Building environment rule and analysis (BERA) language and its application for evaluating building circulation and spatial program
Lee, Jin Kook
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This study aims to design and implement a domain-specific computer programming language: the Building Environment Rule and Analysis (BERA) Language. As a result of the growing area of Building Information Modeling (BIM), there has been a need to develop highly customized domain-specific programming languages for handling issues in building models in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. The BERA Language attempts to deal with building information models in an intuitive way in order to define and analyze rules in design stages. The application of the BERA Language aims to provide efficiency in defining, analyzing and checking rules. Specific example applications implemented in this dissertation are on the evaluation of two key aspects: building circulation and spatial programming. The objective of this study is to accomplish an effectiveness and ease of use without precise knowledge of general-purpose languages that are conventionally used in BIM software development. To achieve the goal, this study proposes an abstraction of the universe of discourse - it is the BERA Object Model (BOM). It is a human-centered abstraction of complex state of building models rather than the computation-oriented abstraction. By using BOM, users can enjoy the ease of use and portability of BIM data, rather than complex and platform-dependent data structures. This study also has reviewed and demonstrated its potential for extensibility of BOM. Not only its lateral extensions such as structural building elements, but also the vertical extensions such as additional properties for existing BOM objects are good examples. In current BERA Language Tool, many computed and derived properties/relations have been proposed and implemented, as well as some basic data directly from the given building model. Target users of the BERA Language are domain experts such as architects, designers, reviewers, owners, managers, students, etc., rather than BIM software developers. It means that the people who are interested in the building environment rule and analysis are the potential users. The BERA Language Tool comprises many libraries to alleviate common but unnecessary problems and limitations that are encountered when users attempt to analyze and evaluate building models using commercially available tools. Combined with other libraries which populate rich and domain-specific datasets for certain purposes, the BERA Language will be fairly versatile to define rules and analyze various building environmental conditions.