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A case study of building information management data requirements for efficient operations and maintenance practice


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This paper reports upon the use of a semi-automated toolkit to aid the development of as-built Building Information Model (BIM) (As-built model reflects on-site changes by the contractor to the original BIM) from inception to final construction. An observational case study of two educational ‘multi-storey’ facilities obtained primary data from project archives and focus group meetings with key design team members. The results demonstrate that the data requirements for both structures evolve post occupation because of stakeholder tacit knowledge accrued via building operation and usage. The semi-automated toolkit developed can readily access operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals, retrieve room specific data (such as categories of equipment or building element) within the as-built BIM and, assist in the navigation and coordination of amendments and changes throughout the construction phase. This paper provides useful practice-based information for practitioners to develop suitable BIM data structures for future information requirements throughout a building’s life cycle. The inherent value of the semi-automated toolkit resides in the facilitation of ease of handover for the Facilities Management team during the O&M stages.
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Proceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2016
Volume V
Advancing products and services
Edited by
Nebil Achour
Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto. Rakennustekniikan laitos.
Rakennustuotanto ja -talous. Raportti 18
Tampere University of Technology. Department of Civil Engineering.
Construction Management and Economics. Report 18
Nebil Achour (eds.)
WBC16 Proceedings: Volume V
Advancing Products and Services
Tampere University of Technology. Department of Civil Engineering
Tampere 2016
Copyright © 2016 TUT Tampere University of Technology
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Published by: TUT Tampere University of Technology
ISBN 978-952-15-3740-0 (set)
ISBN 978-952-15-3741-7 (vol. I)
ISBN 978-952-15-3742-4 (vol. II)
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ISBN 978-952-15-3744-8 (vol. IV)
ISBN 978-952-15-3745-5 (vol. V)
ISSN 1797-8904
The aim of this last volume of the CIB World Building Congress (WBC), 2016 Intelligent built
environment for life, is to explore the various needs of modern construction and offer new ways
and techniques to address them. In recent years, stakeholder expectations have led to political,
social and economic pressure on the construction industry. Modern buildings are expected to be
innovative, sustainable, resilient to hazards and other risks as well as being easy to manage. In
addition, clients expect to be part of the decision process to ensure their needs are met and often
tied to legal bonds with professionals, a situation that can generate conflicts.
More than 200 authors have contributed to the 98 papers included in this volume. The vast
majority of this research work is led by academics (70 papers) who discuss problems from a
theoretical background and suggest solutions; whilst the remaining is led by industry researchers
(28 papers) who provide an insight on real life through case studies. The present research work is
led by researchers in 28 countries representing east and west, north and south of the globe. We
hope that product and service enhancement will result from our sharing of information and
collective experience.
Papers were classified into seven areas, including:
- Procurement, finance and conflicts (10 papers);
- Stakeholder involvement and satisfaction (12 papers);
- Innovative design and construction (17 papers);
- Risk mitigation, resilience and health and safety (13 papers);
- Sustainable construction (15 papers);
- Building information modelling (BIM) (16 papers); and
- Facilities management (15 papers).
Many lessons could be learned from each area and each research paper. However, one of the key
lessons to be learned from this body of international research outputs is the need to better integrate
design, construction and post-occupancy management in a construction lifecycle specifically with
advancement of technology and availability of BIM tools. The second key lesson is the increasing
acknowledgment of resilience and sustainability as a major part of modern construction.
Nebil Achour
Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom.
Scientific Co-Chair, CIB World Building Congress 2016
May 2016
A Case Study of Building Information Modelling
Enabled ‘Information Totem’ for Operations and
Maintenance Integration
Erika A. Parn, David J. Edwards and Richard Draper
Birmingham City University, UK
This paper reports upon the use of a semi-automated toolkit to aid the development of as-built
Building Information Model (BIM) (As-built model reflects on-site changes by the contractor to
the original BIM) from inception to final construction. An observational case study of two
educational ‘multi-storey’ facilities obtained primary data from project archives and focus group
meetings with key design team members. The results demonstrate that the data requirements for
both structures evolve post occupation because of stakeholder tacit knowledge accrued via
building operation and usage. The semi-automated toolkit developed can readily access
operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals, retrieve room specific data (such as categories of
equipment or building element) within the as-built BIM and, assist in the navigation and
coordination of amendments and changes throughout the construction phase. This paper provides
useful practice-based information for practitioners to develop suitable BIM data structures for
future information requirements throughout a building’s lifecycle. The inherent value of the semi-
automated toolkit resides in the facilitation of ease of handover for the Facilities Management
team during the O&M stages.
