A Lifecycle Approach towards Building Information Management : Technical and procedural implications for the facility management and operations sector

Abstract: A well-structured and coordinated information management practice is central to promoting efficiency in construction. Building information management encompasses authoring, interpretation, communication, coordination and storage of building information. The benefits envisioned by utilizing IT developments such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the facility management and operations (FM&O) sector are estimated to be far greater than in other sectors. There is, however, a gap between the knowledge available in the field of building information management and the actual demands of the architectural, engineering, construction and operation (AECO) industry, especially the FM&O sector.The overall aim of this qualitative research is to develop knowledge that conceptualizes the lifecycle supporting implementation of BIM in the AECO industry with a focus on its implications for a BIM-enabled FM&O practice. This applied research comprises a number of summative and formative components: paper 1 investigates the existing and emerging information management systems for the FM&O sector and their characteristics. The focus of paper 2 is narrowed down to the technical requirements on building information management systems; while its temporal scope spans the entire lifecycle of buildings. Paper 3 is a further elaboration on the findings of paper 1 and covers the technical requirements of BIM-implementation in the FM&O sector. Paper 4 investigates workflows – another category of the issues identified in paper 1.Paper 1 aims to provide a general understanding of the importance and implications of implementing BIM-enabled systems in the FM&O sector and also identifies the main categories of the issues associated with this approach. This literary paper reports on a basic research with a descriptive approach and builds upon the information from a non-exhaustive set of literature. In this paper, workflows, contracts and information technology have been identified as three categories of the issues associated with implementing BIM-enabled systems in the FM&O sector.Paper 2 is also a literary research which draws on the notion of BIM repositories and aims to clarify the technical requirements for a more collaborative building industry as well as depicting the current status of building knowledge management technologies, recent trends and future prospects. Open format BIM repositories have been suggested as the cornerstones of an integrated information management system for AECO firms.The aim of paper 3 is twofold: firstly, to summarize the current status of the building information management technologies applied in the facility operation activities and identifying prevailing issues; secondly, to devise some technical solutions for those issues based on a case project. In the first part of this study, a summarized description of information management configurations in eleven projects were extracted from literature and the technical issues within those systems were identified. Moreover, five major categories of contemporary technical solutions for enhancing information transfer from BIM to FM&O software were designated. Then, a narrative and illustrative representation and reconstruction of an IT-implementation project was developed.Paper 4 is another literary study which aims to provide the theoretical basis for more focused studies on existing and desired processes in the FM&O sector and their associated information transactions. In this paper, firstly, the more common definitions of the key concepts have been revisited and discussed. Then, the generic types of the processes, activities and organizational roles common to FM&O firms, the types of information required by each actor and how such information are acquired have been presented.