Towards increased BIM usage for existing building interventions

Margarida Jerónimo Barbosa, Pieter Pauwels, Victor Ferreira, Luís Mateus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Building Information Modeling (BIM) is most often used for the construction of new buildings. By using BIM in such projects, collaboration among stakeholders in an Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) project is improved. To even further improve collaboration, there is a move towards the production and usage of BIM standards in various countries. These are typically national documents, including guides, protocols, and mandatory regulations, that introduce guidelines about what information should be exchanged at what time between which partners and in what formats. If a nation or a construction team agrees on these guidelines, improved collaboration can come about on top of the collaboration benefits induced by the mere usage of BIM. This scenario might also be targeted for interventions in existing buildings. Design/methodology/approach In this paper, we investigate the general content and usage of existing BIM standards for new constructions, describing specifications about BIM deliverable documents, modeling, and collaboration procedures. We suggest to what extent the content in the BIM standards can also be used for interventions in existing buildings. These suggestions rely heavily on literature study, supported by on-site use case experiences. Findings From this research, we can conclude that the existing standards give a solid basis for BIM collaboration in existing building interventions, but that they need to be extended in order to be of better use in any intervention project in an existing building. This extension should happen at (1) data modeling level: other kinds of data formats need to be considered, coming from terrestrial laser scanning and automatic digital photogrammetry tools; (2) at data exchange level: exchange requirements should take explicit statements about modeling tolerances and levels of (un)certainty; and (3) at process modelling level: business process models should include information exchange processes from the very start of the building survey (BIM->FM->BIM or regular audit). Originality/value BIM environments are not often used to document existing buildings or interventions in existing buildings. We propose to improve the situation by using BIM standards and/or guidelines, and we give an initial overview of components that should be included in such a standard and/or guideline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-190
Number of pages23
JournalStructural Survey
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

ugent:id 7079136 ugent:classification A2 vabb:type VABB-1


  • information standards ICT BIM existing buildings documentation


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