Leveraging BIM to Provide Automated Support for Efficient Troubleshooting of HVAC-Related Problems

Xue Yang, Semiha Ergan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prompt response and troubleshooting of HVAC-related problems in facilities are vital to ensure a comfortable indoor environment for occupants. Two main challenges in the current practice result in an ad hoc troubleshooting process and waste of resources: the lack of access to the required facility and system information in a timely manner and the large search space of possible causes for a given HVAC-related problem. This paper presents a formalized approach to bring solutions to these problems. The approach reasons with a facility-specific model-based information repository in order to identify an accurate set of applicable causes for a reported HVAC-related problem in the large search space of possible causes and to retrieve related facility and system information. By eliminating the inapplicable HVAC components and space-related factors for a reported problem, the approach increases the efficiency of the troubleshooting process. The research enhances the existing body of knowledge in the facilities management (FM) domain by leveraging building information models (BIMs) to support troubleshooting of HVAC-related problems. HVAC mechanics in the practice can use the approach to reduce the search space of checking and tracing HVAC components and plan ahead of time for their field trip by focusing on the right set of components and facility information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04015023
JournalJournal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Building information model (BIM)
  • Corrective maintenance
  • Facilities management
  • HVAC
  • Troubleshooting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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