bcfOWL: A BIM collaboration ontology

Oliver Schulz*, Jyrki Oraskari, Jakob Beetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


The BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) is a buildingSMART standard used to exchange issues in a digital model between heterogeneous software applications and planners.
Although the BCF issues are spatially located in a model and provide links to building elements, the format is only loosely connected to the actual BIM model.
While the format is well suited for its original use case, it lacks the flexibility to retrieve information from the BCF in conjunction with the BIM model.
In this paper, we introduce the BIM Collaboration Format Ontology (bcfOWL), which translates the format to the Semantic Web and harnesses the expressive richness of OWL. We present the structure of the ontology and highlight the differences with existing implementations of BCF.
Using example queries, we show how extended relationships between a BIM model and BCF information are enabled by bcfOWL.
We show that by transferring BCF to Linked Data, the format's applicability is enhanced without losing compatibility with existing implementations and workflows. In doing so, the ontology aims to integrate into the Linked Building Data environment and facilitate access
to synergies between heterogeneous building data.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventInternational Workshop on Linked Data in Architecture and Construction - Online, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Duration: 11 Oct 202115 Oct 2021
Conference number: 9


WorkshopInternational Workshop on Linked Data in Architecture and Construction
Abbreviated titleLDAC
Internet address


  • BCF
  • OWL
  • XML
  • Linked Building Data
  • Linked Data


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