The domain of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) has experienced significant improvements with the advent of building information modelling (BIM) applications, which allow AEC specialists to model all information concerning a building design into one three-dimensional building model. Much of these improvements are however generated by the mere availability of such an environment, whereas many more improvements were expected by achieving an appropriate interoperability of information. We are investigating why such an interoperability is not reached fully and consider the semantic web as an alternative approach to reach the targeted interoperability. In this paper, an AEC description framework based on semantic web technology is presented and compared to the BIM approach, after which we indicate how it might solve the issue of interoperability more appropriately. Our evaluation of this investigation indicates the semantic web approach as a valid alternative approach, although considerably more research is needed to show it capable of providing the targeted interoperability of information in the AEC domain.