BIM2FEM: From Building Information Modeling to Finite Element Analysis

An open-source-based workflow


The construction industry currently lacks automated open-source-based workflows for thermal and structural analysis of buildings. The Finite Element Method (FEM) represents the state-of-the-art approach for structural and thermal analysis in construction engineering. With the recent increase in computing power, complex models can now be analyzed within a feasible amount of time. However, the integration of FEM into Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows remains an active area of research. While some commercial software provides interfaces and plug-ins for BIM-integrated finite element analysis, their capabilities are limited and their use is restricted to the corresponding commercial software. Customizable open-source-based approaches exist, but they lack consistent and robust workflows. A consistent data flow of material properties and boundary conditions is essential but remains a challenging task that has not yet been sufficiently addressed. Fraunhofer Italia has developed a workflow based on the open IFC-standard and open-source FEM software packages, which has been tested and validated through the creation of a software prototype. This talk will introduce the developed workflow and demonstrate the prototype’s functionalities through selected use-cases.