Building Information Modeling (BIM) can be regarded as a disruptive technology in the building and real estate industry and will have a great impact on all stakeholders along the building industry’s value chain in the medium to long term. BIM applies to the entire life cycle of a building. MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) plays a central role in this context. Factors such as the energy consumption and operating costs of a building are fundamentally determined by the quality of MEP planning and implementation.
Studies have shown that open data interfaces such as IFC and the interoperability between software tools are especially important for MEP planning. This particularly applies to small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of the Austrian building industry. Open data exchange (Open BIM) requires standardized data models as well as clearly defined
modeling and process standards. Important activities in this context are for example the Austrian BIM standard ÖNORM A 6241-2 and the related ASI property server. The current
development state shows that open BIM data models for MEP are not yet fully applicable in practical projects. This applies to the MEP data models themselves as well as to process
models that describe the level of development and responsibilities throughout all phases of a BIM project. The objective of this research project is thus to design a methodology for developing data and process models and to apply them by modeling selected MEP systems.
A particular, but not exclusive, focus is put on the renewable heating technologies heat pumps, solar heat and biomass as well as ventilation systems. These technologies are important for sustainable building designs and thus play a significant role for resilient cities with high energy efficiency and high shares of renewable energy. Because of their relevance, these
technologies should be an integral part of open BIM data and process models. The data and process models developed in this research project will be scientifically evaluated in two pilot
projects, one in Vienna and one in Graz. The project results will be published in a BIM guideline for MEP systems and presented to relevant BIM work groups. The target group comprises
clients, MEP designers, architects, installers and facility managers. The results are also relevant for manufacturers of MEP components, especially for manufacturers of renewable
heating technology and ventilation systems, which are in the focus of this project. Such manufacturers will have to provide high quality BIM models of their components in the future.
Various stakeholders are involved in the research activities to achieve a broad level of acceptance of the results. Letters of interest (LoIs) from trade associations and industrial
enterprises underpin the interest in the project. Thus high priority will be given to an open knowledge exchange and transfer. The developed data and process models, the approaches taken during development and the project team’s experiences with the pilot application of the models will be disseminated openly.