BIM4BEMS - Building Information Modeling for Building Energy Management Systems

BIM4BEMS explores use cases that represent the usage of building information models (BIM) in combination with building energy management systems (BEMS) during operation. This enables the interaction between BIM and building management systems (BMS) which improves the analysis and visualization of inefficiencies in facilities.

Short Description

A building passes through several life cycle phases: conceptual design, design development, construction, use, reuse, remodeling, and demolition. In each phase, documentation created by architects, engineers, technical planners, and contractors reflect the building's state at certain points in time. Information exchange is achieved with commercial or open data exchange standards. Powerful modeling software has made so-called Building Information Models (BIMs) feasible. These are three-dimensional and rich building models that facilitate planning and data exchange in project teams and through the whole life cycle.

The project „Building Information Modeling for Building Energy Management Systems" (BIM4BEMS) investigates how BIM may be applied in order to improve operational efficiency in building and facilities. The aim is to achieve improved reporting of energy and comfort related parameters by application of BIM in combination with BEMS. A dynamic BIM is developed in which building data are combined with building management system data. Such a model may significantly improve the analysis and visualization of changes in the current state of a facility. The BIM is derived semi-automatically from available design, operational and maintenance data with semantic and geometric reasoning. BIM4BEMS investigates the following aspects that are relevant to create and use the dynamic BIM in building operation:

  • Derivation of a semantic description of the operational range of building energy management systems from space data,
  • Integration of building data with building management system (BMS) data, and
  • Analysis and visualization of energy inefficiencies and comfort issues.

By combining space and BEMS data through geometric localization, enhanced information about the range of components as well as operational data from the building management system, it is feasible to semi-automatically generate and update the dynamic BIM. This improves the analysis and visualization of inefficiencies. The project considers a requirement of existing facilities where data from design, operation, and maintenance may be incomplete and have low information content. This means that current approaches for new construction that are based on reuse of BIMs from the design phase are not immediately applicable to existing facilities. Yet it is precisely existing facilities that often have a high potential for improved energy effectiveness and comfort.

The project focused on a prototypical implementation of partially automated integration of BIM and operation, thereby validating the feasibility of developed methods. An existing office building is used as a test building. The prototype is designed as an integrated semantic data model which combines geometric data retrieved from BIM model with the operational data (BEMS) with the help of the integrated knowledgebase. The validation part of the presented report contains a cost-benefit analysis of a prototype and remarks on the profitability of such solution from the facility management specialists. The further research and development is suggested to be taken in the areas of the usability of the prototype, further automatization of the data transfer and possible usage as a basis for the digital building twin solutions. Findings from the project are shared with professional groups in BIM, Facility Management (FM), and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) in order to extend BIM standards towards building operation.

Project Partners

Project management

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • Vienna University of Technology – Automation Systems Group
  • Vienna University of Technology – Design Computing Group (Center for Geometry and Computational Design)
  • Caverion Österreich GmbH

Contact Address

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Filip Petrushevski
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (0) 50550 6419