Computer representation of building codes for automated compliance checking
This dissertation constitutes a study in the field of automated compliance checking, with a concentration on building code representations. Development of compliance checking systems has been an area of research that aims to provide computational support for accurate compliance checking of building projects against applicable building codes in a time and cost effective way. Systems for compliance checking of building projects require appropriate representations for building codes. Building codes are complex documents written in natural languages, and the development of computable representations is challenging. This dissertation proposes and demonstrates a new representation model and an accompanying modeling methodology for representing building codes in computable form that can be utilized in the development of automated compliance checking systems. The model adopts the four level representation paradigm as a theoretical base and uses the semantic modeling approach for developing the building code representation. The model breaks down the representation into four levels which allows separate modeling of domain concepts, individual rule statements, relationships between rules, and the organization of the building code. The dissertation shows that decomposing a building code into four levels and modeling rules based on the semantic-oriented paradigm is an effective modeling strategy for representing building codes in a computable form that is independent of automated compliance checking systems. The applicability of the model has been evaluated through a case study. The case study successfully illustrates the modeling of building codes that constitute parts of İzmir Municipality Housing and Zoning Code, as well as a prototype implementation of an automated checking system utilizing this building code representation.