Briefing is changing from a static list of spatial and technical statements to dynamic, comprehensive and coherent specification of behaviour and performance throughout the lifecycle. This makes the brief a key tool for raising performance and reducing risks. Making goals, constraints and requirements explicit in a brief defines expected performance in unambiguous terms that facilitate interaction between stakeholders. Such interaction is essential for the performance of both buildings and processes that produce, maintain and operate buildings.

Risk management is also facilitated by explicitness and interaction but even more by continuity in the lifecycle. This facilitates anticipation of future stages, deployment and testing of scenarios, and comparison of predictions to actual measurements: what is expected of a building in briefing and design can be held against post-occupancy evaluations. Such comparisons contribute to the calibration of further expectations and serve as precedents for similar buildings.

The above require information means that (a) ensure integration and continuity, and (b) bridge the gaps between briefing and design or use. BIM promises a solution to questions of integration and continuity, eliminating the need for stage-based types of briefing and developing instead an integral, dynamic collection of use information in direct relation to building information. Integration of briefing in BIM is, firstly, inclusive: it does not restrict briefing to specific stakeholders, tasks or stages. Secondly, it makes briefing a logical extension of other activities in BIM, allowing for shared authorship and custodianship by various stakeholders. Thirdly, it makes BIM cost effective by increasing return on the considerable expense of developing and maintaining a precise and accurate virtual model.

The paper describes how briefing information (goals, constraints, requirements) can be accommodated in BIM and connect to design entities towards automatic conformance checks at various levels of specificity. The resulting information custodianship options are analysed towards robust solutions that go beyond current briefing practices. Finally, the paper describes how post-occupancy data can be incorporated in BIM in direct relation to briefing information. This applies to both quantitative data from environmental monitoring and qualitative data from e.g. surveys.