BFO-based ontology enhancement to promote interoperability in BIM - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse Access content directly
Journal Articles Applied Ontology Year : 2021

BFO-based ontology enhancement to promote interoperability in BIM

Justine Flore Tchouanguem
  • Function : Author
Mohamed Hedi Karray
  • Function : Author
Bernard Kamsu Foguem
  • Function : Author
F. Henry Abanda
  • Function : Author
Barry Smith


Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for managing construction project information in such a way as to provide a basis for enhanced decision-making and for collaboration in a construction supply chain. One impediment to the uptake of BIM is the limited interoperability of different BIM systems. To overcome this problem, a set of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) has been proposed as a standard for the construction industry. Building on IFC, the ifcOWL ontology was developed in order to facilitate representation of building data in a consistent fashion across the Web by using the Web Ontology Language (OWL). This study presents a critical analysis of the ifcOWL ontology and of the associated interoperability issues. It shows how these issues can be resolved by using Basic Formal Ontology (ISO/IEC 21838-2) as top-level architecture. A set of competency questions is used as the basis for comparison of the original ifcOWL with the enhanced ontology, and the latter is used to align with a second ontology – the ontology for building intelligent environments (DOGONT) – in order to demonstrate the added value derived from BFO by showing how querying the enhanced ifcOWL yields useful additional information.

Dates and versions

hal-03463062 , version 1 (02-12-2021)



Justine Flore Tchouanguem, Mohamed Hedi Karray, Bernard Kamsu Foguem, Camille Magniont, F. Henry Abanda, et al.. BFO-based ontology enhancement to promote interoperability in BIM. Applied Ontology, 2021, 16 (4), pp.453-479. ⟨10.3233/AO-210254⟩. ⟨hal-03463062⟩
66 View
0 Download



Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More