Generalization of 3D IFC Building Models

  • Andreas GeigerEmail author
  • Joachim Benner
  • Karl Heinz Haefele
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Today, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is mainly used in architecture. Typically, a BIM model contains detailed geometric and semantic information for design evaluation, simulation, and construction of the building. If, as on the regional and city levels, more than one building is considered, the information content of detailed BIM models might be too high. For applications like noise simulation or emergency management, representing buildings as block models, reduced outer-shell models or simplified indoor models are more suitable. Such models are typically found in Geospatial Information System (GIS) applications. This paper describes a process for BIM building models to extract different generalized representations for buildings and building elements. As an example, the definitions for such representations are based on the LoD concept of CityGML.


Building Information Modeling Building Element Open Geospatial Consortium Industry Foundation Class Building Information Modeling Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. AIA (2013) Level of development specification version: 2013. Available at Accessed 2 July 2014
  2. Babic B, Nesic N, Miljkovic Z (2008) A review of automated feature recognition with rule-based pattern recognition. Comput Ind 59(4):321–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baig SU, Rahmann AA (2013) A unified approach for 3D generalization of building models in CityGML. Int Arch Photogrammetry, Remote Sens Spat Inf Sci XL-4/W1:93–99Google Scholar
  4. Benner J, Geiger A, Gröger G, Häfele K-H, Löwner M-O (2013a) Enhanced LoD concepts for virtual 3D city models. In: 8th 3D geoinfo conference, IstanbulGoogle Scholar
  5. Benner J, Geiger A, Häfele K-H, Knüppel H (2013b) IFCExplorer—Ein Werkzeug für die Integration unterschiedlicher raumbezogener semantischer Daten. Geoinformatik, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  6. bSI (2014) Available at Accessed 25 June 2014
  7. van Berlo L (2011) Integration of BIM and GIS: the development of the CityGML GeoBIM extension. Advances in 3D Geo-Information Sciences. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheng J, Deng Y, Du Q (2013) Mapping between BIM models and 3D GIS city models of different levels of detail. In: 13th international conference on construction applications of virtual reality, London, 30–31 Oct 2013Google Scholar
  9. Cox S, Daisey P, Lake R, Portele C, Whiteside A (2004) OpenGIS® geography markup language (GML) implementation specification, Version: 3.1.1, OGC 03-105r1. Open Geospatial ConsortiumGoogle Scholar
  10. Donkers, S. (2013) Automatic generation of CityGML LoD3 building models from IFC models. MSc thesis, Delft University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  11. El-Mekawy M, Östman A, Hijazi I (2012) An evaluation of IFC-CityGML unidirectional conversion. Int J Adv Comput Sci Appl 3(5):2012Google Scholar
  12. Eastman CM (1999) Building product models: computer environments supporting design and construction. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  13. Fan H, Meng L (2012) A three-step approach of simplifying 3D buildings modeled by CityGML. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 26(6):1091–1107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. gbXML (2014) Available at Accessed 25 June 2014
  15. Gröger G, Kolbe TH, Nagel C, Häfele K-H (2012) OGC city geography markup language (CityGML) encoding standard, Version 2.0, OGC doc no. 12-019. Open Geospatial ConsortiumGoogle Scholar
  16. ICA—International Cartographic Association (1973) Multilingual dictionary of technical terms in cartography. Franz Steiner Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  17. ISO 10303-11:2004 (2004) Industrial automation systems and integration—product data representation and exchange—part 11: description methods: The EXPRESS language reference manualGoogle Scholar
  18. ISO 10303-21:2002 (2002) Industrial automation systems and integration—product data representation and exchange—part 21: implementation methods: clear text encoding of the exchange structureGoogle Scholar
  19. ISO 10303-28:2007 (2007) Industrial automation systems and integration—product data representation and exchange—part 28: implementation methods: XML representations of EXPRESS schemas and data, using XML schemasGoogle Scholar
  20. ISO 16739:2013 (2013) Industry foundation classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industriesGoogle Scholar
  21. ISO 19107:2003 (2003) Geographic information—spatial schemaGoogle Scholar
  22. Kada M (2002) Automatic generalization of 3D building models. Int Arch Photogrammetry, Remote Sens Spat Inf Sci (Part 4) 34: 243–248Google Scholar
  23. Kada M (2006) 3D building generalization based on half-space modeling. In: Proceedings of the ISPRS workshop on multiple representation and interoperability of spatial data, HannoverGoogle Scholar
  24. Liebich T (2007) Industry foundation classes—IFC2×3 documentationGoogle Scholar
  25. Luebke D, Reddy M, Cohen JD, Varshney A, Watson B, Huebner R (2003) Level of detail for 3D graphics. Morgan Kaufmann, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  26. Meng L, Forberg A (2006) 3D building generalization. In: Mackaness W, Ruas A, Sarjakoski T (eds) Challenges in the portrayal of geographic information: issues of generalisation and multi scale representation. Elsevier Ltd, Amsterdam, pp 211–232Google Scholar
  27. Nagel C (2006) Ableitung verschiedener Detailierungsstufen von IFC Gebäudemodellen. MSc thesis, University of Applied Science Karlsruhe, Research Center KarlsruheGoogle Scholar
  28. Nagel C, Häfele K-H (2007) Generierung von 3D-Stadtmodellen auf basis des IFC-Gebäudemodells. Entwicklerforum Geoinformatinstechnik 2007Google Scholar
  29. Sester M (2007) 3D visualization and generalization. In: Proceedings of the 51st photogrammetric week, Stuttgart, 3–7 Sept 2007, pp 285–295Google Scholar
  30. Thakura A, Banerjeea AG, Gupta SK (2009) A survey of CAD model simplification techniques for physics-based simulation applications. Comput Aided Des 41(2):65–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thiemann F, Sester M (2004) Segmentation of buildings for 3D-generalisation. In: Proceedings of the 7th ICA workshop on generalisation and multiple representation, Leicester, 20–21 Aug 2004 (on CD-ROM)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Geiger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joachim Benner
    • 1
  • Karl Heinz Haefele
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Applied Computer ScienceKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations