State of the Art

Stricter requirements and new regulations regarding environmental efficiency further increase the complexity of the project and the amount of disciplines involved. This in turn, generates a need for better interface communication and closer cooperation between the software developers. Building Information Modeling (BIM) describes an object-oriented, digital representation of a building, which enables interoperability and data exchange in digital format. While the interest for existing BIM software rises, together with the technical capabilities, the know-how regarding the actual design process is still in its early stages. 

Different digital representation of a building in the various disciplines of architecture (exterior view), civil engineering (structural view) and building science (building interior details)

Research Objectives

The level of penetration in the construction industry and especially in European construction industry of the new BIM software solutions is much less widespread than it was the case with the 2D CAD tools in the past. Individual BIM software developers have developed their own solutions for interoperability - mostly based on the IFC format (Industry Foundation Classes), yet the interface problematic does not stop on a technical level only, but is present also in the processes and organization of the company in which the BIM software is being implemented. One of the main objectives of the project is the development of efficient BIM-assisted planning processes with respect to time and costs and is the sub project of the Institute of Management Science, while the Institute for Interdisciplinary Building Process Management and the Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology at TU Wien focus on sub-projects regarding the evaluation and improvement of BIM software interoperability.


Through explorative studies using students from architecture, civil engineering and building science, multi-disciplinary, collaborative planning processes are simulated, supported by different constellations of BIM software. In two sets of experiments, productivity, communication & coordination, process efficiency and division of labor are analyzed by qualitative (focus groups and content analysis) and quantitative (questionnaire and process analysis) methods.


*Funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) 2012 with project number 836461