Storing 3D properties based on open BIM designs for the “National Base Registration Underground”

One of the questions that has been around for some time is how to deal with capturing 3D properties (buildings, apartments, etc.). This concerns underground and more complex objects and intertwined properties, in particular based on BIM models. For this question, Future Insight was asked to perform a Proof of Concept.

This proof of concept focuses on the question whether this concept also meets the needs of the notary as an important pivot in this process, especially with transfer, but also with 3D splitting (a wish expressed by notaries themselves). The need from the daily work process of a civil-law notary was the starting point. The aim was to set up an easy-to-use working online demo that can be operated by a notary himself. This is an important precondition for successfully implementing such a solution.

Future Insight
We have extensive experience with the use of BIM in relation to its application in government processes. For example, we carried out the design of a successful PoC for an automated BIM permit check for Estonia ( Our distinctive strength is that, in addition to using open data standards and scalable web-based technologies, we always take the end user as a starting point. What is the problem of the end user and how can we offer a solution with the right techniques and data? We have also applied the approach, experience and technologies from these projects in the implementation of this PoC.

Involving potential enthusiastic end-users
An important precondition for carrying out the proof of concept was to find an enthusiastic end-user, a civil-law notary, who wanted to help think about the approach. In the often legal playing field of notaries, innovative solutions with regard to technology do not have the highest priority. Through our network we already had contact with Lars Boellaard of Westport Notarissen NV and Jean-Paul Bolhaar of Hermans & Schuttevaer Notarissen NV. They have been working on the BIM legal initiative together with BPD for some time. An approach in which legal and administrative information, along with the legal source documents, are combined with the corresponding physical spaces of the objects, extracted from detailed BIM models.

The idea that BIM models can be an important source of this is widely supported and researched. BIM models are becoming more popular and due to the wishes and developments to deliver new constructions in BIM from now on, it is expected that a large number of IFC files will be available in the near future. BIM models are a good basis in theory, because they are very detailed, rich in context, semantics and geometry. Moreover, a BIM environment offers the possibility to record additional information in the model such as materialization, nuisance contours, soil status / reports and legal information (in addition to 3D geometry).

For this reason, research has also been conducted to see whether a logical relationship can be established between properties and available objects in the BIM model and specifically in IFC format. The relationship with LADM classes ‘ifcSpaces’ and possibly ‘ifcZones’ seems suitable for this, since they are used for modeling spatial units and can be grouped based on the same characteristics. In addition, the geo-reference aspect is investigated (since it must be checked whether there is overlap between adjacent buildings), and index numbers in an IFC file to indicate which rooms belong to which apartment.

Both civil-law notaries see the construction task facing the Dutch government to reduce the housing shortage. At least 845,000 homes must be built by 2030, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands and the NEPROM report ‘Home in the future’. Practice shows that more and more complex conditions have to be processed in the deeds (complex high-rise buildings, overlapping properties etc.)          

This is an enormously complex and error-prone process, whereby the current, often analogous, process based on 2D floor plans does not work properly. Reality is 3D. The current process produces a quantity of file folders of 1.5 meters, which should not be necessary in the opinion of the notaries.

This traditional way of working also does not meet the needs of clients (project developers), buyers in new construction projects and is (too) time-consuming. Moreover, the aforementioned civil-law notaries foresee that innovation is necessary in order to achieve a reduction of legal failure costs that are experienced in the process from acquisition through a project development to the sale of individual homes and the delivery thereof through a shortening of the chain.

Together with these users, a sketch was also made of the functionality and user interface of the proof of concept, taking this work process as a starting point.

Our vision
The possibilities go further, so much so that transfer deeds can be generated on the basis of extra data that is linked to a BIM model. This does not only concern the recording of ownership (exclusive use), but also, for example, shared use, joint installations such as heat pumps, easements, and so on. But also think of the recording of agreements that owners now no longer have in 1.5 meters of documentation folders, but can be consulted online. Many of these agreements can be easily and digitally linked to a BIM model, after which they can also be found much more simply and unambiguously later. In short, not only the building, but also the area is also modeled.

However, this is only the first step to subsequently record this information in purchase agreements and deeds of transfer. The possibility to subsequently record these 3D (ownership) relationships in the land register means that from the drawing board, via the purchase agreement and the deed of delivery up to and including the end of the existence of the building in question, the same 3D environment is used. . It is this registration with the land registry that makes much more possible. For the sake of brevity, reference is made to an article by the aforementioned civil-law notaries Boellaard and Bolhaar in the Tijdschrift voor Bouwrecht (TBR 2019/43).

In addition, collaboration has been sought with Delft University of Technology with researchers from the GIS technology department who are actively involved in this subject (Prof. Dr. ir. Peter van Oosterom and ir. Eftychia Kalogianni). They are active in various international research projects around the 3D Cadastre / 3D Land Administration and have actively helped to establish the connections with the latest developments and relevant standards that are being worked on in international studies. They are also part of the core team of the ISO 19152 LADM revision.

Next steps
Based on the Proof of Concept it has become clear that in terms of need there are concrete opportunities for recording 3D ownership and usage rights based on BIM models. In terms of technology, all necessary parts are now available to fulfill this need. Of course, there are many challenges to ultimately achieve a comprehensive lifecycle and ecosystem, which will probably take years of development. The question is therefore what the next concrete steps should be, in which on the one hand the most important challenges are tackled and on the other hand added value and extra energy are immediately created.