LBNL Report Number
Buildings often do not perform as well in practice as expected during pre-design planning, nor as intended at the design stage, nor even as measured during commissioning and maintenance operations. While this statement is generally considered to be true, it is difficult to quantify the impacts and long-term economic implications of a building in which performance does not meet expectations. This leads to a building process that is devoid of quantitative feedback that could be used to detect and correct problems both in an individual building and in the building process itself.
A key element in this situation is the lack of a standardized method for documenting and communicating information about the intended and actual performance of a building. This deficiency leads to several shortcomings in the life-cycle management of building information. Planners have no means of clearly specifying their expectations. Designers do not concisely document their design intent. Commissioning personnel have no standardized method for documenting the results of performance testing. Post-occupancy building performance cannot readily be compared to expectations in an attempt to evaluate and improve design and operation decisions. Lastly, without quantification of the magnitude of performance problems it is difficult to motivate building process participants to alter their current practice.
This document describes an information management concept and a prototype tool based on this concept that has been developed to address this situation. The Building Life-cycle Information System (BLISS) has been designed to manage a wide range of building related information across the life cycle of a building project. Metracker is a prototype implementation of BLISS based on the International Alliance for Interoperability's (IAI) Industry Foundation Classes (IFC). The IFC is an evolving data model under development by a variety of architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry firms and organizations (IAI, 2001). Metracker has been developed to demonstrate and explore the process of tracking performance metrics across the building life cycle.