Investigation of IFC file format for BIM based automated code compliance checking

Temel B. A., Başağa H. B.

Journal of Construction Engineering, Management & Innovation, vol.3, no.2, pp.113-130, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


In the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, a large number of laws and regulations define the technical features and standard requirements of a building. Checking the suitability of the building according to the rules in the building legislation is a human-oriented manual process that is largely based on 2D drawings. Therefore, this process is cumbersome, time consuming and error prone. Today, the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the AEC sector continues to increase day by day. In a BIM-based construction project, digital models with 3D geometric and semantic information describe the building to be built extensively. This digital database prepared for the building can also be used to improve and partially automate the code compliance checking process. For this purpose, this data is exported with the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file format, and this IFC file format provides an excellent opportunity to automate the process of checking compliance. In this study, the IFC file format, which allows BIM-based buildings’ automatic code compliance checking to be performed, will be examined, and the meanings of the codes in the IFC file of the sample building model are examined in detail by matching them with the model. In addition, it is explained how to filter the data of the building model required for conducting conformity control from the IFC file. It is also shown how to check the compliance of storey height values of the sample building model designed within the scope of the application according to the relevant regulation rules. As a result of the examinations, data that would automatically ensure code compliance checking can be obtained from the IFC file format and the relationship of the IFC file structure with automatic code compliance checking has been revealed.