UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Envisioning a building information model (BIM) integrated building performance visualization (iPViz) interface Jaffery, Syed Raza Ali


The dispersed nature, complexity, and amount of information available in modern buildings with advanced management and control systems, makes it challenging for building operators to holistically understand building performance. One of the reasons is the lack of integration among multiple information sources and tools making it harder to align performance data with user’s experiential model of the physical systems. The goal of this research is to envision an integrated building performance visualization interface that provides contextually relevant, on-demand information to building operators. The research was executed in three sequential phases including an extensive literature review, a detailed case study, and development of a mockup prototype. I conducted an extensive literature review to capture the state-of-the-art in related academic domains and to establish a point-of-departure for the proposed research. The case study focused on a high performance building to understand operation and maintenance practices with an emphasis on building management systems (BMS). The case study involved two phases. In the first phase, I collected qualitative data by conducting interviews, contextual inquiries, and shadowing of building operators. In the second phase, I conducted a survey to collect quantitative data that further expanded upon the initial findings from first phase. The results revealed several overlapping and interrelated challenges that were further analyzed and grouped into two sets of issues: visualization related and system’s interactivity related. I also identified two core problems in the overall use of the BMS: a lack of spatial and informational context, and disconnected monitoring of energy and system performance data. Based on the findings, I developed a BIM Integrated Performance Visualization (iPViz) interface mockup as a proof-of-concept to support the work of building operators. I demonstrated the proposed interface features by using storyboard illustrations based on task-specific scenarios. I designed the scenarios and storyboards to demonstrate the proposed interface’s ability to provide spatially contextual information in response to a building operator’s interactions. The research provides some future directions for the development of BIM-based performance visualization systems. Additional research is required to implement and evaluate the proposed solutions and to analyze their effectiveness in facilitating building management functions.

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