buildingSMART alliance BIM for High Tech Facility Life-Cycles Project

BIM for High Tech Facility Life-Cycles

ORGANIZATION: buildingSMART alliance (bSa), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)

Deke Smith
(202) 289-7800

Coalition Partners

Robert Blakey

Phil Wirdzek

Deke Smith


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is transforming how buildings are designed and constructed, and currently to a much lesser extent how they are operated. While a growing number of architecture and construction management firms are implementing BIM with varying degrees of success, few believe that BIM has reached neither full implementation nor full development. To reach full potential there is a need for a comprehensive and organized approach for research and development of BIM. Unfortunately, the current research activities for BIM are unorganized between

BIM vendors, design and construction firms, and academic institutions. As a result activities are likely duplicated, disconnected and potentially misdirected. To overcome these obstacles to full implementation of BIM the buildingSMART alliance (NIBS), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), the coalition partners, along with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT) have organized a program to develop a Research Framework for Building Information Modeling. The plan outlined below will guide the outcome for this effort.

Led by representatives of the coalition members and Virginia Tech, i.e., the project's Steering Committee, three (3) Research Framework Committees are being forming to address particular issues identified in the Research Framework and to provide input to the Project Steering Committee. It is anticipated that the Framework Committees would include five to ten representatives from the same sectors as from the coalition partners.


Vendors lead the facility management industry based on user groups orientation toward a specific product. As such, the facility management industry helps define the needs and software, hardware and other technology for BIM. Vendors must develop tools to support these needs and those of other sectors of the building industry, e.g., designers, constructors, etc. Therefore, the Project Steering Committees must consist of a diverse group of experts to participate in guiding the development of BIM functions that must have life-cycle value. The coalition partners believe that focusing these efforts on high-tech facilities will ensure a broad consideration for development of BIM products with aspects transferable to the full building marketplace.

Framework Committees

  • A Tool Development Framework Committee
  • A Best Practices Framework Committee
  • A Information Clearinghouse Framework Committee

Committee Tasks:

  • Appoint chair and secretary of group
  • Establish space on the buildingSMART alliance portal for:
    • Posting members on the portal and using that for sending announcements
    • Posting minutes of meetings
    • Posting important documents for group collaboration
  • Schedule and facilitate meetings to develop products or strategies of the respective committee.
  • Ensure a record is taken and shared with the Steering Committee via the portal.
  • Prepare progress reports and presentations for conferences identified by the steering group and post in portal for publishing on the buildingSMART alliance public site:
    • Convene a working group to oversee and coordinate the work being accomplished under other tasks of this research agenda as well as coordinating with information being developed earlier in the facilities life cycle, which might be available to the facility management sector
    • The working group would coordinate with the vendors developing tools to support the facilities management phase of the facilities life cycle, and mapping existing structures into the BIM environment

Charges to Committees

Tool Development Framework Committee


  • What tools are available for new facilities and existing facilities?
  • How do they woprk for labs?
  • What products are Software developers offering?
  • Are Software designers considering the lab needs?
  • How can we engage Software companies with ideas, requirements, etc?
  • Can vendors work together on laboratory software needs?

Develop survey:

  • Send survey to owners and share information with all
    • Ask for FM solutions that have worked
    • Ask what FM aspects should be considered
    • Utilize a Data Sharing roundtable – functionally, what is needed?

Best Practices/Metrics/Awards and Business Process Re-engineering Framework Committee


  • Best practice scenarios from current projects
    • A BIM management plan
    • Owner’s criteria for BIM product
    • Asset management goals
    • BIM/CAFM Interface requirements
  • What might be missing
    • Is information being used during and after commissioning?
    • Is product hand-over different based on focus of project (asset management vs. other expectations)?
    • Characterize the hand-over from design/construct to facility manager
  • What award criteria should be applied
  • Suggest a timeline for awards

Information Clearinghouse/Bridging the Silos Framework Committee

  • Where do we find existing BIM research?
  • Examine Georgia Tech’s BIM website
  • What university research is underway, what are the objectives - Search presentations and contact presenters
  • Coordinate with buildingSMART alliance
    • How would we set up a clearinghouse and how would it operate?
  • Put out a call for information

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