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A Formal representation of building codes to facilitate BIM-based automated code-checking

Akbaş, Yiğit Semih
Building designs need to be checked against related building codes and regulations. This control is mainly a manual process done by government professionals. Therefore, it takes enormous amount of time and may lead to many errors. A more sophisticated system is required for checking building codes and regulations. Automated code-checking systems and tools can be used to aid this process with the help of Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and these systems are started to be used for efficient design checks against building codes. However, building codes are textual documents that contain complex rule structures. Therefore, developing a formal and computer-interpretable building code representation is a challenging task. This thesis describes a formal representation of building codes to help interpreting the rules in computer readable format. The proposed representation utilizes Solihin’s rule classification as a baseline, and further modifies it for thoroughly representing the building codes. The representation decomposes the building codes into different classes and interpretability conditions in order to ease the BIM-based automated code-checking process. Utilization of the proposed formal representation to decompose a building code is found as an effective initial process, to represent the related building code in a BIM-based automated code-checking system or tool. The verification of the proposed representation is done through an analysis of Ankara Municipality Housing and Zoning Code as well as implementation of the analyzed building code in a BIM-based automated code-checking tool. Although the analysis of the building code according to the proposed representation is done with success, the results of the implementation process indicates that there are certain limitations that may arise due to code rule complexities, BIM deficiencies, and/or code checking tool restrictions.