Building Performance Evalauation, Information Management

and post-occupancy evaluation

Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) is becoming progressively integrated into the full life cycle of a building project through representation and analysis of its time, cost, physical and functional characteristics. A less tangible yet decisive element of BPE is Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE), and its role and perceived value in this process. A qualitative review is undertaken to examine the increased prominence of the role of POE, its potential role within Building Information Modelling and Management (BIM) and the Building Energy Management System (BeMS). This is considered in the context of sustainable design, construction and operation. The alignment of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 and BPE process’s, along with the potential integration with BIM and the BeMS is considered. The opportunity for POE to offer input into BIM, the BeMS and potential integration into simulated building performance is then explored. This is achieved through examination of current UK government policy, published books, articles and papers that compare and contrast BIM in Europe and the US. In the context of personal and corporate smart technology, POE has the opportunity to feedback into BeMS meta-data for facility management monitoring of sustainable performance and analysis. There is further opportunity for such methodological feedback throughout the entire life cycle of a building into BIM meta-data as a significant contributor to the general building performance knowledge base.


The UK Government has identified that the lack of co-ordination in building construction generates 10-20% of material and energy waste in the process (Blackwall, 2012). It is expected that an annual saving of £20bn in the UK and €80bn in the EU will be made through the use of BIM in the reduction of incomplete, inaccurate and ambiguous information throughout the project life-cycle. As of 2016 BIM will be mandatory for all UK Government projects of a value of at least £50m. The processes detailed below are scalable. BIM takes building design beyond a single 3D graphical representation to include all operational and maintenance data. This is achieved through a process of close co-operational working between all capital and knowledge stakeholders and providers in a no-blame culture that provides immediate insight into the impact of design decisions on building performance as illustrated in Figure 1 below (Bernstein, 2010). BIM provides a means by which generating, storing, managing, and exchanging consistent building information is interoperable and reusable through Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data models conforming to ISO 16739 throughout the lifecycle of the building (BuildingSMART, 2013). Although lagging the US, UK designers are recorded of a take up of BIM at three times the rate of CAD (Architects 60%, engineers 39% contractors 23%) due to the innate ability design and simulate in detail with reduced time, cost and risk (Bernstein, 2010). BIM provides a mechanism by which RIBA, BPE and Soft Landings (SL) stages may record and inform the asset delivery and after-care process (Preiser and Vischer, 2005; Way and Bunn, 2009). BIM provides a fourth dimension of building performance simulation over time. BPE and POE may contribute to this meta-data by type across time as fifth and sixth dimensions.

Although nearly a third of non-users have no interest in using BIM, service, product and materials providers can analyse delivery risk through supply-chain collaboration with improved understanding of design intent with improved project quality and construction efficiency that reduces waste. Key Performance Indications (KPI) can facilitate systematic performance improvement of product, service, cost and time in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and quality (Eadie, Browne, Odeyinka, McKeown, and McNiff, 2013). The supply chain is anticipated to receive fewer product queries partnered with preferential choice status. For asset managers BIM may present a platform for computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) whereby data files are viewed though BIM as a computer maintenance management system (CMMS). 50% of users believe BIM will drive improvements in CAFM. The alignment of various processes is complex and each stage contains considerable detail. The comparative analysis allows for a more holistic view of the aligned processes.

BPE, RIBA, BIM and SL Process Alignment

BPE is the value-added approach to the production of buildings that has evolved out of the POE process to extend across the life-cycle of the building. Like BIM, the process is circular in nature as shown in Figure 2 below. The analysis of the building life-cycle in this manner enables value to be added to each phase of the building project. The value lays in the continual evaluation of all aspects of building performance by all parties involved in the project ownership, design, construction, after-care and reuse. POE is a sub-process of BPE that provides feedback from the occupier during the after-care and continued life-cycle of the building. This feed-back of meta-data during project conception through to practical completion, and over a 5-year Aftercare period, is to the benefit of all parties involved in the complete life-cycle of the building from strategic planning, design, build, occupancy and adaptive reuse in using BPE and POE in the manner of market research. POE identifies both positive and negative lessons to be learned and the method in which they can be reused or resolved accordingly. The expected level of meta-data to be generated for various project types is significant enough to attract the attention of Google X in the form of the Genie project as a contributor to the Level 3 phase of BIM in the Cloud.

The newly revised RIBA Plan of Works, once considered linear, is now aligned with the circular nature of BPE along with the stage requirements of BIM and SL (RIBA Plan of Work, 2013).

The RIBA Plan of Works has been reduced from eleven stages to eight to reflect all types of procurement route and project size that reflects the complexity of projects. RIBA Stage 0 identifies the client’s Business Case and Strategic Brief and other core project requirements in alignment with BPE Strategic Planning to establish the needs of the client. BIM management starts to capture data concerning utilisation, operation, maintenance, replacement and reuse of assets. This stage allows BPE, POE and SL from comparative projects to be tabled for review and necessary effective inclusion. From this stage, inclusive, the client Facility Manager (FM) should be continually involved, if appointed, as they are a key operational stake-holder during SL Aftercare. BPE contributes to the client’s strategic view in meeting user needs when selecting a site for new-build or post-occupancy refurbishment. In the latter case POE analysis of the previous incumbent or similar context, will inform on the extent of works that may be required in terms of suitability, feasibility, mission and goals.