Keywords: As-built model, BIM, Facilities Management, Operations and Maintenance,
Maintenance management
1. Introduction
Succar (2009) defined Building Information Modelling (BIM) as a: “procedural, technological
shift within architecture, engineering, construction and operations.” This definition was
expanded upon by Eastman et al., (2011) who noted that BIM has shifted the way building
information is managed, exchanged and transformed to enhance collaboration between project
stakeholders. Garber, (2014) concurred with this view and suggested that BIM provides a platform
for better design team integration and project coordination. From an operational perspective, BIM
embeds key product and asset data, and a three-dimensional computer model that can be used for
effective management of information throughout a project’s lifecycle from earliest concept
through to occupation and use (HM Gov, 2012). Consequently, BIM deployment throughout the
building lifecycle is invaluable to organisations that seek to obtain value from the technology
(Love et al., 2013; 2014). In essence, BIM represents a collaborative way of working,
underpinned by digital technologies, which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating
and maintaining assets (HM Government, 2012).
Khemlani (2011) states that every constructed facility requires a bespoke BIM model, analogous
to an owner’s manual, with mandates for model updates that correspond to periodic repair, or
refurbishment works. In practice, BIM in the operations stage has been primarily connected to the
roles and responsibilities of the Facilities Management Team (FMT) but this can create problems
in other areas (Becerik-Gerber et al., 2012; Volk et al., 2014; Kassem et al., 2015). For example,
Teicholz, (2013) reported upon a litany of issues which include: inconsistent naming conventions
used; a myriad of bespoke FMT information requirements; inadequate data categorization in BIM
and computer aided facilities management (CAFM) systems; poor information synchronization;
and lack of methodology to capture existing facilities and assets. Delivering efficient operations
and maintenance (O&M) procedures for buildings is therefore problematic and exacerbated by
the vast complexity and volume of data and information generated (Mohandes et al., 2014).
The open access digital environment afforded by BIM provides a partial solution to this issue
because it readily affords storage, sharing and integration of information for future use. Indeed,
contemporary research demonstrates promising potential for integrating facilities management
(FM) within a BIM environment at the post construction stage (Azhar, 2011). In aiming to
characterise the hybrid BIM-FM environment, Kelly et al., (2013) observed that the following
advantages could be accrued, namely: augmented manual processes of information handover;
accuracy of FM data; and increased efficiency of work orders execution to accessing data and
locating interventions. However, the construction industry currently resides within a transition
period of adopting BIM. Industry practitioners are now selecting their own paths to cope up with
the new technology in this rapidly changing environment and climate of exponential technological
advancement. To date there remains a considerable dearth of applied studies that develop a hybrid
BIM-FM environment and/ or report upon the tangible benefits of such to practitioners. With this
in mind, this paper proposes a semi-automated toolkit (also known as an information totem) to
aid the development of as-built BIM from design to final construction. A conceptual design for
the toolkit is presented and is based upon a case study of two multi-storey educational buildings
augmented with pragmatic input from the building’s FMT.
2. BIM Value for FM
Contemporary literature indicates that exploiting BIM’s inherent value adding capability within
a building’s development remains questionable especially, during the transition period of
adopting BIM within the project’s whole lifecycle (Parn et al., 2015). Despite the palpable
benefits of BIM application during the design and construction stages, case-studies of its
application during the management and maintenance of assets during the O&M stage of building
occupancy remain scant (Kelly, 2014). Yet, Boussabaine and Kirkham (2008) reported that 80
percent of an asset’s cost is spent during O&M, leaving the benefits of BIM short lived at the
design and construction stages. In addition, Love et al., (2015) suggests that significant challenges
are presented by an ill-equipped project team who lack standardized tools and processes, specific
data required for operations and, maintenance and the workflow to deliver a digital model.
