Translating building legislation into a computer-executable format for evaluating building permit requirements

Hyunsoo Lee, Jin Kook Lee, Seokyung Park, Inhan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe an approach to translating the written content of the Korean Building Act into a computer-executable format for the purpose of evaluating building permit requirements. Among the various applications of building information modeling (BIM), we focus on automated design assessment and its rule-making process, which has been performed by both architects and software developers. Compared to the conventional rule-making approach, which is integrated with rule-checking software, our suggested mechanism (KBimLogic) of converting rule sentences from the Korean Building Act into computer-executable code (KBimCode) is a software-independent approach that separates the rule-making and rule-checking processes. We use the rule-making approach to translate the Korean Building Act into an explicit code that focuses on building permit requirements. Building permit-related regulations are defined in the Korean Building Act, but some of the sentences are ambiguous, and some implicit definitions hinder translation into an explicitly defined computer-executable form. Some building permit-related requirements vary by building type, administrative district, permitted date, and as-built date; thus, it is critical to design computable rules independent of specific proprietary software. The building permit system in Korea changes (as it does in other countries), making it critical that code compliance rules be kept up-to-date. Our work is motivated by such fundamentals and suggests a logic rule-based mechanism for use by non-programmers and a user-friendly approach to the rule-making process. The scope and major components of our research are as follows: (1) noun phrases classify building objects and associated properties from the Korean Building Act; (2) verb phrases derive high-level methods to construct the actual rule-checking body; and (3) the logic rule-based mechanism processes natural language sentences. In the actual implementation for translation, this approach has been demonstrated by each database and a GUI-based application named KBimLogic, for generating KBimCode. The KBimCode, which contains a set of specific building permit requirements translated from sentences, can be imported into our code-checking software (KBimAssess) using a specific file format.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant ( 15AUDP-C067809-03 ) from the Architecture and Urban Development Research Program funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport of the Korean government .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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