Requirements Management and Critical Decision Points

Tiina Koppinen, Arto Kiviniemi

Research output: Book/ReportReport


In this working paper, a study carried out as part of the second phase of the Virtual Building Environments research and development project is reported. The working paper covers work done to determine the interface between requirements management and critical decision points. The report first defines the processes and critical decision points within building architecture, engineering, construction and operation (AECO) project lifecycle for which users require information exchange. Then, detailed information needs in each critical decision point are specified. Finally, the actors sending and receiving information within the project lifecycle are identified and the associated, required information content of BIMs is determined. Within this working paper, the life cycle of the building is divided into five phases: pre-project, design & pre-construction, construction, post-construction and operation & maintenance. The actors in the process are the owner, end-users, marketing & sales, project management, designers, constructors, facilities management and authorities. Only "hard gates", critical decisions that involve a permission from the financial authority (the owner) to proceed, are studied in detail. "Soft gates", decisions and selections made by the individual designers or the design team during the process, are not documented. The critical decision points in the process are 1) project decision and investment decision during pre-project phase, 2) decision to construct after design & pre-construction phase, 3) commissioning after construction phase, 4) release of guarantees after post-construction phase, and 5) the decision to demolish the building in the end of the building's life cycle. Many of the information needs during the process relate back to the project requirements. Requirements set the basis for the design and, throughout the process, the results of the project must be compared with the requirements in order to define the level of requirement fulfilment. This emphasises the importance of capturing and documenting initial requirements and updating the evolving requirements during the process. Current technologies also enable use of more complicated and automated analyses as a basis of more informed decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7153-6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Working Papers


  • building information model
  • decision point
  • decision making
  • design process


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