BIM uses for deconstruction: an activity-theoretical perspective on reorganising end-of-life practices

Marc van den Berg*, Hans Voordijk, Arjen Adriaanse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
232 Downloads (Pure)


Despite that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is often praised as a whole life-cycle methodology, possibilities for deconstruction are consistently overlooked. This study demonstrates what those possibilities may be. Previous studies showed that: deconstruction practices pose several site-based challenges; BIM implementations may help practitioners to address such challenges; and activity theory offers a framework to understand BIM implementations. We aimed to explore how deconstruction practices can be reorganised with BIM by applying an activity-theoretical perspective to a rather unique case-study. The selected case concerned the deconstruction of a nursing home so that many of its elements could be reused to construct a school. During this project, we implemented BIM in three essential activities: analysing existing conditions, labelling of reusable elements and planning deconstruction. The implementations resolved initial problems related with the use of traditional drawings, schedules and instructions. They nevertheless also triggered several additional problems that we attempted to address in successive steps. The organisation of the activities so evolved, which culminated in the formation of three new BIM uses for deconstruction: “3D existing conditions analysis,” “reusable elements labelling” and “4D deconstruction simulation”. These concepts complement existing BIM use taxonomies and can be appropriated in future deconstruction projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-339
Number of pages17
JournalConstruction management and economics
Issue number4
Early online date8 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Building Information Modelling
  • circular economy
  • deconstruction
  • practice
  • reuse
  • site management
  • Activity theory


Dive into the research topics of 'BIM uses for deconstruction: an activity-theoretical perspective on reorganising end-of-life practices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this