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Sustainable facilities management with the support of building information modelling

Sustainable facilities management with the support of building information modelling

Carbonari, Giulia (2018) Sustainable facilities management with the support of building information modelling. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The building sector can potentially support the mitigation of the effects of climate change as buildings worldwide have, both directly and indirectly, a major impact on emissions and resources usage. Among all the phases of the building life-cycle, operations have the biggest environmental impact. However, facilities managers often operate on the edge of sustainable compliance and do not implement initiatives to enhance sustainability. The aim of this research is to develop a sustainability measurement system specific to facilities management and a new methodology to support the implementation of building information models for existing buildings in order to achieve better sustainability performance in facilities management with the support of Building Information Modelling. A mixed methods approach, which included a literature review, interviews, analysis of secondary data, workshop, questionnaire surveys and a focus group interview, was used to reach the research aim. The results of the research have several contributions to knowledge, more specifically the development of a sustainability performance and reporting tool aimed at achieving better sustainability performance during building operations, and the RetroBIM framework which was created to support the development of information models for existing buildings.

Through the interview of facilities managers it was found that at operational level the financial aspect is currently the main driver of sustainable FM and that the focus for the implementation of sustainable initiatives is on few specific aspects such as the reduction of CO2, carbon emissions and waste. The interviews highlighted a lack of targets linked with sustainable FM and the literature confirmed the absence of practical tools for supporting sustainable FM. This research attempts to fill this gap by developing a tool for the evaluation of sustainable performance in FM, which includes specific performance indicators and a measurement tool that facilities managers can use to assess their sustainable performance and verify the effectiveness of the initiatives they have developed.

Part of the tool developed includes the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), which is currently used to support different phases of the building life-cycle but has a limited impact of FM. Through a focus group interview aimed at understanding the benefits and barriers of integrating BIM and FM it was found that implementing BIM for existing buildings is a key issue, stopping facilities managers from engaging in BIM. The results were confirmed through a questionnaire survey which showed that, among the 753 responses collected, only 3% of the respondents work for companies that create models for existing buildings. This is due to a series of limitations of the processes currently available for developing information models for existing buildings, including complexity of the process, skills required, time and cost.

To extend the benefits of BIM into FM this research presents a new approach called RetroBIM which supports the development of information models for existing buildings and provides facilities managers the opportunity to create models tailored to their building, management strategy and users. The reseach concludes with a partial test on three case studies of the tool for the evaluation of sustainable performance and the RetroBIM which confirmed that the two tools are not only beneficial but also practical.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainability; facilities management; sustainability measurement system; Building Information Modelling (BIM); sustainability performance;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TH Building construction
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2020 22:51

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