International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Evaluation of organisational context and requirements for leveraging building information models to support handover and operations & maintenance Cavka, Hasan Burak; Staub-French, Sheryl; Pottinger, Rachel


The handover of building information upon completion of a project is a critical and challenging step for owners. It is at this stage that the owner gets all the relevant information about the facility to support operations and maintenance (O&M) over its lifecycle. However, experience has shown that this step is often given little attention and that the information that is obtained is often erroneous, incomplete or unstructured. The increasing use of Building Information Modeling by architects, engineers and contractors and the resulting models that are created during the design and construction phases are now starting to be handed over to the owner as part of the as-built facility information. While BIM has the potential to consistently represent systems and equipment with the required information to support O&M, traditional design and construction models need to be significantly reworked to make them useful for O&M tasks. In order to achieve a digital BIM-based handover process we need to understand how a model-based process aligns with a given organizational structure. This paper presents the findings from a retrospective study of a large public owner and the handover process for a high performance institutional building. On this project, we analyzed the owner’s technical guidelines, interviewed numerous O&M personnel, analyzed the software and systems used and the associated information flows, and analyzed the building handover artifacts. In particular, this paper focuses on the analysis of the handover BIM for mechanical systems and its compliance with the owner’s technical guidelines and user requirements with the intent of characterizing the model structure and content required to support the owner’s O&M activities. This analysis identifies the extensive processing required to configure design and construction BIM’s to satisfy owner’s O&M needs. For example, geometric and non-geometric content needs to be added, the models need to be re-structured to define space-equipment-system definitions and relationships, and equipment names and system definitions need to be aligned with the technology infrastructure within the organisation. The findings suggest that in order to have a consistent and useful BIM for O&M at handover, the model structure and content should comply with the owner/user requirements and they need to be in alignment with the organisational and technological processes and infrastructures of the owner organisation.

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