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Paper ecce-2001-40:
bcXML, an XML vocabulary for building and construction

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Tolman F, Stephens J, Steinmann R, van Rees R, Böhms M, Zarli A

bcXML, an XML vocabulary for building and construction

Abstract:Electronic information networking in Building and Construction (BC) has been thesubject of research for the last two decades and indeed much progress has been made. Forexample, the exchange of electronic technical drawings, geometry models and buildingproduct models is possible today. Also in the eCommerce area much progress has beenmade, with the Internet dramatically increasing ICT awareness in BC. Several softwarevendors are marketing interesting Internet based systems that support eProcurement,sometimes even including back office-integration (job costing, accounting).Despite these positive developments, progress in open, meaningful (BC semantics)communication over the Internet has been limited, and subsequently Internet basedproject information communication in large projects hardly exists. The reason is thatthere is still no common multi lingual BC vocabulary that can be used by both humansand computer applications. Such a vocabulary, that contains BC notions like 'beam','paint', 'door', 'foundation pile', cannot be implemented with the existing, HTML-based,Internet technology. HTML, the Hyper Text Mark-up Language, is what it says, a markuplanguage, not a language to define human and computer understandable content.With the new Internet language XML, eXtensible Mark-up Language [1], it is possible todefine and communicate both content and mark-up. This means that XML supports thedevelopment of XML vocabularies as required by BC. The European IST 10303'eConstruct' Project is doing just this with the development of bcXML (BuildingConstruction XML).The paper presents the latest results of the project focusing on the aspects related toinformation networking in Building and Civil Engineering.

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