Field BIM and Mobile BIM Technologies: a requirements taxonomy and its interactions with construction management functions

Benjamin Jowett, David John Edwards, Mohamad Kassem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to develop a taxonomy of requirements for mobile BIM technologies (MBT), clarify the relating terms and concepts, and identify the interactions between MBT features and the construction management functions on sites. Design/methodology/approach: A positivist approach with elements of interpretivism is adopted to allow to capture what is perceived as “reality” in relation to individuals’ interpretation and experience in the use and implementation of MBT. This is achieved by using a mixed qualitative-quantitative approach that can capture the various understandings of MBT. The research methods included a longitudinal case study over 12 months, two project workshops, expert interviews and an industry survey that together helped to investigate MBT at project, enterprise and industry levels. Findings: The MBT requirements taxonomy included requirements relating to both project and organisation. Project requirements addressed MBT functionalities for sites and information management, while organisation requirements focused on the integration of MBT solutions with the enterprise from information technology, legal and security perspectives. A detailed matrix showing the interactions between five key MBT features and seven construction management functions was also developed. Research limitations/implications: The two constructs developed by this study can help researchers to structure their investigation of key uses of MBT applications and their benefits. It can be used by researchers aiming to investigate integrated approaches to the digitalisation of construction sites, such as those enabled by Digital Twins. The interaction matrix can aid researchers in evaluating the intersections between the MBT functionalities and the site construction management functions (e.g. theoretical analysis of interactions from Lean Construction, benefit evaluation perspective). More broadly, the two constructs can support research and practice investigating the development of data-driven approaches on construction sites. Practical implications: The developed MBT taxonomy can guide construction organisations in selecting suitable MBT for Field BIM for their projects. It can also act as a baseline against which varying MBT solutions can be compared. Originality/value: Constructs such as taxonomies for MBTs; an understanding of MBT capabilities and use within the industry; and a lack of delineation between related terms, such as Mobile BIM, Field BIM, Site BIM, Cloud BIM and Mobile Apps, were lacking in the literature. This study contributed to addressing this gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalConstruction Innovation: Information, Process, Management
Early online date25 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2023

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