BIM for FM: Information Requirements to Support HVAC-Related Corrective Maintenance

Xue Yang, Semiha Ergan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Troubleshooting HVAC-related problems is one of the significant activities of facilities management (FM), in which the services directly affect occupants' satisfaction, health, and productivity. Because of the complexity of modern HVAC systems and the lack of apparent causes when HVAC-related problems occur, HVAC mechanics need to collect various facility-specific information items to identify the real cause. The current practice lacks systematic approaches for identifying what specific facility information HVAC mechanics should check for in a given work order. Building information models (BIMs) have been used to exchange facilities' lifecycle information, and automated approaches can be developed to retrieve required information for facility maintenance. The first step toward developing such an approach is to understand what information needs to be included in the BIMs that are used during the facility operation phase (i.e., operational BIM) from the perspective of HVAC troubleshooting, which is the focus of the research presented in this paper. The research method includes shadowing, interviews, and focus groups with HVAC mechanics from three FM groups, and the exploration of existing literature and current computerized systems used by HVAC mechanics. The contribution of this research work is the identification of a generic set of information requirements that should be included in operational BIMs for HVAC troubleshooting. The findings are beneficial for future research studies that enable integration of facilities maintenance information with BIMs and building automation systems for FM purposes, support standardization efforts for data exchange in the architectural/engineering/construction and FM industry, and are valuable to help practitioners understand what information and data sources need to be captured and made available for better management of HVAC maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4017023
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • BIM
  • Facilities maintenance
  • HVAC
  • Information requirements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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