As a 3D modelling tool associated with a parametric database of components, BIM offers the
FMT opportunities to manipulate and utilise information contained within 3D objects (HM
Government 2013). However, Liu and Issa (2014) found that during the design phase, participants
in a BIM project focus on clash detections and tend to ignore future-proofing maintenance
accessibility. The authors (ibid) highlighted potential in BIM for designers to explore the
background geometry and parametric database to add functions to help the FMT anticipate and
solve maintenance accessibility issues. Similarly, Meatadi et al., (2010) and Motawa and
Almarshad (2015) proposed additional tools to improve BIM’s performance at the O&M stage by
effectively engaging stakeholders. Longstreet, (2010) further added that the value of
implementing BIM increases exponentially as a project lifecycle unfolds. This is because
BIM value in FM stems from improvements to: current manual processes of information
handover; accuracy of FM data; accessibility of FM data; and efficiency increase in work order
execution (Kassem et al., 2015). Consequently, FMT involvement during the BIM development
process is essential because they can alert the building delivery team of any issues related to
O&M of facilities. This synthesis of extant literature underpins the necessity to involve building
operators/ management stakeholders in the design phase of a BIM project. Interestingly, Bosch et
al. (2015) contradicted this position and concluded that the current added value of BIM in the
operations stage was marginal due to a lack of alignment between the supply of and demand for
FM related information and the context-dependent role of information. Although the antithesis of
Bosch (ibid) is contrary to opinion within main stream literature, Kassem et al., (2015) did
concede that a key challenge of BIM-FM integration is a lack of methodologies that demonstrate
the tangible benefits associated with this hybrid merger.
3. As-built BIM Model Structure to Aid O&M
At the O&M stage, more than 80% of a FMT’s time is spent on finding relevant information
because such expenses are often overlooked at the pre-construction stages by designers (Becerik-
Gerber et al., 2012). Consequently, a number of studies are supportive of BIM application within
the O&M stages (Patacas et al., 2015; Motamedi et al., 2013; Volk et al., 2014). This is because
BIM provides an information conduit and repository (containing for example, manufacturer
specifications and maintenance instructions linked to building components) in support of building
maintenance management activities (Sabol, 2008). Such information and functionality is
important when handing-over an accurate as-built model to building owners for the purpose of
asset management. At present, laser scanning represents a common methodology used to create
an as-built model of the completed project (Bennett, 2009). However, this methodology is time
consuming and prone to human error and hence, as built preparation is perceived to be a time
consuming and costly procedure (Huber et al., 2011). The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
(2015) state that these issues can largely be eliminated through the provision of a reliable, BIM-
sourced suite of information. However, the technical expertise of the FMT represents a significant
barrier to BIM and as-built model development and maintenance (Kassem et al., 2015).
McArthur (2015) suggests that identification of critical information required to inform operational
decisions is a critical determinant towards configuring data retrieval techniques at the post-
construction stages. Despite being emphasised by a number of authors (Meatadi et al., 2010;
Motamedi et al., 2013), the issue of identifying critical information and linking them to the as-
built model for O&M phase usage remains problematic. Meatadi et al., (2010) revealed that the
inconsistency between demand and availability of particular information in an as-built model
incur unnecessary expenditures. Thus, linking data and configuring the retrievable information
within the as-built model for the project’s post-construction operational phase is a key issue that
must be considered during the design and development of the BIM data.
4. Problem Domain: Big Data Acquisition
When utilising BIM technology, a vast array of data (commonly referred to as big data) is
produced and integrated into existing objects within the 3D BIM (Bentley, 2003); where big data
has been defined as high volume, velocity and variety data sets which pose extreme data
management and processing challenges (Laney, 2001). Data within the model requires a
structured method of information and data categorisation that can be tracked, validated and
extracted. Grilo et al., (2010) argue that BIM should create a broader base for interoperability in
order to be fully utilisable, such as standards on communication, coordination, cooperation and
collaboration. The huge volume of data within an as-built model is a matter of concern in terms
of extracting valuable information and knowledge from it during the O&M phase of a building,
particularly for the FMT (Russom, 2013). Federated models are defined as the amalgamation of
multiple models in one, namely: architectural, structural and MEP models (HM Gov, 2012). To
further exacerbate this issue, not all data is contained within one federated model because the
FMT often link BIM to additional relevant external databases, to create a highly integrated multi-
dimensional model (Succar, 2009; Love et al., 2015). This mass of data creates opportunities for
new thinking and/ or adopting alternative techniques for model data structuring (Bentley, 2003).
Matthews et al., (2015), explored adaptation of cloud-based technology with object oriented
workflow for as-built BIM scheduling. In a similar vein, this research adopts an ‘object-orientated
workflow’ for real time data capture. However, the semi-automated toolkit proposed will
predominantly be used to capture changes relevant to the FM parameters embedded within
information totems. Information totems provide an additional layer of information structuring that
are fed through to the federated as-built BIM model congested with high volume of data loads.
5. Methodology
This observational case study largely relied on project archival data and focus group discussions
to explain as-built BIM preparation and the development of information totems. Specifically, the
research sought to observe and report upon the processes and procedures adopted during the
development of the as-built BIM to facilitate ease of handover for the FMT. Two multi-storey
educational buildings located in the centre of Birmingham, UK were used for this study. Building
one was build first and constituted phase I of the development and building two was built second
and constituted phase II. Primary qualitative data was collected using verbal interviews with key
stakeholders which included representatives from the project management team (PMT) including
the client’s representatives (i.e. the Building’s Estates Department) and design related disciplines
(including the Architect, the Contractor’s BIM Manager , Principle Designer for Mechanical
Engineering and Plumbing and the Lead Structural Engineer). Note that the Estate’s Department
held three fundamental roles, namely that of: client’s representative; project manager; and Estates
Department and hence, covered all three major phases of the building’s life cycle. Two meetings
were held with the PMT over a 4 months period during 2015. Secondary data sources further
complemented information obtained and consisted of project documents including contracts, bids,
BIM execution plans, EIR’s and BIM protocols. Additional hand written notes were taken to
record impromptu meetings or telephone calls held. Largely archival records of BIM
documentation and contracts provided: i) an elaborate account of contemporary practices through
the exploration of stakeholder experiences and interrogation of the images themselves; and ii)
sponsoring organisations with opportunities to learn from everyday experiences of design team
members and the FMT. During the study, FM associated aspects of BIM implementation were
observed to evolve as a consequence of a synthesis of diverse opinions emanating from the PMT.
6. Case Study Discussion and Findings
Individual PMT group members claimed to have been inexperienced at utilising BIM
technologies the outset of the project’s development during phase I. However, at the end of phase
I team confidence grew, and the idea for an information totem was conceived and proficiency/
competency gains were adopted in phase II. Information totems were described by the PMT as a
placeholder for the room datasheets used during O&M stages of a development and are used for
data input and retrieval. When formulating the information totem concept to ensure BIM and
O&M data integration, the PMT considered various outcomes including: modelling requirements
for FM; and model structure for data retrieval. The aim being to generate an information totem
that would deliver interoperability and encapsulate the following attributes: i) increased of
coordination; ii) facilitated ease of communication link; iii) informed decision making; iv)
enabled information exchange enabler between multiple stakeholders; and v) provided ease of
navigation between BIM model and construction site. Different PMT members added room
specific information into each totem; contractors then retrieved asset related information for
guidance during the construction stages and attach construction progress photos to each totem.
Data within totems was predominantly categorised into FM parameters, were often room bound
and in the instances of open plan spaces, these divisions of space were allocated by the PMT
during the building’s design. The totems themselves connected to multiple external data bases
which are directly linked with room specific O&M manuals, maintenance frequency codes for
different spaces and product fact sheets.
6.1 Asset Management at O&M stages
During the O&M phase, the client used of room barcodes (Figure 2) to aid the management of
assets by allowing efficient access to data at the O&M stages. This same barcode was applied
within information totems and mapped into FM software utilised at later stages of the
development, including the cloud based BIM platform used for both projects.
Figure 1.Infromation totem for site navigation
(a) (b)
a) View of the Information Totem in yellow from the cloud based federated BIM model. b)
Photograph of the same location on site as cross reference retrieved from the information totem.
Figure 2. Asset Management with room barcodes
(a) (b)
a) A Barcode tagged room in Phase II, barcodes are typically placed outside the rooms on
doorframes. b) Individual steel barcode plates, typically an 8 Digit number bi-directionally linked
with the information totem held in the federated model. These barcodes associated per room are
used by facilities management team for ease of access to the digital O&M manuals and room
asset data.
