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Internal design validation attestation in BIM models

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This thesis studies the combination of the informal communication provided by the BCF with the Semantic Web technologies for the purpose of internal design validation attestation. In order to understand what requirements and information an internal design validation imply, the methodology studies the exchange of information processes and requirements management and organization based on three different actual construction projects provided by the structural engineering company Verhoeven en Leenders. The research carried out in this company as well as the interviews with the personnel helped to set the functionalities and the different use cases that the practical approach aims to provide for the purpose of internal validation attestation. In addition, the research also helped to identify and gather together an initial compilation of the most common building elements and requirements in Building Structures projects as well as their applicability relationships. As a result of the thesis, the prototype successfully combines BCF and Semantic Web technologies by modelling BCF data as RDF triples that are stored in an RDF repository to be retrieved using SPARQL queries. When modelling BCF data as RDF, it is only necessary to maintain the existing hierarchical relationship between the markup and other sub-elements in the XSD schema for the elements without multiple instances per markup.

On the other hand, concerning management of requirements, BCF is capable of dealing with internal requirements that have to be with design changes in the structural BIM model. The most common requirements that apply to Building Structure projects have been gathered in a matrix as a result of the research and interviews performed in V&L. The implementation of SE management tools in the Building Structures projects in comparison to the Civil projects differ mainly in that SE is demanded as a process in the Civil projects and for that reason, its implementation is more developed than in Building Structures projects. In fact, the requirements that are handled are also different, being the most common in the Building Structures projects the ones gathered in the SBS/RBS matrix.

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