Domain Problems and Motivations

Every aspect of the built environment is subject to conformance throughout its entire life-cycle with a diverse range of requirements from the design brief, legal norms and standards, construction specifications, to operational policies. The compliance auditing task involves an enormous amount of information to share and process. Conventionally, information about the building has been exchanged in the AEC/FM (architecture, engineering, construction and facilities management) domain using paper-based drawings and written specifications.

The compliance auditing task has been a manual undertaking to check information gathered from these drawings and specifications against voluminous paper-based legal texts written in natural language intended for human interpretation. This manual practice is inefficient, resource-intensive, and error-prone, which has contributed to many costly remediation of problem buildings and loss of lives. It has also been identified as a factor for declining productivity in the industry.


low productivity graph

vol of consents
Ref. Trading Economics (tradingeconomics.com)

A Practical Solution

The ‘ACABIM’ approach takes advantage of the recent technology of sharing digital building information via ISO16739 building information modelling (BIM), which promotes better collaboration and provides opportunities for automation in the compliant building design and approval processes. The key aspect of the approach is utilising the strengths of human experts and machines as appropriate. Human experts should be responsible to creating procedures and making final compliance decisions. Machines are given the tasks that humans find tedious to do but easy to execute, which is to execute repetitive procedures and instructions consistently and accurately. This human-guided approach to automation allows existing conventional Compliance Audit Procedures (CAP) to be documented as executable “flow- charts” and used to guide the auditing process.

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An innovative and practical automated cloud-based compliance audit system that supports the ISO-standard building information models (BIM) and other open standards
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