Improving BIM-FM Handover for Virginia Tech Facilities Department

Walid Thabet


Facility owners are beginning to require designers and contractors to deliver as-built information-rich Building Information Models (BIM) for use during facility operations and maintenance. These owners have started to realize the benefits of facility management (FM) information linked to the model. To properly manage their requirements, many of these owners have begun to develop BIM guidelines to clearly document the required standards of BIM use and the organization of FM data that is expected of designers and contractors to handover at project completion. These guidelines have become a critical component of construction contracts requiring the design and construction teams to prepare and deliver a BIM Execution Plan to address the owner’s BIM-FM requirements and to show how these requirements will be executed as part of the contract.


The proposed research explores the challenges currently experienced by the Virginia Tech’s Facilities Department to capture FM data at the end of each project. The current process relies heavily on FM staff extracting the information manually from paper and digital documents (including equipment schedules and submittals) that is delivered at the end of the project. The process has proven to be tedious, time consuming, and error prone, leading to information that is often inconsistent or incomplete.


Process improvements utilizing industry standards and BIM are being examined and evaluated to determine which may be the best options. A pilot project is being conducted on several buildings under construction on the VT campus to test the proposed processes and strategies for the FM data handover. The end goal of the research is to develop BIM to FM (BIM-FM) guidelines that best fits the Facilities Department’s needs.


Keywords: Building Information Modeling, facility management, BIM execution plan, BIM-FM handover, middleware, interoperability, COBie, OmniClass, Assetsworks



Headshot_ThabetDr. Walid Thabet is the W.E. Jamerson Professor of Building Construction. He has 35 years of professional experience including 7 years of construction work experience and 18 years of university teaching and research experience. He holds a Ph.D. in Construction Engineering and Management from Virginia Tech (’92), a Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Waterloo (‘83), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University (‘81). His research focuses on Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and BIM for Facility Management (BIM-FM). He maintains many BIM related certifications and directs the Virtual Facilities Research Laboratory (VFRL).