BIM assisted Building Automation System information exchange using BACnet and IFC

Shu Tang*, Dennis R. Shelden, Charles M. Eastman, Pardis Pishdad-Bozorgi, Xinghua Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Smart buildings are the trend of the next generation's commercial buildings that link different building systems together with the Building Automation System (BAS). Building information modeling (BIM) assists in data exchange and information flow. Previous research has explored BAS and BIM integration for energy management, building design optimization and operation, and building fault detection and diagnostics. However, it is rarely seen to design BAS or exchange BAS information in different project stages using BIM tools. The current design of the BAS system is either using 2D drawings based on AutoCAD or vendor customized tools. Unlike the other building systems, BAS seldom participates in design-build BIM cycle but blends into facility management in the later stage. To tackle this issue, this research aims to set a fundamental step to facilitate information exchange for BIM assisted BAS design and operation using one of the BAS open communication protocol named Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet) and open BIM standard Industry Foundation Class (IFC). This paper leverages Information Delivery Manual (IDM) and Model View Definition (MVD) methodologies to define an IFC subset schema (a BACnet MVD) so that BAS information conforming to the BACnet protocol can be represented in IFC data model for information exchange throughout various project stages with BIM tools. Revit and a web browser were used to demonstrate the implementation of the BACnet MVD for BAS information exchange. In this way, BAS information represented in the open BIM standard can unlock the potential of future smart building information exchange and integration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103049
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • BACnet
  • BIM
  • Building Automation System
  • IDM
  • IFC
  • MVD
  • Smart building


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