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Semantics-based design: can ontologies help in a preliminary design phase?

Pieter Pauwels (UGent) , Ruben Verstraeten (UGent) , Ronald De Meyer (UGent) and Jan Van Campenhout (UGent)
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Abstract
In today’s architecture, engineering and construction industry, there has been a vast evolution in the usage of information and communication technology (ICT) for the description and management of construction and/or architectural design projects. During the past years this led to the elaboration of the building information modelling (BIM) technique, which makes it possible to describe building information directly linked to the corresponding elements of the building. One of the major advantages in this BIM approach is the possibility to use this building information for calculation, simulation and analysis in related, more dedicated ICT applications (i.e. energy performance simulation, cost calculation, construction planning, etc.). This influence of ICT is mainly concentrated in the final construction-related design phase and prevails less in the first, preliminary design phase. However, a lot of advantages could be emerging when ICT techniques would be used in the first design stage as well. Therefore, this article proposes the development of an approach similar to BIM, namely an architectural information modelling (AIM) approach, which describes more theoretical, historical and designrelated building knowledge instead of the explicit and components-based descriptions inside BIM. This will result in a new, conceptual, integrated framework for architectural information modelling. In this framework, it will be possible to start and elaborate an architectural design project in a preliminary design phase, using conceptual and more abstract terms (e.g. taxonomy, typology, theory, etc.) to build up a central architectural information model. Several possible advantages of this AIM approach for application in architectural design practice and in building documentation for virtual heritage application will be elaborated during further research.
Keywords
Architectural Design, Architectural Information Modelling, Virtual Heritage, Building Information Modelling, Semantics, Ontologies

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Chicago
Pauwels, Pieter, Ruben Verstraeten, Ronald De Meyer, and Jan Van Campenhout. 2009. “Semantics-based Design: Can Ontologies Help in a Preliminary Design Phase?” Design Principles and Practices. an International Journal 3 (5): 263–276.
APA
Pauwels, Pieter, Verstraeten, R., De Meyer, R., & Van Campenhout, J. (2009). Semantics-based design: can ontologies help in a preliminary design phase? DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES. AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, 3(5), 263–276. Presented at the 3rd International conference on Design Principles and Practices.
Vancouver
1.
Pauwels P, Verstraeten R, De Meyer R, Van Campenhout J. Semantics-based design: can ontologies help in a preliminary design phase? DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES. AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL. Melbourne, Australia: Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd; 2009;3(5):263–76.
MLA
Pauwels, Pieter et al. “Semantics-based Design: Can Ontologies Help in a Preliminary Design Phase?” DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES. AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL 3.5 (2009): 263–276. Print.
@article{714046,
  abstract     = {In today’s architecture, engineering and construction industry, there has been a vast evolution in the usage of information and communication technology (ICT) for the description and management of construction and/or architectural design projects. During the past years this led to the elaboration of the building information modelling (BIM) technique, which makes it possible to describe building information directly linked to the corresponding elements of the building. One of the major advantages in this BIM approach is the possibility to use this building information for calculation, simulation and analysis in related, more dedicated ICT applications (i.e. energy performance simulation, cost calculation, construction planning, etc.). This influence of ICT is mainly concentrated in the final construction-related design phase and prevails less in the first, preliminary design phase. However, a lot of advantages could be emerging when ICT techniques would be used in the first design stage as well. Therefore, this article proposes the development of an approach similar to BIM, namely an architectural information modelling (AIM) approach, which describes more theoretical, historical and designrelated building knowledge instead of the explicit and components-based descriptions inside BIM. This will result in a new, conceptual, integrated framework for architectural information modelling. In this framework, it will be possible to start and elaborate an architectural design project in a preliminary design phase, using conceptual and more abstract terms (e.g. taxonomy, typology, theory, etc.) to build up a central architectural information model. Several possible advantages of this AIM approach for application in architectural design practice and in building documentation for virtual heritage application will be elaborated during further research.},
  author       = {Pauwels, Pieter and Verstraeten, Ruben and De Meyer, Ronald and Van Campenhout, Jan},
  issn         = {1833-1874},
  journal      = {DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES. AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL},
  keywords     = {Architectural Design,Architectural Information Modelling,Virtual Heritage,Building Information Modelling,Semantics,Ontologies},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Berlin, Germany},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {263--276},
  publisher    = {Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd},
  title        = {Semantics-based design: can ontologies help in a preliminary design phase?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.18848/1833-1874/cgp/v03i05/37747},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2009},
}

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