Research Information

Establishment of Digital Structural and Fire Safety Information for Aging Buildings
  • Date2023-12-22
  • Hit258

Establishment of Digital Structural and Fire Safety Information for Aging Buildings

 

 

▲ Senior Researcher Kim Tae-hyung, Department of Building Research, KICT

 

Establishment of Digital Structural and Fire Safety Information for Aging Buildings

 

Prologue


The aging of buildings is a rapidly growing concern in Korea. Currently, buildings that have been in use for more than 30 years account for more than one-third of the total number of buildings in the country.


In May 2020, the Korean government attempted to address this issue by enacting the "Building Management Act" to prevent safety accidents and enhance the efficient management of buildings. However, inspections and surveys are currently conducted primarily by human workers at individual buildings. In addition, while Korea has continuously reinforced its structural and fire safety standards for new buildings, which are now at the level of those in advanced countries, the local governments lack the institutional and technological foundation for effective policy implementation when it comes to the maintenance of existing buildings.


To address these issues, it is necessary to shift from the current labor-intensive building survey and inspection system that is focused on on-site work and requires significant manpower, funding, and time, to a remote and unmanned system. Furthermore, it is necessary to transition to a managerial system that is proactive, predictive, and preventive through systematic safety management and identification of vulnerable buildings.


However, most existing smaller to medium-sized buildings, which are located in safety blind spots, lack basic information related to their safety, including minimal data or drawings, and the inspection costs are high, making self-inspection practically challenging. Additionally, automated information acquisition and inspection technologies have primarily been advanced in high-value industries such as aviation and machinery. In the construction sector, they are primarily being developed for SOC facilities. At the same time, there is a significant lack of low-cost technologies that can be applied to small to medium-sized private buildings.


Therefore, to address these challenges, it is essential to develop the following solutions:
① 1.Building safety information digitalization technology, which enables the swift selection, recognition, extraction, and digital transformation of building safety information from the extensive unstructured data of existing drawings, ② 2.Technologies for remote and automated information gathering using drones and imaging devices, as well as for building site investigations and inspections, ③ 3.Technologies for establishing digital safety information at a metropolitan level linked with local governments, as well as integrated management services.
The proposed elements of digital safety management technology for aging buildings are outlined in Figure 1.


This article introduces research on the "Metropolitan Scale Digital Safety Watch Technology Development for Aging Buildings (Apr. 2022‐Dec. 2025)" conducted as part of a national R&D project by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT).

 

 

Figure 1. Technologies for Digital Safety Management Elements in Aging Buildings

 

 

Directions for the Development of Digital Safety Management Systems


The research aims to achieve a 50% reduction in the time spent on site investigations and inspections in each building by leveraging digital technology rather than labor-based safety management. The focus is on buildings excluded from the current Building Management Act, specifically targeting multi-use aging buildings that are 30 years old or more, with elevated risks of safety accidents and an urgent need for attention.


1) Safety Information Digitalization Technology
Safety information digitization technology is a technology that utilizes unmanned aerial vehicles, image scanning, and other techniques to promptly investigate safety information1 on existing older buildings, and establishes a digital information model that can be used for structural and fire risk assessment. Detailed element technologies include building a standard data model for building safety information, extracting safety information from 2D drawings, developing a BIM (Building Information Modeling) digitization module, and selecting safety information for buildings without drawings.


2) Swift Site investigation and Inspection Technology
Swift Site investigation and inspection technology is a technology that remotely inspects the structure and fire-related safety by acquiring images and detecting defects in aging buildings through the use of unmanned vehicles. Detailed element technologies include automatic generation and safety inspection technology of building exterior shape information, automatic generation and safety inspection technology of indoor and outdoor space information of buildings, and remote/automated safety inspection technology.


3) Metropolitan-level Digital Safety Management Technology
Metropolitan-level Digital Safety Management Technology is a technology that establishes a digital safety management system for metropolitan-level buildings based on BIM-GIS and provides services related to a building safety management system, such as digital safety information and inspection results.Detailed element technologies include establishing an integrated digital safety information management service, demonstrating digital safety management technology for metropolitan-level buildings, and proposing systems and policies to expand the use of safety management in aging buildings.

 

 

Figure 2. Safety Information Digitization Technology: AS-IS and TO-BE

 

Figure 3. Swift Site Investigation and Inspection Technology: AS-IS and TO-BE

 

 

Figure 4. Metropolitan-Level Digital Safety Management Technology: AS-IS and TO-BE

 

 

Expected Outcome and Conclusion


In the future, through technological development, it is anticipated that it will be possible to secure a standardized data model that can be utilized in the existing building safety management tasks based on international standards (IFC, Industry Foundation Classes). Additionally, extraction of safety information from AI-based design documents is expected. Moreover, groundwork is expected to be laid for establishing site information for aging buildings without drawings and securing unmanned safety inspection technology for both indoor and outdoor environments.


In the future, through technological development, it is anticipated that it will be possible to secure a standardized data model that can be utilized in the existing building safety management tasks based on international standards (IFC, Industry Foundation Classes). Additionally, extraction of safety information from AI-based design documents is expected. Moreover, groundwork is expected to be laid for establishing site information for aging buildings without drawings and securing unmanned safety inspection technology for both indoor and outdoor environments.


Ultimately, the establishment of a metropolitan-level safety management system is expected to contribute to detecting safety-related risks of aging and vulnerable buildings, preventing accidents, and alleviating not only safety incidents but also public concerns about safety.

 

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1. Spatial Information (Shape, Dimensions, etc.), Architectural Information

 

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Reference
• "Building Management Act," 2020, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

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