Workshop overview


The International Workshop on Linked Data in Architecture and Construction (LDAC) is a two-day workshop that addresses the usage and role of linked data in the context of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). This workshop gathers a select group of researchers working on this specific topic, thereby aiming to bring together diverse ideas about ways in which linked data and semantic web technologies can enhance information exchange in the AEC domain.

LDAC group picture

The workshop is hosted by the IBBT and by the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at Ghent University. The workshop takes place on 28 and 29 March 2012 in Ghent, Belgium. Specific focus is given to the issue of interoperability in the AEC domain, which is typically encountered when information from multiple domains is merged. The encountered issues are listed and discussed, and suggestions are made on how to address these issues using semantic web technologies.

Key Topics

  • IFC-to-RDF Conversion
  • RDF Adapters
  • Interoperability and Information Exchange
  • Multi-Domain Data
  • Reasoning
  • Ontology Matching
  • Semantic Enrichment
  • Linked (Open) Construction Data
  • Open Product Modelling
  • Distributed Information Management


Information management is of capital importance to the domain of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). Especially when considering that buildings become more complex every day, it is crucial for project partners in this domain to rely on appropriate and effective information management tools. Over the past years, the Building Information Modelling (BIM) approach was coined as a way to achieve such an improved information management. Although there are diverse opinions about what BIM actually is, it is often explained as an approach in which all AEC project information is gathered in a central model that is used and relied upon by all project partners.

The more recently emerging linked data cloud and semantic web technologies apparently allow AEC specialists to take their information management yet a level higher. In brief, the linked data cloud provides a context within which diverse data silos or information models can coexist in one homogeneous format and are similarly available to a very diverse audience. With its 'promise' of linking data across domains on a global scale, the linked data cloud theoretically allows to connect complex information models in AEC projects, including BIM models, with diverse other information models available in the linked data cloud. As such, the resulting cloud of interlinked data allows a previously unavailable kind of global information management, which can have significant added value for domain stakeholders' organisations.


Semantic web technologies appear to generate important advantages concerning information management in the AEC domain. Before these advantages can be brought to the end user in the form of appropriate information management tools, however, diverse topics of concern need to be investigated. One particular topic of concern is the question to what extent these technologies effectively address existing interoperability issues.

Linked data principles heavily rely on the technical possibility to link diverse concepts together and consequently couple information models or data silos that represent diverse application domains. A motivation for this workshop is the question if this technical possibility is sufficient to realise the necessary improvements regarding interoperability or if there are more fundamental issues that need to be addressed first. To what extent is it really possible to link (concepts in) diverse information models used in an AEC project? What are perceived benefits of the resulting web of linked data? Can this enlarged source of information be managed effectively by AEC specialists in realistic contexts?


Specific focus is given in this workshop to the issue of interoperability in the AEC domain, which is typically encountered when information from multiple domains is merged.


This workshop is organised for a select audience of participants that are actively working in this research area. By working in such a select group, the organisers hope to keep a very specific focus in this workshop and to maximize workshop output. Participants come from within the domain of architecture and construction as well as the domains of semantic web technologies and information management.

The first day, every research group gives a brief overview of their research and their relevance to the key topics of this workshop. This is organised in two sessions of three hours each. Every research team has a time slot of 45 minutes plus half an hour of discussion.

Starting from the overall state-of-the-art overview of the first day, the second day aims at the three following targets:

  1. State-of-the-art overview / outline of common research directions:
    After the first day, distinct research topics of interest are filtered out. Common topics of interest are discussed in more detail during the morning session of the second workshop day. These topics are used for guiding the rest of the discussion during the second day.
  2. Initial preparation of position paper(s):
    The main conclusions of the workshop are outlined and an initial outline of a position paper is prepared that presents these conclusions.
  3. Outline of Future Research Directions:
    Following the outline of common topics of interest and main conclusions, possible future research directions are formulated. Of particular interest are research directions that could lead to collaborative research proposals among the workshop participants.