of
qualitative and quantitative interpretations. However,
from the computational perspective, this means “the
shortest path” between two spaces. There could be
several more efficient paths, such as the simplest path, the
path most recommended by a designer, the path which is
the most visible to (or most appropriate for) a given agent,
and so on.
Figure 5. An example of the entity “IfcRelSpaceBoundary” and
related entities
Circulation rules can employ any definition of spatial
connectivity, but we handle them as a base point of the
conceptual modelling for the use of circulation
representation. One of the most important applications of
the circulation representation will be the analysis of building
circulation. The following are some circulation rule examples
from various references available on the Internet:
- “Visitors should have a simple and direct route to each
patient nursing unit without penetrating other
functional areas.” [Whole Building Design Guide
- “The public must enter the court building lobby
through a weapon screening point.” [US Court
Design Guide, by Department of Justice, US]
- “Each patient shall have access to a toilet room
without having to enter the general corridor area.”
[AIA Hospital design guide, by American Institute
of Architects, ’97 edition]
- “Judge's chambers are accessed from restricted
circulation with convenient access to the
courtrooms.” [US Court Design Guide, by
Department of Justice, US]
Figure 6. Entity-Relation model representing relationships
between a person and a space
Jin Kook Lee and Mi Jeong Kim: BIM-enabled Conceptual
Modelling and Representation of Building Circulation
5.3 Circulation Agents
As shown in 5.2, circulation rules in natural language
describe specific spatial relationships, and can be
formalized in a certain way based on the relationship
between space objects. Figure 6 shows this agent-oriented
relationship using the Entity-Relation (ER) schema.
The class ‘PERSON’ in Figure 6 can be defined with
various properties. Those person entities are the agents
traversing each space. Each person has their own access
level in a building, and based on their organization and
modifier, their additional conditions and roles for
accessing spaces are determined and regulated. Natural
language sentences contain some simple person-noun
descriptors, but each person-noun should be translated
into an exactly defined person-entity. As this paper’s
scope lies within the scheme of IFC, the person-entity
type is not supported by the IFC as the data structure of
BIM. Every person-subject rule should be translated into
space-subject sentences based on a person’s given
attributes. For example, a person’s access level
determines all those spaces that he/she can access.
According to pragmatic project developments, most
agent-oriented properties could be migrated into space
5.4 Role of Intermediate Spaces in Circulation
No person entities have been defined in the building
information model scheme, as mentioned. For this reason,
the spaces and related circulation rule-oriented model are
shown in Figure 7. The basic unit of circulation consists of
at least one each of start space (SS) and a target space (TS),
performed by a person based on his/her specific task that
required the person to change his/her location. The
movement may require zero, one or more intermediate
spaces (ISs). Logically, a circulation is a sequence of direct
accesses of those two spaces, SS and TS. However, in
most building environments, intermediate spaces and
their various conditions determine a certain circulation
rule. This is an elementary fact for representing a basic
circulation rule in terms of an intermediate class; the
different types of intermediate space connections give rise
to the different general circulation types described in
Figure 7.
Figure 7. A circulation rule involves at least two space objects as
a SS and TS, and has intermediate space objects in a many-to-
many relationship
In terms of the relation between SS-IS-TS, at least two or
more space objects will be involved in a single circulation
path. The topological relationship of these spaces can be
defined as in Figure 8. In circulation rules, most
constraints and rules are generated by intermediate
spaces and their properties that define their conditions, as
well as the properties transferred from the person-entity
(see Figure 6).
Based on this kind of graph structure, architects usually
analyse the spatial network in terms of the relationship of
building spaces. The most well-known concept is ‘spatial
depth’. The depth of one space from another can be
directly measured by counting the intervening number of
spaces between two spaces [16].
The number of ISs defines the topological spatial depth
between the SS and the TS. In this structure, spatial depth
D is easily acquired, as follows:
D = nIS + 1
In this paper, although our focus is on the conceptual
modelling and representation of circulation in terms of BIM -
as well as a topological spatial network graph - a metric
spatial graph should be considered for property modelling.
Contrary to the topological graph, if we need to calculate the
metric distance from SS to TS, all the circulation paths
should have a distance property based on their metric
graph edge weight, which simply means its length. For
instance, the metric distance M is acquired as follows [7]:
M = Σ (dIS) + dSS + dTS
where d is the distance (length) of each direct access path
within spaces.
Additionally, the cardinality of the circulation-involved
spaces is important to retrieve their relations and
evaluation results. For example, as described in some
circulation rule examples in section 5.2, SS or IS can be
one or many cardinalities. In all cases, a circulation model
should be satisfied with a given number of space objects
for the appropriate handling of the rules. Table 2
overviews this relationship.
Num of SS SS IS TS Evaluated Result
At least one 1 0 1 TS is directly accessible from SS
At least one 1 1 1 TS is accessible only through an IS
At least one 1 * 1 TS is accessible from SS
Any (all) * 1 1
TS is accessible only through an IS
from all SS
Any (all) * * 1 TS is accessible from all SS
Table 2. Instance number of Start Space (SS) and Intermediate
Space (IS) for accessing a Target Space (TS)
Int J Adv Robot Syst, 2014, 11:127 | doi: 10.5772/58440
Figure 8. Types of inter-space circulation based on the
topological relationship: SS-IS-TS
Figure 9. ER model for a building circulation rule: a generalized
approach to building circulation and rules
Figure 10. Three layers of the conceptual modelling of building
circulation for its applications
5.5 Generalization and Conceptualization of Building Circulation
by Translating an Entity-Relation into Space Objects
In the ER modelling technique, a circulation rule involves
the space classes SS and TS and potentially many ISs, as
shown in Figure 9. A person traverses space objects and a
person determines his/her own accessible security level
based on his/her access level. Thus, a given person-based
rule could be translated to a space object-based rule. For
instance, a person class ‘Nurse’ may access all public
areas and restricted areas in all spaces of a certain kind of
healthcare unit. ‘Nurse’ has a role of ‘traverse’ within
spaces, and it could be translated to the role ‘accessible
from/to’ of all spaces he/she can access. From the
perspective of agent-role relations, another modelling
technique called ‘object-role modelling’ has been popular
[20]. The main entities of circulation rules have their own
rules, and could be represented as in Figure 9. After
translating non-IFC entities in this ER model into the
relation between associated space objects, it could be the
conceptual and generic part of the building circulation
representation. In Figure 10, the top layer shows this
conceptual model layer that is derived from various types
of circulation rules. In this layer, all issues should be
translated into space objects without persons or other
different types that are not defined in an IFC scheme. The
bottom layer in Figure 10 is a BIM model instance layer,
and it depicts an actual given model that can contains any
type of space object translated in the top layer. The
middle layer would be the implementation layer, which is
in charge of mapping between the conceptual model and
any given model instances.
6. Conclusion
In this paper, we reviewed the representation of
circulation within buildings based on the information set
defined in the given BIM models at a lower level of its
conceptual modelling. As circulation rules always refer to
persons, most of the properties defined in the person-
entity could be transferred into one of the space objects
involved in a specific circulation path for modelling
purposes. This enables us to translate many agent-
oriented circulation rules to the BIM-enabled space
object-based rules. The space objects defined in a given
BIM model, which have not been defined before BIM,
play the most important role in the conceptual modelling
and representation of circulation and its rules. Below are
the elementary facts in terms of the relation between a
generic circulation rule and space objects:
- A circulation rule has at least one start space and
target space.
- A circulation rule has zero, one, or many intermediate
- An intermediate space condition regulates access level:
‘public’, ‘restricted’ or other properties.
