A simplified BIM data representation using a relational database schema for an efficient rule checking system and its associated rule checking language
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Efforts to automate building rule checking have not brought us anywhere near to the ultimate goal to fully automate the rule checking process. With the advancement in BIM and the latest tools and computing capability, we have what is necessary to achieve it. And yet challenges still abound. This research takes a holistic approach to solve the issue by first examining the rule complexity and its logic structure. Three major aspects of the rules are addressed in this research. The first is a new approach to transform BIM data into a simple database schema and to make it easily query-able by adopting the data warehouse approach. Geometry and spatial operations are also commonly needed for automating rules, and therefore the second approach is to integrate these into a database in the form of multiple representations. The third is a standardized rule language that leverages the database query integrated with its geometry and spatial query capability, called BIMRL. It is designed for a non-programmatic approach to the rule definitions that is suitable for typical rule experts. The rule definition takes a form of triplet command: CHECK – EVALUATE – ACTION statement that can be chained to support more complex rules. A prototype system has been developed as a proof-of-concept using selected rules taken from various sources to demonstrate the validity of the approach to solve the challenges of automating the building rule checking.