Automated Code Compliance Checking (A3XC) - Approaches and Applications

14-15 October 2021, Luxembourg

A workshop co-located with CIBW78 2021


BIM-based model checking is an excellent demonstration of capturing knowledge about buildings while dealing with real-world data that can be partial and incomplete. 

How do we interpret qualitative terms such as “easy to see”, “well illuminated”, and “direct access”? 

How do we manage disparate building codes w.r.t large-scale building models that undergo continuous updates? 

Can we identify a common vocabulary to describe concerns, priorities, and rationales when designing buildings for people?

This workshop addresses these questions from both theoretical and practical perspectives and investigates the challenges and opportunities in enabling complete code checking applications for processes such as compliance audit and digital building permit approval. 

We do not advocate a single methodology but invite practitioners and researchers to discuss the hidden caveats and bottlenecks of current approaches, and to discover and build momentum for common points of interest.

This workshop is the first of a series of planned events dedicated to the future of automation in the AEC industry. One of the expected outcomes is to establish a research community and to follow up results from these workshops.  

We look forward to seeing you!



Call for abstract

To help us better organise the workshop, we kindly ask participants to provide an extended abstract (< 1000 words) by October 1st 2021 23:59 AOE.

Keynote speaker

Eilif Hjelseth is a Building Information Modelling (BIM) professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He focuses on improving design, construction, and facility management by utilizing digital technology to enable improved processes and sustainability. He has experience from the AEC/FM industry and software development. As ISO-expert he has participated in the development of BIM-based standards (from ISO 29481-series (IDM) from 2010 to the ongoing ISO 19650 Information management series. He has developed multiple BIM-based courses at bachelor-, master and PhD-level, including a Master's program in Digital construction processes. He is head of the Norwegian VDC program with over 200 students in the one-year certification course. BIM-based model checking is one of his priorities research domains based on research and work experience at the Norwegian Building Authority. His interest in legal informatics and legal-tech has led to an adjacent associate professor position at Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law, The Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo.

Plenary session

Professor Robert Amor has degrees in Computer Science and undertakes research in the field of Construction Informatics, with a passion for the application of beneficial computer science techniques to the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industries. Achieving interoperability is his core research interest and to achieve this he investigates integrated environments which covers information modelling (e.g., BIM), automated code compliance checking, process modelling, user interaction, information mapping, and communication strategies. Since 2003 he has coordinated the working group W78 (IT for Construction) for the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB - which comprises 500 international research organisations). He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Technology in Construction.

Dr. Johannes Dimyadi spent more than 20 years as a multi-disciplinary consulting engineer in the built environment as well as software domains before taking up research in the School of Computer Science at the University of Auckland. His PhD investigated a practical human-guided "ACABIM" approach to automating code compliance checking that fully supports open standards. His research interests in Construction Informatics and Legal Informatics have led to many publications in these areas. His research has recently been commercialised and being implemented as the ACABIM Lifecycle Solutions, which was used in a two case studies by a Building Consent Authority in New Zealand to successfully deliver a proof-of-concept BIM-enabled consenting project.

Dr. Ranjith K. Soman is a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Imperial College London's Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation and an incoming Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Chair of Innovative and Industrial Construction, ETH Zurich. He is currently working on an InnovateUK funded research project, 'AEC Production Control Room'. He is also associated with the 'Design change in digital twins' project under the data-centric engineering grand challenge 'Data-driven design under uncertainty at the Alan Turing Institute. His Ph.D. thesis title was "Automating look-ahead schedule generation using linked-data based constraint checking for construction projects". It focused on applying knowledge codification, semantic rule checking, and reinforcement learning in an infrastructure context. Before joining Imperial College, he obtained his B.Tech (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Calicut and his MS (By Research) in Building Technology and Construction Management from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He is passionate about applying systems thinking and artificial intelligence in civil infrastructure and keen to educate the next generation of infrastructure professionals on the importance of embedding information technology within the scope of the traditional functions of existing core professional service.