BIM Model Instance
Conceptual Model
of interest
Property set Property set i
Space Zone
Various relations & conditions
Spatial network
get space objects get space properties get circulation spaces
Translated into space objects
Conceptual Modeling of Building Circulation
Jin Kook Lee and Mi Jeong Kim: BIM-enabled Conceptual
Modelling and Representation of Building Circulation
- An intermediate space condition designates the space
- An intermediate space condition regulates the access
direction: ‘unidirectional’ or ‘bidirectional’.
- An intermediate space condition regulates a certain
required space to be accessed.
- An intermediate space condition regulates the vertical
access allowance.
- An intermediate space condition regulates the
maximum circulation distance.
Pedestrian circulation issues and rules are of
importance, especially in the early phases of design, to
maintain a certain level of building design quality.
Compared to the conventional approaches of CAD,
BIM enables us to model and visualize circulation
within buildings in an automated, efficient and precise
way using rich spatial information defined in the BIM
model. Some pragmatic projects have been
implemented and reviewed in [5, 7], and this paper
tackles some intrinsic and lower level issues for the
conceptual modelling of circulation. We wish to
develop more BIM-enabled applications to resolve
these types of quantitative and qualitative issues of
building design.
7. Acknowledgements
This work was supported by a National Research
Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean
Government (NRF-2013R1A1A3A04008324).
8. References
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... Here, the question is asked actively, with the perspective to create a robust and reusable bridge between two AEC domains. Two modes of connection between a BIM model and a specific domain are addressed: (1) the upstream mode, with questions such as, "how to embed structural health monitoring into a BIM model?" [60,61], or "how to represent pedestrian routes in IFC?" [98], i.e., "how to structure a model upstream to make it fit a specific domain?" (2) the downstream mode, with questions like "how to base an energy assessment on the base of a BIM model" [38][39][40][41][42][43]47,48,53,99,100], i.e. "how to extract and transform, from a BIM model, the appropriate information for a domain-specific model"? ...
... The IFC being the de facto AEC standard, the idea of creating a new data schema is almost nonexistent, with the exception of a new data-structuration suggestion for structural domain modeling [55]. The article focuses on optimal IFC use to represent the circulation in a building [98], and IFC schema extensions (new concepts and class definition) for IFC-based product catalogs [109], and for structural sensor modeling [60,61]. Other papers focus on MVD enhancements, with, for instance, the creation of a new MVD to support specific domains like modular buildings [90], or a suggestion to modularize MVD development [16]. ...
BIM interoperability has been recognized as a strong brake to BIM collaboration and is a very active research field. This paper systematically reviews 80 applicative articles about BIM collaboration and interoperability recently published, in order to analyze the different trends and to create an understandable map of the subject for researchers. The subject is analysed in three analytical frameworks: (1) the AEC context in which collaboration and interoperability issues are raised, (2) the collaborative goal of BIM interoperability, and (3) BIM collaboration and interoperability suggested solutions. The main findings of this paper are three research gaps: (1) BIM collaboration and interoperability are not often conjointly addressed; (2) solving approaches rarely consider the problem though the trivial angle of data querying and retrieval; (3) interoperability for geometrically complex BIM models could receive more attention. Research perspectives are consequently deducted.
... In design stage, designing a short, simple, visible and comfortable path is desirable in general. And it is necessary to be checked to fulfil related regulations and guides for the building use [2,3,9]. Analysing circulation path has depended on experts' knowledge or empirical skills, however, it is fairly subjective and arbitrary. ...
... A pedestrian path can be described in spatial relations with a sequence of spaces [2,9,14]. For instance, walking distance between the start and end point could be measured through 'depth' based on the number of turns in the matter of human perception [13]. ...
... Currently, many studies have used the relationship within the IFC. For instance, Lee and Kim (2014) used the objectified relationship, IfcRelSpaceBoundary, to derive circulation information from IFC. Solihin et al. (2016) proposed a novel concept for extending IFC relationship entities to integrate federated models. Moreover, Solihin et al. (2017b) used a relational database to support multiple representations of BIM 3D geometric data to support high-performance code checking-related queries. ...
Automated code compliance checking is an effective approach for assessing the quality of building information modeling (BIM) models. Various automated code compliance checking systems have emerged, wherein users need to input all information accurately according to BIM modeling guidelines, in order to ensure the accuracy of checking results. However, as this process involves human inputs, it is difficult to ensure that each input is accurate. In the case of errors or missing inputs, the checking results will be erroneous. Although automated checking systems can be developed accurately, it is difficult to apply these systems practically. Therefore, this paper proposes the application of AI technology to recognize BIM objects and visible properties, in order to improve the operability of automated code compliance checking. The two necessary elements – object names and properties – could be automatically extracted to a certain extent, following the application of the proposed method to the automated code checking process. The error rate of the input could also be reduced, thus making the application of the code checking system more practically feasible. The proposed recognition method for BIM objects and visible properties is also expected to be used widely in BIM-based building e-submission systems and BIM-based forward designs.
... However, as another map type, network-based maps require additional topological information to indicate the connectivity and reachability between the sub-spaces [49]. IfcRelSpaceBoundary is a common IFC entity that determines the physical or virtual relationship of each space and its surrounding elements, which was adopted by Lee and Kim [34] to construct a conceptual network graph. After calculating the distance between the centroids of the connected nodes of the network graph, the conceptual edge could be updated with geometric meaning [48,58]. ...
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This paper proposes a global path planning (GPP) system based on building information modeling (BIM) and physics engine for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) operations in indoor environments. Firstly, UGV configuration is integrated into BIM as a knowledge base of GPP system by customized IFC structure, with which a multi-layer map generation method is proposed with improved logic and efficiency. Secondly, a UGV-centric A* path planning algorithm is designed by considering UGV's properties, including mobility-based primitive expansion, geometry-based collision checking, mobility-based cost setting, and mobility-based analytical expansion. Finally, a reliable trajectory generation method is developed based on physics engine, followed with a novel spatiotemporal coordination method for efficient collision avoidance. The whole GPP system is validated in a representative university building floor and a common inspection UGV. It is demonstrated that UGV-integrated BIM improves the resources interoperability for the whole system, and the map components are clarified clearly for efficient generation and maintenance. Besides, the UGV-centric A* performs a 100% success rate in congested environments where traditional A* always fail. It can even reduce almost 50% of the trajectory time and steering jerk in open scenarios than traditional A*, but still with an acceptable computation speed (less than 0.6 s). Finally, trajectory coordination saves 50% of path traveling time compared with the general queue method.
... Several spatial properties define the efficiency of the circulation routes in buildings, including travel distance, dimensions of the route, security and safety measures and relation with the net area of the building and its rooms (Lee, 2011). Thus, designers and facility managers must consider circulation efficiency through assessing spatial properties (Lee and Kim, 2014). At mosques, circulation efficiency is among the elements that have a vital role in satisfactory implementation of worshipping activities. ...
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Mosques are religious and cultural facilities that are used as a place of worship, social gatherings, and religious events by Islamic communities. The built environment in these facilities should meet certain technical, functional, and behavioral requirements for worshipers. Mosques could endure critical defects and inadequate performance, with gaps in knowledge, of appraisal tools for their overall performance assessment. Therefore, this research was motivated by the need to identify and purpose an exemplary systematic process upon the conduct of post-occupancy evaluation, owing to the fundamental need for satisfactory conditions that need to be met by mosque facilities. Thus, this paper presents an exemplary post-occupancy evaluation of mosque facilities in Saudi Arabia; as a religious built environment. A triangulation approach of data collection and assessment methods were followed and discussed in this research. A case study mosque was selected, following a review of literature. Interviews and walkthrough inspection identified 34 performance elements. Users’ satisfaction survey data were collected and analyzed. Recommendations were proposed towards improving performance of the case study mosque as a religious built environment that demands satisfactory occupancy conditions. The findings indicated that worshipers were strongly satisfied with the conditions of the built environment in the case study facility; including acoustical comfort, spirituality, and aesthetic performance elements. This paper expands the boundaries of knowledge in terms of identification of mosques’ performance elements
... Another group of related research [64,71] derives the networks from IFC data for building design. These studies implicitly contribute to indoor path-finding since important path features are provided (e.g., turns). ...
Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents a new technology which supports the creation and management of a construction project for buildings. The most well-known open BIM standard, the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), provides the detailed 3D geometry and rich spatial semantics. It has drawn growing attention of researchers working in geographical information science (GIS). In many related applications, indoor navigation greatly benefits from IFC since it requires the information about building interiors. IFC provides the semantics and geometry of building, and topological relationships of building elements can be readily derived. These three types of information are extensively used in the research on indoor navigation. In this paper we review the current approaches, applications and solutions developed for different aspects of indoor navigation, and summarize the latest status about the use of IFC-based BIM for indoor navigation. In the literature regarding both IFC and indoor navigation, a total of 87 related papers are identified and categorized. 30 papers relate to the generation of indoor navigation models; 20 papers are about model conversion and data modeling on the basis of the IFC schema; 13 papers refer to IFC applications with dynamic environments; 14 papers focus on the support of IFC to indoor localization; and the other papers involve various topics such as visualization and network queries based on IFC. We find that the most active research direction is to generate navigation models from IFC data, yet there is no robust automation method of the generation. By discussing the pros and cons of the current applications , this paper suggests three new directions for further research on the IFC supports to indoor navigation. That is, researchers can further investigate the vertical dimension of the 3D geometry in IFC, facilitate the transformation from IFC to standardized indoor navigation models and manage real-time data with IFC to reflect indoor changes.
... Second, previous studies found several constructs that are relevant to the performance of healthcare projects, although those were not utilized for NHFBP. Examples of these studies include space layout [47,48] and therapeutic environment [49,50]. The efficiency of space layout has been considered critical because staff or patient walking distance or building access and circulation are largely influenced by functional adjacencies of space. ...
In the healthcare industry, the BIM-based benchmarking approach was identified as an alternative method to improve the current laborious and error-prone benchmarking practice by reducing manual inputs required for data collection and entry. However, the current body of knowledge lacks a robust and consistent approach to obtain useful and reliable benchmarking data from heterogeneous models. To accomplish the BIM-based benchmarking for healthcare projects, this paper develops a formalized schema that aims to transform data stored in BIM models for obtaining useful and reliable benchmarking data focusing on Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie). Based on findings from previous research combined with case studies using five real-world information models, it defines the sets of transformation processes applicable to different groups of benchmarking data classified according to their attributes. Through the validation, it was found that the schema generated benchmarking data with a reasonable range of deviation from their actual values.
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Le manque d’interopérabilité dans le BIM (Building Information Modeling) est reconnu par la communauté scientifique et par les acteurs de l’AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), et impacte la collaboration digitale : sur le terrain, les échanges de données liées au BIM ne sont ni normés ni automatisés et conduisent à des ressaisies et pertes de données lors des itérations, entravant les flux de données et de travail. La présente thèse vise à investiguer cette double question, impliquant des considérations techniques (interopérabilité technologique : compatibilité entre modèles de données, formats) et organisationnelles (interopérabilité métier : modèles d’affaires, coopération humaine) au sein d’une industrie fragmentée et peu numérisée. Un triple état de l’art – à travers des allers-retours entre une période récente (2013-2018), vintage (1990-2000), et brûlante (2019-2021) – révèle que ces deux pendants ne sont que trop rarement traités conjointement dans la littérature scientifique. Un levier à la fois technique et organisationnel est donc proposé afin d’améliorer l’interopérabilité BIM : un cadre collaboratif basé sur des cycles itératifs de requêtes et d’enrichissements collectifs de données. Ce cadre, qui vise à instaurer des processus de co-modélisation BIM multi-métier, est appuyé par un prototype logiciel, Treegram, permettant de fédérer et de transcrire des données BIM hétérogènes dans une base de données neutre, que les utilisateurs peuvent interroger et enrichir. Les requêtes constituant l’atome des échanges de données, la collaboration BIM s’organise autour de cycles de requêtes/vérifications/enrichissements de données. L’utilisation de Treegram sur un projet réel montre que le cadre proposé, s’il fonctionne d’un point de vue technique et améliore les flux de données, interroge les limites des modes traditionnels de production de projet dans l’AEC et soulève la question des modèles d’affaires susceptibles d’accueillir les logiques intégratives de l’ingénierie concourante et des technologies de l’industrie 4.0.
