Mutation Management in BIM models during Operations & Maintenance

In the last decade the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry have seen major changes. In the 90s most buildings were designed in 2D, which still is common practice for a lot of companies nowadays. The handover of these drawings and other files to another party is done by sending either the digital file or the physical paperwork. When changes are made in the original drawing, later on, the new version had to be sent again. This repeatable handover process is obviously susceptible to mistakes.
For several years, instant access to up-to-date information is becoming more and more standard practice in the AEC industry, due to more integrated project teams. These teams can extend to a wide variety of parties depending on the work required, e.g. the client, architect, engineers, contractors, project managers, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineers, etc.. A way to lead this process that is gaining significant momentum in the AEC sector nowadays is by using building information modelling (BIM). A building information model (BIM) is not just a 3D representation of the building design but encompasses every form of building-related information – both geometrical and non-geometrical. The basic idea is that data regarding a building is created and is then centrally available for every party in the chain, from design to construction to operations and maintenance (Visser, de Boer, & van der Voet, 2013).
Integration of BIM in the AEC industry however still focuses predominantly on the design and construction phases and the number of companies that have adopted BIM in the post-construction phases is still very limited. Though BIM processes are established for new buildings, the majority of existing buildings are not maintained, refurbished or deconstructed using BIM nowadays (Volk, Stengel, & Schultmann, 2014). However, in terms of money, the subsequent operations and maintenance (O&M) costs of a building over its life cycle could amount to many times more than the design/construction costs (Becerik-Gerber, Jazizadeh, Li, & Calis, 2012). Figure 1 shows the proportional costs of the design phase, realization phase, and exploitation phase. In addition, the exploitation phase is also the longest phase with a duration of 20 years, 50 years or sometimes even longer. Given that the exploitation phase is the most important phase of the life cycle of buildings, potential benefits of using BIM in this phase seem to be significant.

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