BIM in housing: the homeowner is the facilities manager

Image: © Daniil Peshkov |

An Innovate UK-backed project will examine how to turn BIM data and intelligence created during the design and construction phases of housebuilding into useful information and services for homeowners, effectively citing the latter as the facilities managers of their own properties.

The six-month Re-Imagining BIM (RiBIM) project was prompted by concerns about the low take-up of BIM in housebuilding and is a partnership between property logbook supplier Chimni and open BIM specialist Xbim.

Chimni MD Nigel Walley said: “Our project makes the case that the homeowner should be viewed as a facilities manager and could use the data if made available to them in consumer-friendly ways.”

The project will start with consumer research into the homeowners. Walley said: “We will look at activity around DIY, maintenance, operation and upkeep of a range of property types and examine where this can be supported with better data from construction or refit.”

The project will create a series of user cases with accompanying data models that can be incorporated into an asset information model.

The project will also look at the apps and services being used by homeowners and test the project assumption that property ‘logbooks’ or ‘passports’ provide a way to deliver construction and product data to homeowners in a meaningful and usable format.

The project output will be a series of case studies, with supporting data models and software examples, plus recommendations for data creation in new build and retrofit housing.

Xbim co-founder Andy Ward added: “Creating a homeowner-friendly way to expand the uses of BIM data has to benefit the whole of the new build and retrofit housing industries. Linking BIM data to consumer-friendly apps like property logbooks means we can expand the potential of the OpenBIM approach and dramatically increase the ways in which BIM data can be shared among users.”

Walley aired his concerns about BIM adoption in the wider housing sector (beyond social housing) on BIM+ four years ago.

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