UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


The Development of the HVAC Product Data Templates Suitable for 5D BIM software platforms

26 April 2017

According to the National BIM Standard, BIM is "a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility and a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition". It provides key product and asset data and a geometrical model, which is used for effective information management throughout a project lifecycle.

The nature, type, of a product and asset data stored within BIM solution determines so called dimension of a BIM solution. 4D BIM supports time and allows for scheduling whilst 5D data also support costing processes.

5D BIM software tools include cost estimation and scheduling features, and have capability to provide accurate and automated quantification and assist in significantly reducing variability in cost estimates. In the context of HVAC equipment, 5D BIM platform can support not only the optimization of spatial solutions (clearance, mounting, arrangement) but embed technical information such as efficiency, outputs, warranties, service and maintenance requirements, etc.

Through an extensive research on HVAC design parameters, operation and maintenance requirements, and relevant legislation and standards, the key attributes required for 5D BIM* software products were identified and a data-collection framework was developed. In order to assist stakeholders to define characteristics of a product, analyze operational performance specifications and financial risks, and to identify the required conditions, services, and equipment at any stage of a development, developed data templates reflect the information need in product selection, replacement, procurement, installment, maintenance and decommissioning processes in a typical development project.

Data attributes were categorized within four main categories: Legislation & Regulations; Performance; Environment & Sustainability;  Financial Cost. Each of the attributes was in turn associated with the following utilization categories: definition, analysis and coordination. The developed framework insures that databases contain attributes playing a key role in the decision-making process compatible with current and emerging industry standards.


PI: Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd 


This work has resulted in the following academic publication which is currently under review:

  • Unkaya, G. and Marjanovic-Halburd, Lj (2014) "The Development of the HVAC Product Data Templates Suitable for 5D BIM software platforms", Lake Constance 5D-Conference 2015 (accepted). 

The main aim of this study funded by Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is to develop a data-collection framework by identifying main attributes of various Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) components, and assist industry practitioners to create a product database suitable for 5D BIM software solutions and reflecting current technology and standards.  

The potential outcomes of utilizing a product-specific, process-driven database can be listed as: Increased accuracy of design stage assumptions; Information support for reliable and accurate commissioning and maintenance plans; Reduced financial risk through provision of reliable and accurate cost estimations; Enhance quick decision-making process and minimize project delivery time; Minimized communication gaps within the project lifecycle and enhanced coordination among stakeholders. 


For further information please contact: Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd