Building Intelligence with BIM

How do we uncover insights in building data? What do I need to watch out for in working with building data?

If you've ever used a number to find a room, you have worked with building data. Building information is all around us and already in everyday use. The vast majority of building data doesn't resemble buildings at all, but are in tables and records built on a summarized perspective of the building.

For example, hotels maintain a list of rooms and their various states of availability, as well as records for guests and stays. However, the room list is only concerned with the operational properties of the room, signified by a room number. Other temporal and physical attributes and properties of the room, such as proximity to the elevator or likelihood of neighbor noise any time of year, are useful insights for which reliable data is hard to gather.

The greatest advantage of a Building Information Model is the ability to gather insights from the geometric information and metadata alone. Building logic, and often times business logic, becomes a data perspective cast onto the Building Model, rather than a property of the model itself through labeling. This is simple to say but hard to deliver. The meaning we attach to space is deeply rooted in our psyche, even during the broad stroke early design stage. 

Our fluency in Building Information gives us the agility to join operational or sensor data to our building baseline. Enriching time series records with spatial attributes gives analysts a whole world of spatial relations to mine for insights. By leveraging Building Information Models that mirror closely to operational reality, the model becomes a data hub that joins operational data sets in order to produce spatial insights.