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Spoken dialogue BIM systems – an application of big data in construction

Ibrahim Motawa (Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 3 October 2017




With the rapid development in the internet technologies, the applications of big data in construction have seen considerable attention. Currently, there are many input/output modes of capturing construction knowledge related to all construction stages. On the other hand, building information modelling (BIM) systems have been developed to help in storing various structured data of buildings. However, these systems cannot fully capture the knowledge and unstructured data used in the operation of building systems in a usable format that uses the intelligent capabilities of BIM systems. Therefore, this research aims to adopt the concept of big data and develop a spoken dialogue BIM system to capture buildings operation knowledge, particularly for building maintenance and refurbishment.


The proposed system integrates cloud-based spoken dialogue system and case-based reasoning BIM system.


The system acts as an interactive expert agent that seeks answers from the user for questions specific to building maintenance problems and helps searching for solutions from previously stored knowledge cases. The practices of monitoring and maintaining buildings performance can be more efficient by the retrieval of relevant solutions from the captured knowledge to new problems when maintaining buildings components. The developed system enables easier capture and search for solutions to new problems with a more comprehensive retrieval of information.


Capturing multi-modes data into BIM systems using the cloud-based spoken dialogue systems will help construction teams use the high volume of data generated over building lifecycle and search for the most suitable solutions for maintenance problems. This new area of research also contributes to the current BIM systems by advancing their capabilities to instantly capture and retrieve knowledge of operations instead of only information.



Motawa, I. (2017), "Spoken dialogue BIM systems – an application of big data in construction", Facilities, Vol. 35 No. 13/14, pp. 787-800.



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