Semantic design rules and tool for deep renovation design

Use Case Definition

The use-case description is summarized as:


Table 1: Description of the use-case 

Aim and scope

The semantic design rules are developed to represent the denotation of elements and the relationships between these elements. Under the scope of BIM-SPEED project, semantics are useful to ‘translate’ experts’ knowledge about buildings regulations into a language that can be understandable by data experts. Once this knowledge is translated to a computer-based language, the rules are accommodated to the model checker tool, where an automatic regulation compliance checking is performed. The purpose of the checking process is to warn the users for possible failures, as well as to propose them alternative renovation objects that comply with the rules and can be integrated to their designs.

The design rules focus on the most typical elements for renovation in a residential building, covering the building envelope (roof, wall, windows), HVAC systems (boiler replacement, wall radiators) and common use elements such as stairs and corridors. The semantics include information on four basic criteria: thermal and acoustic comfort, fire safety and accessibility.


The main objectives of the compliance checking concept is to inform the designer about possible errors, as well as guide them to consider a larger range of realistic solutions than is practical without this support.

The overall objective is to check the 3D model and decide whether it complies with the semantic design rules. Based on that, similar to a ‘’vehicle’’, the model can proceed (Go) or not (No) to the BIM-SPEED speedway. To achieve the checking, additional property sets are imported to the existing 3D model, subject to checking by the model checker and a report is generated to inform the user whether all custom attributes exist and contain data, if the objects comply with the design rules and whether additional objects of BIM-SPEED database can be found to comply with the design rules.


Nevertheless, the possibility exists to describe the same information in numerous ways, thus same rules can vary depending on the point of focus. Additionally, BIM SPEED partners have different backgrounds and experience in various countries. Beside the advantages of such variation, it has been challenging to interpret and describe design rules in a homogenous way that is also machine-readable. As a result, it is difficult to guarantee the completeness and the precision of rule sets.

Future Work:

Yet future work can be performed to define a common standardized framework for all BIM SPEED partners. In addition, future research is required regarding the way to model regulatory documents of the building industry using a semantic-based approach. Future work can focus on integrating in a BIM software both the model checker tool, as well as the BIM-SPEED database. By doing so, the user would potentially run the model checking without using external tool and would be able to input alternative objects that comply using the BIM-SPEED database (i.e. as a plug-in).


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  • BuildingSMART International, Technical Roadmap April 2020 (Last accessed 07 April 2021)
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  • Spain: Documento Básico HE – Ahorro de energía, Link
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  • Poland: National technical requirements for buildings and their urban environment, Link
  • Bulgaria: Ordinance No Iz-1971 on Construction and Technical Rules and Norms for Ensuring Fire Safety Link
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  • Bulgaria: Territory Planning Law, Link
  • Bulgaria: Ordinance 4 on the Design, Construction and Maintenance of Works in Accordance with the Requirements for an Accessible Environment for the Population, Including People with Disabilities, Link
  • Germany: Second ordinance amending the Energy Saving Ordinance, Link
  • Netherlands: 2012 Building Decree Practice Book, Link

Project Group

  • Technische Universität Berlin (TUB)
  • Hochtief ViCon (HTV)
  • DEMO Consultants (DMO)
  • Centre Scientifique Et Technique Du Bâtiment (CSTB)
  • CARTIF Technology Centre
  • Università Politecnica Delle Marche (UNIVPM)
  • Arcadis Romania (ARC)
  • Architectural Spies EOOD (ASP)
  • Fasada (FAS)
  • Mostostal Warszawa SA (MOW)



The documents reflect the current best practice and do not claim to be complete. They should not to be understood in the sense of a generally valid recommendation or guideline from a legal point of view. The documents are intended to support appointing and appointed parties in the application of the BIM method. The documents must be adapted to the specific project requirements in each case. The examples listed do not claim to be complete. Its information is based on findings from practical experience and is accordingly to be understood as best practice and not universally applicable. Since we are in a phase in which definitions are only emerging, the publisher cannot guarantee the correctness of individual contents.

  • Document Type : Use Case
  • GUID : 78B27A7D-8849-4F2F-9554-D107556BB72A
  • Identifier : BIMSpeed_UC11_LKS
  • Life Cycle Stage : ISO 22263
  • Revision : V1.0.0.0
  • Project Status : Approved
  • Maturity level : Example
  • Use Case: Approved
  • Processes: Approved
  • ER: Approved
  • Published on: May 10, 2022
  • Last change: May 10, 2022
  • Publisher: BIM Speed
  • Author: Cepeda, unknown

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