Building circulation is one of the crucial design factors associated with spatial planning, especially in the early phases of building design and has a significant impact on the overall design quality. In this paper, we describe the development of an evaluation framework for design analysis that focuses on the Walkability of building circulation in a Building Information Modeling (BIM) environment as a consideration for simplifying complex design problems. The evaluation framework emphasizes a quantitative, explicit approach utilizing the Indoor Walkability Index (IWI), which is a measure of indoor circulation performance that includes criteria such as distance, simplicity, accessibility, and pedestrian-friendly circulation. Contrary to explicitly defined building standards such as ‘shorter than 20 meters walking distances’, other aspects of building circulation are frequently illustrated as implicit factors, such as ‘convenient access’, which seem to require domain-specific knowledge, rather than a simple calculation. The IWI defined in this paper has an open objective to address these types of circulation issues by using computational and quantitative data derived from given BIM models. In the long method of handling design knowledge issues by computation, the IWI employs rich building information to analyze and find better design alternatives as a decision-support tool. This paper illustrates an overall approach to such building circulation issues with a software demonstration and open-ended sub-algorithms, along with a growing number of BIM applications. To demonstrate the utility of the IWI, an actual building remodeling project was used as a test model, and IWI analysis was performed for various design alternatives. Directions for further improvement of the framework are also discussed.
In retrofit-purposed projects such as building renovations, the early decision-support mechanism to determine an optimistic circulation plan and spatial allocation is strongly required for architects, owners and residents. In this paper, we introduce such a case study based on the building information modelling-enabled approach that has been explored using an actual project at Yeongwol, South Korea for resolving diverse residential types, including elderly housing units. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate an actual analysis of building remodelling design alternatives regarding indoor circulation and spatial allocation problems, especially considering elderly housing units. Another significant feature of this paper is a quantitative and explicit approach to the indoor walkability index using building information modelling. After acquiring indoor circulation data, such as metric distances between rooms, number of turns, spatial depth, vertical access, or any other BIM-enabled data, an appropriate and teleological weighting function was applied to determine the indoor walkability index. The usefulness of the approach was demonstrated in this paper, based on a Yeongwol project. building information modelling-enabled data provided prompt and reliable quantitative analysis results as soon as various design alternatives appear within the given timeframe to resolve circulation and spatial allocation problems for remodelling homes for the elderly.
