conSolid: a web-based ecosystem for managing distributed building data

Over the last decade, the building sector is rapidly catching up with digital advancements: with the upcoming of Building Information Management (BIM), a new paradigm is set for digitally-aided construction projects. However, at the same time, BIMs coverage of topics related to existing buildings is insufficient: it fails to integrate data on the history of a building, its spatial and geographic context, damage patterns, demolition and circular material usage (to name but a few). However, for many buildings, such information exists, in the form of online datasets, 3D models, images, scans, measurements etc. The data is just not connected, and oftentimes it is just not possible to relate this data because of incompatible standards and formats.

The conSolid project, funded by FWO Flanders, facilitates the setup of web-based building models that integrate architectural, historical, geospatial and operational information in a machine-readable way. In order to achieve this, the project relies on Semantic Web technologies, open standards and established data models. The Solid project, initiated by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, is taken as a basis: an open, web-based ecosystem where data is separated from the applications that use it, to facilitate modular applications with different perspectives on the same 'distributed' model. In conSolid, these perspectives are offered by the many disciplines directly and indirectly concerned with the built environment; the distributed model being the collaborative effort of many specialists connecting their knowledge.

Project Info

Research group: Digital Design
Start date: 2019
Researchers: Jeroen Werbrouck and Pieter Pauwels