Performance Building Systems

PLAN – According to Purpose 

A system is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish  the aim  of the system. A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system. The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system.   

W. E. Deming

Today’s bridges connecting a the composition of occupants to their facility design/construction – and the bridges connecting a facility design/construction to it operations and maintenance – are largely one-off, disparate, and manual or semi-automated mire of processes and tools. In the transformed state of building development, the planning success will depend on the degree to which these bridges are connected and inter-operable – and support cause and effect analysis from the very inception of an identified facility need.

As this transformed state emerges, then all measures and analysis will support the purposes and occupancy functions for which the spaces are being planned. This is what Deming refers to as the “system aim.”  One implication is that BIM processes and supporting tools will focus on, and be measured against the  purpose and functions starting in the early planning stages. This is in dramatic contrast to current BIM processes and supporting tools, which are design based. The below graph (adapted from the MacLeamy Curve) shows the implication, that current BIM produces information far too late in the development process to impact the most significant decisions.


140710 MacLeamy Curve Graphic

The Building Catalyst and Building Performance Systems purpose-driven approach includes measures and analysis that inter-relates the occupant to the facility – which is will drive decision making toward optimizing the occupancy first – then the facility operation – and then the facility production..

Purpose-driven planning and predictive modeling is the starting point to achieving breakthrough improvement – and must be organized and reported according to attributes that are beneficial to the occupant and/or the occupant’s customers. 

The degree of facility success is in direct correlation to the application of multi-dimensional, integrated planning teams – from day to day occupant to the fan manufacturer.  In the case of a hospital this would range from the charge nurse to the head wall and climate controls manufacturers.

An integrated purpose-driven planning process will bring about an analysis that includes metrics that the team will follow from inception through it life cycle. A hospital building team’s metrics will include such things like: Patient cycle and waiting times; hospital acquired infection (HAI) rates; patient re-admission rates; total facility cost (TCO as well as CapEx) as percent of operating expense or revenue; total bed (exam, operating room, etc.) cost per inpatient case per day, etc.

Some of these things are captured and measured today – after-the-fact – but in the transformed building process, these things will be simulated and planned for before-the-fact – even before the design phase begins. Building Catalyst ( provides the  starting point that supports just such a planning and measurement process.