UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Exploring BIM Implementation Challenges in Complex Renovation Projects: A Case Study of UBC’s BRDF Expansion Zadeh, Puyan A.; Han, Seungho; Staub-French, Sheryl


Renovation of existing buildings pose unique challenges to the projects, especially when facilities must remain operational during construction. Building Information Modeling (BIM) methods offer a potential solution by enhancing project management and coordination. Nevertheless, comprehensive case study research on BIM implementation challenges and benefits in renovation projects is lacking. This research addresses this gap through an ethnographic investigation of BIM implementation in a complex renovation project. The ethnographic methods involved direct observation of project meetings, active engagement in all project communications, and access to project data resources. Additionally, surveys and expert interviews with key decision-makers were conducted. The findings reveal how BIM implementation streamlined project management and improved communication, decision making, and output quality, despite limited prior BIM expertise among the major stakeholders. Challenges included a lack of BIM skills, absence of standardized practices, and unclear data management. Furthermore, valuable lessons were identified, including that the necessity of BIM requirements and proper procurement methods encompassing the entire project workflow, formalizing information exchange, preventing information fragmentation, facilitating model accessibility, and ensuring clarity in model detail and content are crucial for project success. This research sheds light on the potential of BIM in renovation projects and highlights key considerations for successful implementation.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0