Development of a BIM-enabled Software Tool for Facility Management using Interactive Floor Plans, Graph-based Data Management and Granular Information Retrieval
Since its very conception Building Information Modeling incorporates the notion of using digital models—rich in geometric and semantic information—throughout the whole life cycle of a building. The creation of these models is a process tied to much effort, split by disciplines, executed by different parties and brought together under difficult collaboration. However, in reality the effective utilization of the BIM process ends with the conclusion of the construction project. The subsequent Operation & Management phase makes little to no use of the information contained in these files, although it would be valuable resource to boost productivity. Especially the Facility Management phase, suffers from great inefficiency caused by challenges of data management and outside advances in digitization. Research suggests that BIM is able to provide benefits for processes in FM and O&M related tasks and increase their overall efficiency but previous attempts to introduce BIM software have remained fruitless. We argue that current solutions have failed to meet expectations and requirements by FM community, which generally lack expertise in working with CAD-like software. Instead this thesis presents a concept which puts interactive, two-dimensional floor plans at the center of a possible BIM-enabled Facility Management (FM) software tool. These floor plans are directly derived from BIM models and maintain linkage to all relevant semantic data, which is stored in a graph database. Users are able to navigate rooms, equipment and themselves on the floor plans. Further information about rooms can be accessed through 360◦ photo spheres—enabling remote exploration and conception—and room specific 3D model. The latter is generated beforehand and follows the underlying concept that FM seldomly requires a holistic view of the whole building, but instead a cross section of many different domain models, tied by a specific location. Based on the mentioned features and concepts a prototypical web application is developed in order to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed solution.