BOT: the Building Topology Ontology of the W3C Linked Building Data Group

Tracking #: 2279-3492

Mads Holten Rasmussen
Maxime Lefrançois
Georg Ferdinand Schneider
Pieter Pauwels

Responsible editor: 
Krzysztof Janowicz

Submission type: 
Ontology Description
Actors in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operation (AECOO) industry traditionally exchange building models as files. The Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology advocates the seamless exchange of all information between related stakeholders using digital technologies. The ultimate evolution of the methodology, BIM Maturity Level 3, envisions interoperable, distributed, web-based, interdisciplinary information exchange among stakeholders across the life-cycle of buildings. The World Wide Web Consortium Linked Building Data Community Group (W3C LBD-CG) hypothesises that the Linked Data models and best practices can be leveraged to achieve this vision in modern web-based applications. In this paper, we introduce the Building Topology Ontology (BOT) as a core vocabulary to this approach. It provides a high-level description of the topology of buildings including storeys and spaces, the building elements they contain, and their web-friendly 3D models. We describe how existing applications produce and consume datasets combining BOT with other ontologies that describe product catalogues, sensor observations, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices effectively implementing BIM Maturity Level 3. We evaluate our approach by exporting and querying three real-life large building models.
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By Tomi Kauppinen submitted on 12/Oct/2019
Review Comment:

(1) Quality and relevance of the described ontology (convincing evidence must be provided).

This is a mature work reporting about BOT, which is released as a public draft by the authors' Linked Building Data Community Group. Authors do great job in placing the work among related work, and provide evidence via examples (of the ontology elements), via practise (when using with other ontologies), and via evaluation (both "BOT and BOT exporters").

(2) Illustration, clarity and readability of the describing paper, which shall convey to the reader the key aspects of the described ontology.
This is a very good piece of work, very clear, lots of illustrations, excellent read. I am totally convinced that this new revision of the paper can be published as it is. The authors addressed my question on different kinds of spaces, and to what I checked also concerns by other reviewers.

Review #2
By Yingjie Hu submitted on 15/Oct/2019
Review Comment:

The authors have successfully addressed my comments. This is a solid ontology description paper and I recommend it for publication.

Review #3
By Simon Scheider submitted on 19/Oct/2019
Minor Revision
Review Comment:

The authors did a good job in revising the manuscript, addressing all my suggestions and questions.

The only things left are two minor issues:

- The competency question in section 3.1 make sense. However, right now they are not formulated as questions but rather as propositions. If the authors want to keep the term "CQ", then they should reformulate propositions as questions. For example, "Which sites, buildings, storeys and spaces are included by the 3D volumes of zones?".

- The authors should check the grammar of some of the newly added sentences. For example, "From anyone in design and construction [...] it is therefore fundamental to have these concepts" is not a grammatical English sentence.

The manuscript can directly be accepted with these improvements.