Table 1 displays the stakeholder disciplines and their input of information into the information
totems during pre- construction, construction and post-construction stages.
Table 1. PMT use of totems
Snagging is an expression coined in the building industry in the UK and Ireland. Snagging is
defined as the process of defect identification and resolution (Sommerville and Craig, 2006). The
contractor used disciplinary BIM models from the design stages to develop the project design.
Design developments were uploaded in the BIM model using the federated cloud model and the
updating of consecutive information totems. This federated model was used for a number of
reasons, namely to: avoid clash detections; facilitate, 4D and 5D modelling; and provide a basis
for the cloud BIM data base, where information totems are linked with the federated BIM. A
cloud based BIM database and information totem parameters were managed by the contractor on
site but was developed by the estates team. The information totems were gradually populated
throughout the construction to provide a full database reflecting the changes of the as-built
development. All BIM models were updated by the contractor to reflect the building completion.
So called ‘BIM snags’ were developed to aid the development of the as-built BIM these were
helped with site photographs and commentary attached to the federated model. BIM snags follow
a similar function as snagging, except they are used to inform designers of any potential changes
on site that need to be reflected in the as-built BIM. Laser scanned data was used to verify the
validity between model and as-built building. Other documents not directly related to the BIM,
such as equipment fact sheets, O&M manuals, documentation and drawings were linked into the
cloud based federated model via the information totems. Currently the estates and research team
are exploring ways in which Building Management Systems data (as an external source of data)
will be linked via totems into the cloud based model.
7. Discussion
During the PMT focus group discussions, four main lessons emerged regarding the use of BIM
and information totems during the project, namely: i) the creation of information totems; ii)
limitations of a semi-automatic totem; iii) inflexibility of software providers; and iv) lack of
Client room number.
Room name
Target briefed area
Occupancy and room data sheet
added in totems, linked with
snagging list
Asset information data.
Link to O&M manuals
Contractor’s BIM
Not applicable.
Site photos on a room by room
Snagging list.
Reports and links to finished
room photos
Real Estate
Mandating the information
requirements of totems
Finished room photos for BIM
model snagging
to ensure the as
built BIM model development is
Floor Plans.
Links to O&M documentation
a central database.
Asset register information
Not applicable.
Navigation between model and
construction site environment
Asset information data
MEP services information.
Ventilation flow rates.
Room noise rating levels
Room data sheet integration.
MEP room data.
Full services documentation
Links to O&M manuals.
Asset register information.
software integration. First, information totems were only adopted towards the end of phase I when
the Real Estate Management Team realised that FM requirements (such as building heating and
cooling loads, and building usage) could have been uploaded into the BIM at the design stage to
inform the design and better meet client expectations. A MEP designer said: Design data, such
as ventilation rates, cooling loads could have been included in the design stages already, as the
M &E contractors are often playing catch up from the other design team…” Second, it was
apparent that the information totems developed were not fully automated and hence, as changes
to specification occurred, manual updates were needed in the model. For example, when the
contractor altered a specification provided by the Architect or MEP designer (at the construction
and commissioning stages). The contractor stated: The totems still lacked automation, what would
have been good was to have a live feed of the changes in the model with the totems, as they
currently did not capture all of the changes in the model, some information had to be manually
added to the totems…” Third, the BIM software designers (as external providers) were unwilling
to implement bespoke modifications and amendments to their software. For example, information
could not be exported into other file formats for usage in room data sheets or for snagging lists
post construction. A BIM Manager said: We were unable to export the totem information directly
out of the software into a PDF, which could then be used as a room data sheet…” Fourth, the
BIM model had a distinct lack of software integration capability and therefore, when clicking on
the information totem, room elevational views could not be seen and these had to be extracted
from other databases within the BIM model. A Project Manager said: What would be useful is if
we could have direct views of reflected ceiling plans, room elevations and floorplans just by
clicking the totems faces, makes it easier to then share the model with subcontractors…”
However, these aforementioned issues apart, a largely inexperienced PMT valued the input
guidance and advice from the client’s representative throughout the design and construction
phase. This allowed the PMT to mature as a collaborative and collegiate partnership that allowed
both phases of the development to be constructed and commissioned to all parties’ satisfaction
and with minimal disputes arising. Efficiency gains were also made by individual PMT members
who acquired new knowledge of BIM that allowed them to streamline their management of the
project and ultimately cut costs without adversely impacting upon quality, For example, the
Architect who employed ten people during phase I, reduced this to five people in phase II. In
summing up the project’s success, a representative from the Contractor said: “Phase II has been
one of most successful BIM project in our business, it has really pushed BIM all the way through
the process right through to FM, and we haven’t actually done this on any other project to date”.
