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Building information modelling and multi-site universities complexes

Grant number: 19/05640-4
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: October 06, 2019 - October 25, 2019
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Architecture and Urbanism Project
Cooperation agreement: CONFAP ; Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil ; UK Academies
Principal Investigator:Márcio Minto Fabricio
Grantee:Márcio Minto Fabricio
Visiting researcher: Ricardo Codinhoto
Visiting researcher institution: University of Bath, England
Home Institution: Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de São Carlos (IAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Cities of the world are struggling with achieving rising environmental targets whilst also tackling reduced operational budgets. Despite city infrastructure constant evolution enabled by technology; its various components are not connected efficiently. At small scale, it is argued that effectively planned facilities and supporting services can create significant business returns. This can be seen through introducing professional Facilities Management (FM) methods to support increased efficiency on-going responsibility for the continuous operation of services and a holistic view of the dynamics of the workplace amongst the product design and production of the physical workspace, and also between people and processes, and people and their environment. A great extent of the environmental impacts of the built environment takes place in the use and operation phase (e.g. energy and water consumption, CO2 emission, waste generation). Still, the management of resources is based on piecemeal information databases. In this regard, it is widely accepted that digital technologies can enhance our ability to connect data at a systemic level, thereby enhancing efficiency. Effective information management forms a critical aspect of our ability to coordinate processes so to achieve its required output whilst providing valuable information to planners, designers and corporate decision-makers. However, the efficient utilisation of information, its management and its supporting technology has been somewhat problematic. At building scale, managers can have access to a variety of data sources but the opportunities to utilise or manipulate data are frequently unexploited. Often, systems that can generate the necessary information required by senior executives to make decisions are lacking and current solutions rely on the duplication of data that leads to the over-processing of data and information overload. Evidence also shows that BIM as a platform for data integration offers great potential as a building management tool during the operation phase and can be used at different scales (building, neighbourhood, city, country). In this respect, the use of building information modelling (BIM) has been investigated as a way to support the reduction of unnecessary processes through better integration of building information. However, whilst its use within the design and construction phase is well studied, its adoption for the management of building use and operation is still embryonic, in general, due to the lack of skills in the sector. Even most large public owners who have been early adopters of BIM, such as GSA, USACE and Senate Properties, have used BIM more in managing their construction projects than into activities after construction. In the UK, one of the reasons for that is that the development of the Government Soft Landing approach was an afterthought and there was, (and there still is), a lack of a strategy to engage clients from the inception of projects. Indeed, the literature shows that there is very little that have been implemented extensively in building use and operation and even less have been measured in terms of improvements made due to BIM. The above mentioned literature reporting on case studies about the application of BIM to FM were focused on Hard FM to a great extent and in particular on the accuracy of 3D as-built models and the link to digital statutory/ maintenance/ supplier information available through online services. In this respect, whilst research about BIM-FM for building specific is increasing, multi-site cases are almost non-existent. Multisite data connection can increase information transparency and impact on significant gains of efficiency through enabling the sharing of resources and the systematic management of service provision. However, very little is known about how it can be achieved. (AU)