January 27, 2021

BIMKIT excels in AI innovation competition at project launch and receives BMWi funding

At the second call for funding by the "Innovation Competition Artificial Intelligence” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the proposal “Modeling of Buildings and Infrastructure using Artificial Intelligence to Generate Digital Twins” (BIMKIT)—in which Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) is a partner—found success. The innovation competition sought novel approaches for AI-based platforms in important sectors of the German economy. BIMKIT, with a total budget of 10.8 million EUR (of which the Vision and Imaging Technologies department at Fraunhofer HHI will receive 3.3 million EUR), was initiated this month and will run until December 2023.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) digitally combines data that can efficiently and sustainably maintain buildings and plan construction. BIM can also provide geometrical visualization of building structures as virtual models. However, such models are often unavailable for existing buildings, which prevents the construction and housing industry from optimizing the building life cycle.

BIMKIT offers an AI- and cloud-based solution to this problem. Using AI methods, BIMKIT will evaluate information on buildings and infrastructures (e.g., two-dimensional plans, images, point clouds, and text documents) to generate models of structural and technical elements. This information will be used to generate a BIM-based digital model that can be automatically updated. The data and AI services will be stored in decentralized form on cloud platforms using GAIA-X standards, which will encourage the development of open platforms and marketplaces for AI services in the construction industry. Aspects of data sovereignty, data security, and safety-relevant information on buildings will be carefully considered.

All four research groups of Fraunhofer HHI’s "Vision and Imaging Technologies" department are involved in BIMKIT. Their work focuses on the development of AI methods for as-built models of buildings and infrastructure as well as noise protection planning. In this context, they will develop AI methods for the automated generation of digital images of real structures, which will be made available for BIM applications in planning, construction, and operations. Furthermore, the Fraunhofer HHI will work on the development of concepts for evaluation of the AI results and the generated BIM models.

Detailed information on the project, its participants, and associated partners can be found here .