Closing the gap in building performance: learning from BIM benchmark industries

Paul G. Tuohy, Gavin B. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
443 Downloads (Pure)


It is clear that the current industry process needs to improve in order to routinely deliver comfortable low-carbon buildings. Overheating in buildings designed to be of low energy is one of the key symptoms of current problems. Many initiatives aim to improve building performance and the industry process. A selection of these initiatives are reviewed including: the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive; the Green Star, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and National Australian Building Environmental Rating Standards (NABERS) rating schemes; the Passivhaus standard; the Soft Landings process and Building Information Modelling (BIM). The BIM approach is being actively promoted based on the assertion that the building industry process has stagnated compared to other industries suggested as productivity benchmarks such as the electronics industry. This study highlights the potential role that could be played by BIM as a framework to address the performance gaps, and suggests that processes from the BIM benchmark industries should be investigated for potential adoption. The organizational context and processes of the electronics industry are described, and it is proposed that they could be usefully adapted to reduce the scale and impacts of the building industry performance gap. Key conclusions are that public domain performance data are important, and that the adoption of a quality systems approach will be required to deliver the intended performance in practice, eliminate overheating and avoid excess energy use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2015


  • BIM
  • LEED
  • performance gap
  • Soft Landings
  • Quality
  • six sigma
  • Passivhaus
  • Carbon buzz
  • Energy star
  • Green star
  • low carbon buildings
  • sustainability
  • FMEA


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