Facilitating the Digital Transformation of Building Design and Engineering Companies by Transferring Knowledge across Projects
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Digital technologies provide new opportunities for building design and engineering companies which have a fundamental need to change toward Digital Transformation (DT). Many experts and industry practitioners consider Building Information Modeling (BIM) to be a key technology to catalyze this transformation. BIM is a shared knowledge resource and a digital representation of all the physical and functional characteristics of a building. However, the way how companies integrated BIM to stimulate significant change has not been sufficient. In order to facilitate the DT of building design and engineering firms, a new approach to implementing BIM is needed. A fundamental shortcoming of the industry is that the knowledge acquired during a project is not used in other projects or other contexts. As each new project is started, there is a tendency to solve many problems once again and make mistakes that have been made previously, rather than learn from the experiences of other projects. This paper argues that BIM has the potential to facilitate the DT of building design through its opportunities for knowledge transfer across projects. Insights from industry practitioners in the Netherlands are used to develop a novel approach for BIM-based knowledge management. Therefore, the operating principles of an intelligent computer program – a Knowledge-Based System (KBS) – are developed. The system allows users to effectively transfer and access the knowledge gained throughout other projects and has been captured in the BIM models and (re)use it in future projects.