Software solutions for building permitting and compliance.

Software solutions for building permitting and compliance.

[March] [2024]
3rd N E W S L E T T E R
Dear ACCORD Subscribers and Readers,

Welcome to the ACCORD's 3rd newsletter.

This is a bi-annual newsletter designed to inform you of the latest developments of the EU and innovative UK-funded project ACCORD. In this third edition, we provide information on software solutions for building permitting and compliance on the ACCORD partners' research and survey on the current state and trends. We also share the outcomes of ACCORD research on the user information requirement for building permit. You will find information about ACCORD's next steps, future events, and outcomes from past events.

Stay tuned and subscribe to ACCORD social media for the latest ACCORD news.
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1. Introducing ACCORD

accord banner
ACCORD is a Horizon Europe project (2022-2025) that automates building permit and compliance processes using BIM and other data sources. ACCORD develops a Semantic Framework that will be demonstrated in five real-life construction projects around Europe: Finland, Estonia, Germany, the UK, and Spain. The framework includes semantic interoperability, a rule formalisation tool, and integrated micro-services for building permit and compliance checking.

2. Software solutions for building permitting and compliance.

The ACCORD project aims to make the process of getting building permits and meeting building regulations easier and more digital. It uses BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology and other data types. The main goal is to make designing and building more efficient and better quality, supporting environmentally friendly buildings and a sustainable environment. This project fits with the goals of the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus initiative.
ACCORD focuses on making these digital processes user-friendly, clear, and cost-effective for both the people applying for permits and the authorities. Also, these processes should be useful for the construction industry.
To achieve its goals, ACCORD is creating a framework that combines processes, rules, data, and tools for digital building permits in Europe. This framework will make it easier to set clear rules and combine existing compliance tools. Solutions and tools will be made to ensure they are consistent, work well together, and are reliable, following national rules, processes, and standards. This will help automatically check if buildings meet standards during their design, construction, renovation, or demolition.
To make sure the project is useful for the industry, the first step of ACCORD was to look at the current situation in Europe regarding building permits and following building regulations. This included a detailed review and analysis of how digitalization is currently being used in this area, as well as the relevant software tools and technologies.
The most important tools in the current landscape are listed below, click on more details if you want to see more information:

2.1 Clearly.BIM

Clearly.BIM by Future Insight is an advanced BIM model management platform offering 3D visualisation, automated compliance and IDS checking, integration with geospatial information, enhanced spatial analysis with various map layers, and OpenAPI and GraphQL for improved int

2.2 D-COM Network

Cardiff University's D-COM network introduces a digital compliance ecosystem, streamlining construction regulation verification using open-source software tools and APIs, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in the construction industry

2.3 Online Building permitting software by Cloud permit OY

Online building permitting software modernizes local government development approvals, streamlining construction permit processes. It enforces mandatory inputs, updates statuses in real-time, organizes information efficiently, sets precise application requirements, ensures secure submissions, and enables on-site inspections via mobile devices. Additionally, it manages multiple permits and integrates with GIS for enhanced planning, offering a comprehensive, efficient, and transparent solution for both governments and citizens.

2.4 Solibri Model Checker

Solibri Model Checker is a crucial BIM project management tool, ensuring model accuracy, regulatory compliance, time-saving automatic conflict detection, and enhancing stakeholder collaboration.

2.5 Knowledge Graphs for Building Automation Systems

Ontotex addresses the building automation industry's need for intelligent data integration using knowledge graphs. These graphs enhance data management and integration, enabling smarter building automation. They offer structured, interconnected entity descriptions, seamless data integration, and facilitate predictive maintenance, efficient asset management, and digital twin monitoring, leading to more informed and sustainable building management strategies.

3. ACCORD General Results and Outcomes.

ACCORD’s main result is the semantic building permitting framework based on micro-services that integrate many manual steps in the building permit process into a semi-automated workflow.

ACCORD will also develop:
  • A rule formalisation tool, based on semantic web technologies, allowing formalisation of regulations into a standardized rule representation format.
  • A Ruleset Database allows for the storage and retrieval of rules stored in a semantic format for applications of various stakeholders when using building permitting and compliance checking services.
  • Building Compliance Checking Micro-services supporting various use cases.
  • Open Standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) (D4.2) for building compliance and other information services to allow integrated dataflows between building permitting, building compliance, and other information services.
    Key exploitable results (KERs) are preliminarily identified in three areas:
    • Technical standards and harmonised guidelines for software and platform development for the use-case of automated digital building permit process.
    • Guidelines and information requirements for the usage process (for disciplines)
    • Body of knowledge, e.g., awareness-raising information package and E-learning courses.