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Executive SummaryIntroductionTypes of Construction FirmsInformation Contractors Want from BIMProcesses to Develop a Contractor Building Information ModelReduction of Design Errors Using Clash DetectionQuantity Takeoff and Cost EstimatingConstruction Analysis and PlanningIntegration with Cost and Schedule Control and Other Management FunctionsUse for Offsite FabricationUse of BIM Onsite: Verification, Guidance, and Tracking of Construction ActivitiesImplications for Contract and Organizational ChangesBIM Implementation
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A principle of perceptual organization, calleduniform connectedness (UC), is described, and a theoretical approach to perceptual organization is proposed in which this principle plays a fundamental role. The principle of UC states that closed regions of homogeneous properties—such as lightness, chromatic color, texture, and so forth—tend to be perceived initially as single units. We demonstrate its effects and show that they occur even when opposed by powerful grouping principles such as proximity and similarity. We argue that UC cannot be reduced to such grouping principles, because it is not a form of grouping at all. We then propose a theoretical framework within which UC accounts for the initial (orentry level) organization of the visual field into primitive units. Classical principles of grouping operate after UC, creating superordinate units consisting of two or more basic-level units. Parsing processes also operate after UC, dividing basic-level units into subordinate parts. UC in the retinal image is proposed to be a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for unit formation, since connected elements on the retina that are perceived to lie in separate depth planes fail to be perceived as units. This fact, together with other evidence that the Gestalt principles of grouping are based onperceived (rather than retinal) relations, suggests that the organization of visual stimulation into UC objects is ultimately achieved within a relatively late, postconstancy representation of environmental surfaces. The implications of this possibility are discussed in light of present theories of visual perception.
The purpose of this article is to provide a background to the analytical techniques and related terminology used commonly in space syntax studies. The basic premises of space syntax are presented, its methodological procedures described, and certain key terms defined. Finally, issues relating space syntax studies to questions of spatial cognition are discussed.
Building information modelling (BIM) is a powerful tool for clients and architects alike, particularly when clients have ongoing complex programmatic requirements. Chuck Eastman describes how with his team* at the AEC Integration Laboratory at the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology he was commissioned by the US federal government's General Service Administration (GSA) to automate the design guidelines for all US courthouses in such a way that preliminary designs by architects could be assessed and checked against specific criteria. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This paper presents the design and implementation of space database for developing automated building design review systems. We have developed a set of four software modules for reviewing different aspects of a specific building type — US Courthouses. IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) provides the common building model schema from which these analyses are carried out. Space objects, like other BIM-building objects, can carry their information-rich space objects and space use semantics internally to the model; we have used instead external space database to an easily supported information base. We describe the problem of space database, how space objects can be automatically organized and classified within BIM systems based on their space database, and our reflection on best practices learned from application development. All the research and development features noted in this paper are implemented in a software plug-in module that constitutes a subset of other pre-processing operations and design review systems.Highlights► We have developed automated building design review systems using IFC. ► We found spatial semantics is crucial for evaluating building models in automation. ► Space database system supports automated building design review systems. ► We describe a formal definition of space database and its mapping method. ► We demonstrate how it is applicable to actual implementations using case studies.
This paper describes a computer model which deals with the first two stages of architectural design: the programmatic and the topological ones. The suggested ALG model makes use of graph theory to generate possible alternative layout graphs, under given programmatic requirements and constraints. The results represent the designer's view of the functional performance of a design, as well as ideas about the organization of the activities into the complete layout. The application of the model is demonstrated in a case study, planning a mother and child care station, consisting of nine activities.
This article presents the development of an automatic process in transforming computer-drawn architectural plans into a building fire evacuation simulator—spatial-grid evacuation model (SGEM). The SGEM has been developed to model the dynamic positions of each occupant of a building at every time point under an evacuation process. The presented process, termed automatic unit generator (AUG), is developed on the basis of a graph-based approach. It captures the architectural information originally produced by architects/building designers in CAD plans and rebuilds the units and their topological relationships, as well as determines the evacuation direction at every portal. As limited pre-defined information is needed, this proposed process could be employed at any stage of the design process. It makes the SGEM capable of integrating into CAD system to set up a smooth architectural design workflow.
This paper surveys rule checking systems that assess building designs according to various criteria. We examine five major industrial efforts in detail, all relying on IFC building models as input. The functional capabilities of a rule checking system are organized into four stages; these functional criteria provide a framework for comparisons of the five systems. The review assesses both the technology and structure of building design rule checking, as an assessment of this new emerging field. The development of rule checking systems for building is very young and only limited user experience is presented. The survey lays out a framework for considering research needed for this area to mature.