ILMA - Integral lifecycle management for wastewater treatment

Wastewater treatment plants are usually designed by experts using standards and regulations as well as expert knowledge and professional experience. In this context, the quality of wastewater treatment plants largely depends on whether the engineering team has sufficient experience, which is expressed through the know-how of individuals. Considering the possibilities of modern information technology (IT) and the associated optimization potential provided by consistent modeling, the planning and operating processes in the field of wastewater treatment are highly inefficient.

The objective of the ILMA project is the development of a modern IT infrastructure for collaborative, consistent and holistic planning of the construction and operation of wastewater systems. Existing design tools use different partial aspects of the planning variables required for specific partial tasks, causing breaks in the planning process. By consistently linking existing models and data, their consistent use will be enabled throughout the entire planning process. In addition, modern optimization methods of process simulation are linked directly to the planning process. The modeling should be based on open, internationally standardized formats.

To account for all practical application scenarios and for specific workflows in the definition of requirements, two large treatment plant operators as well as three engineering companies are involved as associated partners. Smart services are selected, and smart service demonstrators are developed in the project, which enable developing basic functions for planning and for optimizing wastewater treatment plants on the basis of the software platform.

With the increasing exemption of routine work, engineers can focus on the evaluation and on the assessment of processed information. Linking computer-assisted optimization to all planning phases in ILMA promises efficiency enhancements in the double-digit percentage range. The concept of the open architecture of ILMA allows integrating systems established for planning tasks on the software market directly into the smart service platform.

The Chair of Computing in Civil Engineering at Bauhaus University Weimar is responsible for the following work packages:

  • Identification of relevant domain models and model elements
  • Specification of semantic IFC model extensions (Building Information Modeling)
  • Interface concept for IFC models (application domain requirements)
  • Development of an editor and a rendering engine for standard IFC components

ILMA media coverage

Project type
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): KMU innovativ

2017 - 2020

Awarded amount
1.258.574,40 €, thereof 876.799,40 € awarded by BMBF

Project partners and areas of research

  • Bauhaus University Weimar, Chair of Computing in Civil Enginerring: Research partner; methods for modeling waster treatment plants
  • Technical University Dresden, Chair of Software Technology: Research partner; methods for model synchronization
  • and others

Project-related publications

  • Söbke, H., Peralta, P., Heigener, D. & Smarsly, K., 2020. BIM-based sizing of reactors in processing facilities. In: Proceedings of the 27th International Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering (EG-ICE). Berlin, Germany, 07/01/2020. 

  • Söbke, H., Peralta, P., Smarsly, K. & Armbruster, M., 2020. An IFC schema extension for BIM-based description of wastewater treatment plants. Automation in Construction (submitted). 

  • Söbke, H., Theiler, M., Tauscher, E. & Smarsly, K., 2018. BIM-based description of wastewater treatment plants. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE). Tampere, Finland, 06/05/2018.

  • Söbke, H., Tauscher, E. & Smarsly, K., 2018. Metamodelling of wastewater treatment plants. In: Proceedings of the BauSIM 2018. Karlsruhe, Germany, 09/26/2018.
    Download (in German)
  • Di Biccari, C. & Heigener, D., 2018. Semantic modeling of wastewater treatment plants towards international data format standards. In: 30. Forum Bauinformatik. Weimar, 19.09.2018.
  • Smarsly, K., & Söbke, H., 2019. Digital description of wastewater treatment plants using building information modeling. In: W. Kristeller & U. Jumar (Eds.), KläranlagenTage, Bad Soden, Germany, 06/26/2019, German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA).

Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly
Bauhaus University Weimar
Computing in Civil Engineering
Coudraystraße 13 b, Room 004
99423 Weimar
Email: kay.smarsly[at]

Dr. Heinrich Söbke
Bauhaus University Weimar
Computing in Civil Engineering
Coudraystraße 13 b, Room 003
99423 Weimar
Email: heinrich.soebke[at]