The RIBA Stage 1 Brief is to develop project and quality objectives whilst detailing sustainability aspirations. The corresponding BPE Brief should conform to ISO 9699:1994. BIM requires Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) Data Drop 1 at this stage. The COBie database is considered to be the immutable source of truth for the project life-cycle. It is the formal structured open-source method of sharing information in the form of a data-base or spreadsheet. The client purpose of COBie is to capture asset registration, use and utilisation, operations and instructions, maintenance and repair, replacement and specification, assessment and reuse, cost and carbon impacts, the client business case, security and surveillance an regulation and compliance (UK CG BIM Group, 2012). In a campus growth scenario the client is able to table existing facility POE to inform the design team. The potential scale of POE meta-data entails that the method may entail cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) information management hosted by the owner or a neutral data centre. The corresponding SL Stage 1 Brief requests POE input to set environmental and performance targets.

The evaluative loop of the BPE Design Stage allows for on going client and stakeholder input in to RIBA Stage 2 for concept design in alignment with the corresponding Stage 2 Design Development for SL. This allows the Client FM to review design prerequisites to ensure alignment with the POE service definitions and for BIM to define capture of Building Regulations Part L. Unconventionally, this stage requires that the designers thoughts are made explicit through a design review that involves feedback through the users representatives, whilst avoiding supplanting the creative actions of the design professions. The BPE Design Stage incorporates RIBA Stage 3 whereby the developed design incorporates the co-ordinated architectural, structural and building services design and costs. The interim Building Regulations Part L assessment and a design stage carbon and energy declaration is undertaken. BIM COBie Data Drop 2 allows potential suppliers to demonstrate capability and integrity for selection to deliver the asset. Stage 2 Design Development for SL assures that design targets are reviewed and that the FM reviews usability and manageability. RIBA Stage 4 is the last phase of the BPE Design Stage whereby the BIM COBie Data Drop 3 ensures that the completed Technical Design is consistent with the client brief. Again the FM reviews usability and manageability. BIM is to assure that sufficient information is available to achieve statutory approvals. The BPE Construction and Commissioning Phase details expected performance, quality control and assurance in order to validate that the specified building performance criteria have been met. RIBA Stage 5 requires the resolution of offsite manufacturing and onsite assembly issues as they arise. The corresponding Soft Landings Stage 3 allows the Client and FM to prepare for building readiness by witness testing and commissioning and training familiarisation of the control interfaces. RIBA Stage 6 is the last phase of the BPE Construction and Commissioning whereby assistance is provided for the collation of post-completion information for final sustainability certification. The BIM COBie Data Drop 4 is made at this time. The data collected is all the operational and detailed functional information supplied by the product manufacturers to the FM. It allows the Client to assess whether they got what they asked for and that they can manage it effectively. Soft Landings Stage 4 Aftercare necessitates residence on site so that meaningful POE, walk-through support and technical guidance can be provided to the users and the FM. RIBA Stage 7 assures that observation of the building operation in use and assistance with fine tuning and guidance for occupants is undertaken, and that the energy/carbon performance is declared. SL Stage 5 Aftercare is to facilitate on going but less frequent POE to measure environmental and energy performance (Aman, Simmhan, and Prasanna, 2013). BPE and POE contribute to tuning to achieve optimal building functionality for the occupants. This allows earlier stage decisions to be tested.

Smarter POE for BIM orientated BeMS facility management

BIM FM integration has been shown to provide very significant owner benefits (Teicholz, 2013). Normative FM is dogged by poor mediums of information management and multiple incompatible systems whereby useful data is vast but the FM does not possess resources to transcribe this into the CMMS. During Aftercare the accumulated COBie data required by the FM is significantly more valuable than graphics. The advantage of COBie data as an open standard is the need to interoperate with the BeMS, CMMS, CAFM and building automation systems (BAS). This secures a simple handover of the building asset data for more effective use in terms of both operations and analysis. The mechanical logic of BAS is a fundamental element of BeMS that forms a hierarchical system of assets consisting of components, devices, process and plant (Marinakis, Doukas, Karakosta, and Psarras, 2013). However reduction of energy consumption in buildings requires the development of new energy management concepts (Velik, 2013). Such novel ICT-concepts and strategies have been shown to offer 10-40% energy savings to maximise the use of the limited energy available. By introducing interactive software, end users are given the ability to monitor their own active involvement in affecting their immediate environment. In this manner the BeMS configuration can trend and account for real user needs. Such a reactive system structured around a neuro-symbolic network of trends, activities and situations drawing on fuzzy logic (Wijayasekara, Manic, and Rieger, 2013). Fuzzy logic based linguistic rules in BeMS require expert provision. The multiple rules are shown to enable description of complex patterns of behavioural relationships between non-linear and interrelated data to illustrate important building behaviour. For example this would differentiate between an open window for night-time cooling and a potential security issue. This method requires bi-directional communication between users, appliances and the BeMS utilising non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM) through ubiquitous placement of sensors (Aman, Simmhan, and Prasanna, 2013). This may utilise wireless enabled sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID) component labelling recorded in COBie. Integration of cost-effective motes that sense humidity, temperature, light and CO2 and motion by extension, allow for the FM to receive accurate contextualised information at time intervals that provide appropriate granularity that generates long-term POE trend data without the need for long-term storage of short-term meta-data analytics. The use of desktop and smart device applications synchronised with the BeMS may inform users of their energy use actions. The ability to simulate the influence of changes on energy consumption and cost in order to decide how to act can bring about effective behavioural change on an individual basis. In turn pre-trend analysis can be given in that simulation may act as a proposal as to how users would like an environment adapted or by situating users according to comfort needs. By declaring positive action and highlighting cost and energy savings and efficiency, or crowdsourcing user data through social network media to the wider community, may add additional leverage in balancing consumption with comfort in managing demand side energy use. As such the occupant or user becomes increasingly instrumental in POE satisfaction monitoring and improves the situational awareness of the FM. In turn the use of Energy Management Systems with Social Media will motivate consumer behavioural change (Aman, Simmhan, and Prasanna, 2013).


POE has the ability to enhance comparison of designed and actual performance in the context of behavioural trending using today’s technology. Process alignment allows POE a role to play throughout the building lifecycle using existing staged methods while utilising BIM as a tool for information integration for use by the client FM. Simulation and performance analysis will highlight the cost and implications of construction-phase value engineering in terms of product delivery and energy efficiency. The alignment and integration of process philosophy and methodology has the ability to foster close co-operative and more consensual working practices to deliver a better product by drawing stakeholders and players out of what Sunand Prasad terms their silos. It allows stakeholders and players alike to adopt principles that contract waste and operationally converge (Meyer, 2000). However BIM has an equal, if not more important role to play in the facility management of the finished product that allows designers and service providers to consider new value-added market analysis and services to maintain or improve building performance external to normative practice. Functions such as Business Development, Account Management, Customer Service Management and previously disregarded and new professional services need to be considered as part of the extended and expanded professional offering. This will require the involvement of more recent external business types such as ICT, cloud computing and data management to provide a holistic product service.

Works Cited

Aman, S., Simmhan, Y., and Prasanna, V. K. (2013, January). Energy Management Systems: State of the Art and Emerging Trends. IEEE Communications Magazine , pp. 114-119.

Bernstein, H. (2010). Green BIM: How Building Information Modelling is Contributing to Green Design and Construction (Smart Market Report). Autodesk, Building Information Modelling. McGraw-Hill Construction.

Bernstein, H. (2010). The Business Value of BIM in Europe (Smart Market Report). Autodesk, Building InformationModelling. McGraw-Hill Construction.

Blackwall, B. (2012). Building Information Modelling, Industrial Strategy: Governement and Industry in Partnership. UK Government, The Department for Business, Inniovation and Skills. London: The Department for Business, Inniovation and Skills.

BuildingSMART. (2013). BuidlingSMART. Retrieved November 2013 from

Eadie, R., Browne, M., Odeyinka, H., McKeown, C., and McNiff, S. (2013). BIM implementation through the UK construction project lifecycle: An analysis. Automation in Construction , 36, 145-151.

Marinakis, V., Doukas, H., Karakosta, C., and Psarras, J. (2013). An intergrated system for buidings energy-efficient automation: Application in the tertiary sector. Applied Energy , 101, 6-14.

Meyer, A. (2000). Contraction and Convergence: The Global Solution to Climate Change. Totnes, Devon, UK: Green Books.

Preiser, W. F., and Vischer, J. C. (2005). Assessing Building Performance. Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinman.

RIBA Plan of Work. (2013). Retrieved 2013 from

Teicholz, P. (2013). BIM for Facility Managers. Wiley, Hoboken, USA: IFMA Foundation.

UK CG BIM Group. (2012). WP106: COBie and the UK Government BIM Strategy. AEC3 Ltd and USCACE Engineer Research and Development Centre. AEC3 Ltd and USCACE Engineer Research and Development Centre.

Velik, R. (2013). Cognitive Architectures as Building Energy ManagementSystems for Future Renewble Energy Solutions; A Work in Progress Report. International Journal of Science and Engineering Investigations , 2 (17), 67-72.

Way, M., and Bunn, R. (2009). The Softlandings Framework BSRIA BG 4/2009. Retrieved 2013 from

Wijayasekara, D., Manic, M., and Rieger, C. (2013). Fuzzy Linguistic Knowledge Based Behaviour Extraction for Building Energy Management Systems. 6th International Symposium on Resilient Control Systems (IRCS) (pp. 80-85). IEEE.

In summary
Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) is becoming progressively integrated into the full life cycle of a building project through representation and analysis of its time, cost, physical and functional characteristics. A less tangible yet decisive element of BPE is Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE), and its role and perceived value in this process.

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