Cross-Domain Building Models—A Step towards Interoperability

Laura Knoth, Johannes Scholz, Josef Strobl, Manfred Mittlböck, Bernhard Vockner, Caroline Atzl, Abbas Rajabifard, Behnam Atazadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Buildings have a multifunctional character, which makes it hard to define just one model for all their diverse functions. As these diverse functions are addressed by actors of different perspectives and domain backgrounds, the possibility to exchange available building information would be desirable. Two main models for the creation of building information are Industry Foundation Classes/Building Information Modelling (IFC/BIM) and City Geography Markup Language (CityGML). As the importance of information interchange has been recognized, several authors have tried to develop intermediate models for the information exchange between IFC/BIM and CityGML, e.g., the Unified Building Model (UBM), the BIM Oriented Indoor data Model (BO-IDM), the Indoor Emergency Spatial Model (IESM) and the BIM-GIS integration model for Flood Damage Assessment (FDA model). Nevertheless, all these models have been created with a certain use in mind. Our focus in this article is to identify common elements amongst these proposed models and to combine them into one “core model” that is as simple as possible, while simultaneously containing all important elements. Furthermore, this base model extracted from proposed intermediate models can then be expanded to serve specific use requirements, while still being exchangeable. To show this cross-domain character of the core model, we validated the resulting model with two cases of use (production environment/maintenance and 3D digital cadaster).
Original languageEnglish
Article number363
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2018


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