Application of semantic web ontologies for the improvement of information exchange in existing buildings

Farhad Sadeghineko*, Bimal Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)


Facilitating the information exchange and interoperability between stakeholders during the life-cycle of an asset can be one of the fundamental necessities for developing an enhanced information exchange framework. Such a framework can also improve the successful accomplishment of building projects. This paper aims to use Semantic Web technologies for facilitating information exchange within existing building projects.

In real-world building projects, the construction industry’s information supply chain may initiate from near scratch when new building projects are started resulting in diverse data structures represented in unstructured data sources, like Excel spreadsheets and documents. Large-scale data generated throughout a building's life-cycle requires exchanging and processing during an asset's Operation and Maintenance (O&M) phase. Building information modelling (BIM) processes and related technologies can address some of the challenges and limitations of information exchange and interoperability within new building projects. However, the use of BIM in existing and retrofit assets has been hampered by the challenges surrounding the limitations of existing technologies.

The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it briefly outlines the framework previously developed for generating semantically enriched 3D retrofit models. Secondly, a framework is proposed focussing on facilitating the information exchange and interoperability for existing buildings. Semantic Web technologies and standards, such as Web Ontology Language and existing AEC domain ontologies are used to enhance and improve the proposed framework.

The proposed framework is evaluated by implementing an example application and the Resource Description Framework data produced by the previously developed framework. The proposed approach makes a valuable contribution to the asset/facilities management (AM/FM) domain. It should be of interest to various FM practices for existing assets, such as the building information/knowledge management for design, construction and O&M stages of an asset’s life-cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-464
Number of pages21
JournalConstruction Innovation: Information, Process, Management
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022


  • building information modelling (BIM)
  • industry foundation classes (IFC)
  • point cloud data (PCD)
  • resource description framework (RDF)
  • semantic web technologies
  • web ontology language (OWL)
  • information exchange and interoperability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture


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