A Framework Utilizing Modern Data Models with IFC for Building Automation System Applications

Shu Tang, Dennis R. Shelden

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Modern data models are evolving. Modern data models like resource description framework (RDF) and JavaScript object notation (JSON) show advantages in cross-domain knowledge sharing, ease in reuse and extension, faster and higher computational capability, and human readability. Industry foundation class (IFC) dominates the architecture engineering and construction (AEC) industry as open BIM standardized data model to store and exchange information. However, IFC has the limitation on both schema level and instance data level such as lack of entities and attributes, difficulties in direct queries, lack of manipulating tools, and cross-domain data linking. Combination use of both modern data standards and IFC can bring potential applications. The trend to migrate AEC data into more advanced modern data models is unstoppable. The objective of this paper is to analyze existing AEC data standards and propose a conceptual framework using both modern data standards like JSON and RDF with traditional IFC as a foundation for different building automation system (BAS) use cases. This paper first examines the current limitation of IFC data model and analyzes the capabilities, impact, challenge, and opportunities of more contemporary data models to host AEC data. A conceptual framework utilizing both modern data models and IFC for BAS use cases is proposed to demonstrate the benefits and potential in integrating IFC and modern data models for various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstruction Research Congress 2020
Subtitle of host publicationComputer Applications - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020
EditorsPingbo Tang, David Grau, Mounir El Asmar
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780784482865
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventConstruction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications - Tempe, United States
Duration: 8 Mar 202010 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameConstruction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020


ConferenceConstruction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • BAS
  • Data Models
  • IFC

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