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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding the transition to BIM for facility owners Cavka, Hasan Burak


Building information modeling (BIM) is emerging as a potential solution for facility owners to address the challenges of poor information quality and interoperability during project handover and inadequate facilities management during building operations. However, implementing BIM in an owner organization is a complex challenge that necessitates reconfiguration of work practices and internal structures to fully realize the benefits. Although previous studies have documented the potential benefits of BIM adoption for owners, such as improvements in work order processing, very little research has specifically looked at the transition to BIM and the scale of the effort required for large and diverse owner organizations. This dissertation investigates the transition to BIM through the lens of two large public owner organizations in Canada. Specifically, the research involved embedded case study analyses to investigate the alignment of facilities management (FM) practices across the organizational and project contexts in relation to owner requirements. The resulting case study analysis is unique in terms of the richness of the data collection and analysis methods used, the research approach investigating alignment across two interrelated contexts at the organizational and project level, and the focus on information in terms of understanding how facility information is affected by the organizational processes, technologies and requirements. The investigation of current owner practices enabled a better understanding of the gap between available and required information, processes and technology, and the challenges owners face when considering the transition to BIM. A significant contribution resulting from these studies is the framework I developed to characterize the alignment between organizational constructs, available technology, project artifacts and owner information requirements. The research into two different owners provided a rich understanding of owners’ information requirements and led to the formalization of computable requirements in relation to BIM, and the development of a 3-stage methodology to help owners develop and deploy BIM requirements. This research demonstrates that the transition to BIM for facility owners necessitates the development of explicit and computable BIM requirements, the reconfiguration of internal work practices, and the formalization of stages of compliance to support BIM-enabled project delivery.

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