Nora El-Gohary is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) for the development and operation of sustainable buildings and infrastructure systems, including information modeling, information extraction, data fusion, machine learning, and big data analytics. She is a leading expert in the area of automated code checking (ACC), and has developed advanced methods for ACC using semantic modeling, natural language processing, and deep learning techniques.
Dr. El-Gohary’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Illinois Department of Transportation, Qatar Foundation, and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada among other funding agencies. The outcomes of her research have been published in over 140 journal and conference publications. She has received several research awards including the NSERC’s Discovery Award in 2009, the NSF’s CAREER Award in 2013, the Center of Advanced Study Award in 2015, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Award in 2018, and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) Award in 2019. Dr. El-Gohary currently serves as as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s Computing Division, the Chair of the Executive Committee of the ASCE’s Construction Research Council, and the Co-Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Information Systems in Construction Management Subcommittee. She also currently serves as Associate Editor for the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering.

Ekaterina Petrova is an Assistant Professor of Artificial Intelligence in Construction at the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology. She received a PhD in Civil Engineering in 2019 from Aalborg University in Denmark. She was also a visiting researcher at the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Ghent University in 2018. Her research focuses on the integration of symbolic and statistical Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches for decision support in performance-oriented building design and engineering. Her research interests include neuro-symbolic AI in the built environment, Ambient Intelligence, cognitive approaches, smart buildings, Building Information Modelling and Management, Semantic Web. She has been working on various topics related to the implementation of symbolic and statistical AI for decision support in the context of sustainable building design, circular buildings, Digital Twins, data-driven smart buildings, etc.
Ekaterina supervises PhD-, master- and bachelor students and is involved in curriculum development and lecturing of multiple bachelor- and master courses. Ekaterina is also a member of the Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI) and a coordinator of the Smart Cities track of the upcoming Artificial Intelligence Engineering Systems (AIES) master program at Eindhoven University of Technology. She is also a holder of an Irene Curie fellowship from Eindhoven University of Technology, Professor P. Ole Fanger's Research Grant and an eCAADe Young Researcher Grant.

Detailed programme

Thursday October 14 (All times are in CEST/UTC+2)


Digital building permit solutions




Keynote: Development digital building permit solutions - What are the hidden challenges?

Speaker: Eilif Hjelseth


Artur Tomczak.

From bold sustainability objectives to BIM requirements.


Discussions: what are the purposes of code checking? which processes and resources are involved in compliance assessment?




Integrating domain knowledge into compliance assessment


Zsuzsa Besenyöi and Markus Krämer. 

Towards the Establishment of a BIM-supported Facility Management Knowledge Management System for Energy Efficient Building Operations.


Eilif Hjelseth and Beidi Li.

Use of “Reasoner” for automated building code compliance assessment.


Jyrki Oraskari, Madhumitha Senthilvel, and Jakob Beetz. 

SHACL is for LBD what mvdXML is for IFC.


Jakob Kirchner and Wolfgang Huhnt.

A formal Approach for Interfaces and Requirements of Smart Objects in Building Models.


Discussions: what are the desired properties of KM systems? what are the limitations of current KE methods?

Friday October 15 (All times are in CEST/UTC+2)


Challenges and opportunities in code checking


Panel discussion: the status and future of code checking.

Leader: Robert Amor

Members: Johannes Dimyadi, Ranjith K. Soman, Nora El-Gohary, and Ekaterina Petrova


Stefan Fuchs and Robert Amor.

Natural Language Processing for Building Code Interpretation: A Systematic Literature Review.




Interdisciplinary gaps and links in performance-based design


Yang Zou.

Lessons learnt from the global adoption of automated compliance checking technologies.


Joao Soliman Junior

Automated Compliance Checking in Healthcare Building Projects.


Peter Nørkjær Gade

Questioning the rationality of how BIM-based Model Checking is envisioned.


Pieter Pauwels.

Symbolics and statistics for automated code compliance checking in buildings.


Discussions: what is our vision of future code checking applications and how do we get there? how do we deal with qualitative codes? how do we choose modelling approaches?


Registration to the workshop is done through CIBW78 2021 at


Organising team

Beidi Li, Aarhus University

Prof. Eilif Hjelseth, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Prof. Robert Amor, University of Auckland

Dr. Johannes Dimyadi, University of Auckland

Dr. Carl Schultz, Aarhus University


This workshop intends to serve as the first of a series of efforts and activities aiming at bringing together experts, researchers, and practitioners in a highly interdisciplinary domain that is automated building code compliance assessment. Our primary goal is to:

A follow up event is planned at ECPPM 2022 in Trondheim, Norway.