8. Conclusion
Extant literature illustrates that BIM-FM integration presents an ideal opportunity to produce
accurate design data extended throughout a building’s lifecycle for retrieval during the O&M
stages. This case study has revealed that an effective means of creating model infrastructure to
manage data is essential at the hand over stages. By generating an information totem to add room
and space related information between assets, the transition between BIM and FM is performed
in an easier way for the FMT to adopt. The observations accrued from the case study have shown
how an object orientated workflow can provide structure and develop complex as-built BIM
models whilst embedding key O&M related information. This paper has reported upon the use of
a semi-automated tool-kit promoting the use of object-orientated workflows to increase
coordination, ease of communication, information exchange, ease of navigation. Future work
needs to look at how information totems could be linked into existing Computerised Aided
Facilities Management (CAFM) systems to be utilised at during the O&M stages. Additional
development of the totems is anticipated and future research efforts will now develop a fully
automated information totem.
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Full-text available
Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs in buildings represent a significant part of the total building life cycle cost. However, project delivery methods in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry are often focused on the capital delivery stage and associated costs ranging from planning, through design, to construction and handover. Open data standards such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and specifications such as the Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) provide the capability to capture Facilities Management (FM) data requirements in a structured manner from the early stages of project development. We aim to investigate how and whether IFC and COBie can deliver the data and information about assets required by facility managers within a whole life cycle perspective. We focus on specific use cases including the creation of asset registers and service life planning. However, the methodology adopted can be generalised and applied to any other FM use case. The results show that IFC, COBie and the tested supporting tools exhibited some shortcomings in delivering some of the data entities, types and parameters required for the selected FM use cases. We discuss these shortcomings and propose them as areas for improvement to domain researchers, standardisation bodies and technology providers. Finally, we instigate domain researchers to adopt the proposed methodology and conduct further FM use cases.
Contrary to stereotype, the construction industry has embraced IT with some vigour. Computers are used effectively across the sector and this use is increasing. A range of new issues have emerged in consequence.This practical book draws on direct industrial experience and examines the role of IT within a range of enterprises operating in the construction and property industry. Emphasis is given to the human side of IT and the effects of the implementation of IT systems on them. The functionality of the IT systems is considered, as is the design brief and the operation of the applications. Case reviews of a range of applications are discussed and issues arising from their implementation are explored. Pitfalls, benefits and experience shapers are reviewed and presented systematically so the reader can consider these in the light of their own experience. Outlining key drivers for advanced students and for professionals who may have to face these issues in the future, Implementing IT in Construction clearly presents the value of IT implementation and the benefits of a number of IT applications.
Conference Paper
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is emerging as a method of creating, sharing, exchanging and managing the building information throughout the lifecycle between all stakeholders. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), on the other hand, has emerged as an automatic data collection and information storage technology, and has been used in different applications in the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator) industry. In our previous research, RFID is proposed to be used to store lifecycle and context aware information taken from a BIM during the lifecycle as a distributed database. Furthermore, RFID tags can be considered as components of the constructed facility. Consequently, there is a need for a standard and formal definition of RFID technology components in BIM. The research goal of this paper is to propose adding the definitions for RFID technology to the BIM standard and to map the data to be stored on RFID memory to associated entries in a BIM database. A requirements' gathering and conceptual design are performed to add new entities, data types, and properties. Furthermore, the paper identifies relationships between RFID tags and building assets. It provides the opportunity to interrelate BIM data and RFID data using predefined relationships. Eventually, the data related to objects that are required to be saved on RFID tags can be automatically selected using defined relationships in a BIM. To explore the technical feasibility of the proposed approach, a case study has been implemented and tested using available BIM software.