Persons are using a planning application on a tablet device Copyright: © Martin Braun Project logo novaBIM  

Collaborative Design of Innovation-Friendly Work Environments With BIM

Key Info

Basic Information

01.01.2023 to 31.12.2025
Research Area:
Work Scientific Support of Change and Transformation Processes | Workplace and Product Design

Further Information



Susanne Mütze-Niewöhner

Head of Work Organization Department


+49 241 80 99451




The Building Information Modeling, in short BIM, approach uses a consistent digital representation with all relevant information of a building. The collaborative process of creating and maintaining this model accompanies the entire life cycle of the building. Software tools that support the BIM-approach have been used in construction planning for several years but there is still room for improvement.

The project “novaBIM” addresses two research questions in the field of construction planning with BIM. First, there is the question of how the BIM approach can be used to improve the design of innovation-friendly work environments. The digital transformation of work, accelerated by the impact of the COVID pandemic has greatly changed the demands on work environments. In this context, possible implementation strategies are needed to extend BIM-compliant software tools with functionalities for the planning of office spaces based on the client’s work organizational and work psychological demands.
The second research question addresses how to improve the cross-organizational collaboration in building planning with BIM. The strong technology focus causes an only restrained use of BIM by small and medium-sized enterprises, in short SMEs. In order to support the acceptance of BIM software among users, design recommendations for collaborative functionalities will be created.

The results of this research are exemplarily implemented and tested in the "Digitales Raumbuch", a web-tool created by the Fraunhofer IFF.


Using BIM to design innovation-friendly work environments presents several challenges. During the creative process of identifying and recording the work organizational and work psychological requirements with short feedback cycles and many changes, the BIM approach is not yet pursued. This leads to difficulties in transferring client’s requirements into the model. In addition, the software functions to visualize the model cannot be used.

The BIM approach provides high potential concerning the entire building lifecycle. All relevant information of the building is collected and maintained in a central model from the beginning of the planning. Due to the volume of information and the involvement of various stakeholders in a building, a high degree of cooperation is required when using BIM. Already during planning process, there is a large number of cross-organizational interfaces. Since the model cannot be used profitably for all players and the maintenance of the information and the handling of corresponding software tools is a great challenge, especially for SMEs, BIM is often only used at the request of the client.


The goal of the project "novaBIM" is to extend the tool ”Digitales Raumbuch” for digitally supported planning of innovation-friendly working environments. Furthermore, functionalities for cross-organizational collaboration are to be implemented in order to enable the universal use of the tool and to make the use of BIM easier.

With its participation in the project, the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, in short IAW, pursues the development of a reference process model for the planning process with BIM. By analyzing and optimizing existing processes, research gaps in the area of digitally supported, cross-organizational collaborative work are to be closed and competencies in the area of team research and human-centered, participative work design are to be expanded.


Based on the analysis of relevant work processes and experiences of the industry partners on the current state of BIM-based collaboration, a reference model is developed to identify measures to support digital cross-organizational, collaboration. In parallel, requirements for the implementation of innovative work concepts are identified. The preliminary work, derived from practical experience and scientifically based, forms the development basis for new function sets to promote collaboration as well as for the planning of innovation-friendly work environments. In the project, these will be implemented exemplarily in the “Digitales Raumbuch”, tested by the industry partners and evaluated in terms of ergonomics. The impact on collaboration will also be analyzed and recommendations for the design of collaboration derived.


The research and development project novaBIM is financed with funding provided by the BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) under the program “Innovative working environments in medium-sized companies” (funding number: 02L22B061) and implemented by the PTKA – Projektträger Karlsruhe (Project Management Agency Karlsruhe). The authors are responsible for the content of this publication.

Project Partners

Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF
Carpus+Partner AG
DBCO Generalplaner GmbH
METOP Mensch-Technik-Organisation-Planung GmbH