Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Published in Advances in Visual Information Systems: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (2007) v. 4781, pp. 461–467. Copyright © 2007 Springer-Verlag. Used by permission.


In response to the need of using electronic design data directly in construction management applications, many CAD developers have started implementing semantic data models in their CAD products using industry foundation classes (IFCs). While helpful, these semantic CAD applications have limitations when used in actual construction practices. The case studies in the thesis indicated that: 1) the semantics of the current data model (IFC as an example) is not rich enough to cover the richer details of the real trade practices; 2) the current implementation of the semantic data model lacks the mechanism to provide multiple trades views at various detailed levels. This paper also provided suggestions for the future development of semantic data model of construction industry.