A Transformation Workbench for Building Information Models

Jim Steel, Keith Duddy, Robin Drogemuller. A Transformation Workbench for Building Information Models. In Jordi Cabot, Eelco Visser, editors, Theory and Practice of Model Transformations, Fourth International Conference, ICMT 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, June 27-28, 2011. Proceedings. Volume 6707 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 93-107, Springer, 2011.


The building industry is undergoing a significant evolution, with increasing use of digital models during the design process and subsequent lifecycle of a building. These models, which span multiple design disciplines, multiple stakeholders, and many phases of the building's life, represent an interesting study for the application of ideas from model-driven engineering, being large, complex, and highly interrelated. Building models are typically represented using the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), an industry standard supported by many of the popular CAD tools, defined in the STEP/Express technical space. Because the majority of research in MDE has focussed on the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) technical space, it has previously been difficult to experiment with IFC models using model-driven engineering tools and techniques. In this paper we describe a workbench which provides for the integration of the STEP and EMF technical spaces. We also describe a number of initial experiments in bringing model transformation techniques and tools to bear on the domain of building models, and propose some future work.