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

Starting point / motivation

A facility passes through several life cycle phases:

  • conceptual design
  • design development
  • construction
  • use
  • reuse
  • remodeling
  • demolition

In each phase, documents are created by

  • architects,
  • engineers,
  • technical planners, and
  • contractors

that reflect the facility'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. Such models have significant potential not only for design and construction, but also to improve building operation.

Contents and goals

The project „Building Information Modeling for Building Energy Management Systems" (BIM4BEMS) aims to show that the use of information from the planning and as-built documentation is of great benefit for an efficient operation of buildings (particularly regarding energy efficiency and comfort). BIM from the as-built documentation will be reused for operation and extended for BEMS.

Furthermore, information will be added and changes to the current building status (detected from BEMS) will be updated. The scientific question investigated by the project is, how a BIM created with the help of planning and as-built documentation can be used for energy efficiency and comfort increase during building operation.

Specifically, an attempt will be made to use BIM in combination with BEMS in operation to detect inefficiencies and provide improved reporting.


A dynamic BIM is developed in which facility 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 requirement of incomplete and poorly structured base data affect the definition of the data model and workflows for partially automated generation of the dynamic BIM.

Expected results

The project aims for a prototypical implementation of the integration of BIM and operation, thereby validating the feasibility of developed methods. An existing office building is used as a test building. 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