Semantic web-based automated compliance checking with integration of Finite Element analysis

Panagiotis Patlakas*, Ioannis Christovasilis, Lorenzo Riparbelli, Franco KT Cheung, Edlira Vakaj

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Automatic Compliance Checking (ACC) is a promising response to the challenges involved in meeting building and planning regulations, and increasingly utilised by researchers in the context of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC). However, engineers often use computational methods, such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA), to solve challenging engineering problems. Such methods have received little attention in the context of ACC and BIM. The work presented here proposes a holistic approach, integrating FEA in the IFC schema, and utilising a Semantic Web-based system for ACC. A top-level ontology, the Building Compliance Ontology (BCO) is proposed, with the aim of covering all aspects of compliance in the Built Environment. One novelty of BCO is that it revolves around modelling statements in the building regulations, as opposed to the more common approach of modelling building components.

    In order to evaluate the effectiveness and applicability of this process, a real-world problem is used: the compliance to the structural engineering design codes of the structural members of a modular steel structure. An open-source solver is utilised for the FEA, and the IFC model is enriched with its results, using an open-source middleware for the Input/Output. BCO is extended to the field of structural engineering, and appropriate ACC classes and SHACL checks are implemented. Compliance is checked automatically by running SHACL scripts in a Semantic Web environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102448
    JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
    Issue number102448
    Early online date14 Mar 2024
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2024


    • Automatic Compliance Checking
    • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
    • Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)
    • Semantic Web
    • Web Ontology Language (OWL)


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