    4. ACCORD Now and Next.

    Current work in the ACCORD project focuses on defining the technical architecture requirements of the cloud-based construction permit framework and defining the open semantic platform-neutral format for the representation of standards.
    ACCORD partners will present the first results of the project at the Digital Building Permit Conference 2024. For more information, see the Upcoming events session.
    Work has also started on the definition of the future European building permit process and the necessary building information has been added to the IFC to test the automatic reading of this information from the IFC on behalf of the cloud-based building permit service.

    5. Next Events

    REBUILD 2024 en Madrid

    19 -21 March 2024 –IFEMA Madrid
    The event will focus on the challenges and opportunities of the construction sector, addressing topics such as industrialization, digitalization, sustainability, and the recent BIM Plan Spain.
    Screenshot 2023-08-11 at 18.06.22

    Digital Building Permit Conference

    18-19 April 2024 – Barcelona
    The EUnet4DBP, together with several relevant organisations, is organising the “Second International Conference on Digital Building Permit” to dive into the current status.

    6. Past Events

    ACCORD at Linked Data in Architecture and Construction Workshop, LDAC2023

    ACCORD had an active participation in Linked Data in Architecture and Construction Workshop, LDAC2023. LDAC is the premier workshop for using semantic approaches in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operation (AECO) sector. ACCORD participated in the LDCA summer school and also presented four papers.

    ACCORD at Leipzig Data Week

    During the Leipzig Data Week on June 27th, ACCORD representative - Katja Breitenfelder discussed perspectives and solutions for the Digital Permit Process. ACCORD partner - Hamburg XLeistelle wvvbill present XPlanung and XBau perspectives on Digital Building Permit.

    ACCORD at the Architects' Council of Europe General Assembly

    ACCORD was presented in April 2023 at the General Assembly of the Architects Council of Europe, as part of a panel that presented the digitalisation of the building permit in Estonia, Finland, and Austria (Vienna). You can watch the presentation in the video on news number 2 in this newsletter.

    ACCORD at Building Digital Twin International Congress

    ACCORD held a workshop on digital building permitting with ACCORD’s sister projects DigiChecks and CHEK at the Building Digital Twin International Congress on the 3rd of May, 2023 in Antwerpen, Belgium.

    ACCORD at the High-Level Construction Forum (HLCF)

    ACCORD participated in the High-Level Construction Forum (HLCF) meeting on the 20th of October, 2022 with ACCORD’s sister projects DigiChecks and CHEK to support the co-creation process toward a green, digital, and resilient construction ecosystem. The meeting was organised by the European Commission.

    ACCORD at the buildingSMART Regulatory Room Open House

    ACCORD participated in the ”Towards automated regulatory compliance in the EU” Open House organized by the buildingSMART Regulatory Room on 26th of January 2023.

    7. EU News

    Incorporation of BIM methodology in public contracts in Spain

    The Spanish Council of Ministers approved a plan for the progressive use of BIM methodology in public construction contracts. This initiative aims to improve efficiency in public spending and promote collaboration and digitalisation in the life cycle of buildings.

    EU's green and digital route through BIM

    The EU has unveiled a plan for a green and digital transition in the construction sector, highlighting the importance of BIM technology for a more sustainable and resilient economy. This plan includes measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the construction of safer and more accessible buildings.

    Support of the digitalisation of the built environment, public procurement, and SMEs in the construction Survey

    This short survey is part of the project "Support of the digitalisation of the built environment, public procurement, and SMEs in construction". The project is funded by the European Innovation Council, the Executive Agency for SMEs (EISMEA), and the European Commission (DG GROW), whose ultimate goal is to promote the digitalization of the European construction sector in three ways:
    -Pave the way for a common European construction data space;
    -Promote the digitization of building permit systems in member states;
    -Facilitate wider adoption of BIM in the EU.

    Reply to this one-page survey here.

    8. Next Newsletter

    - Future digital building permit process and transition pathway.
    Screenshot 2023-04-06 at 09.22.54