Scholarly debates as well as real estate industry surveys show that geometric building data (area sizes such as building floor areas) in particular are of great importance to many decision-makers. Taking a look at the building life cycle it becomes clear that building data is used in different process stages and management tasks e.g. cost calculation, technical planning, project controlling, marketing, contracting, valuation, facility management as well as financing. For this purposes, what real estate management need is a connected single data base, where visual and alphanumeric information is linked and data adapted dynamically. 

While this database can be created from scratch in the classical (new) real estate development process by implementing “Building Information Modelling” (BIM), existing literature reveals the problematic situation in the redevelopment process of pre-existing buildings. Here, developers and investors often find incomplete, decentralised, outdated and inconsistent building information that is rarely digitized and therefore not comparable to the standards of new developed properties. This creates not only an information risk, it ends in a very time consuming and error-prone building analysis and due diligence processes (done by hand). While the impact of incorrect building data on a single property may be small; as bigger the management tasks become, the greater impact a reliable digital database could have. Since the necessity of property redevelopments in existing buildings rises because of competitive pressure in urban environments, this problem is getting more and more important for real estate owners.
New technologies have the potential to overcome these problems. Building data capturing with 3D-laser-scanning, mobile mapping systems, or 360-camera systems as well as BIM-enabled software systems are possible instruments for the real estate industry to improve the pre-existing building data base for all future lifecycle phases of existing buildings. However, these tools are currently very rarely used by actors in the real estate sector, which is why there is neither widespread dissemination nor research on the added value of such new digital solutions compared to analogue 2D building information (for example paper lists and separate plans).

In order to close this research gap, the current state of research (literature review) is reflected and an indicator-based classification system for existing real estate buildings (similar to an ABC analysis) in relevance to suspected information risks will be presented. This first steps help to select properties from an existing real estate portfolio. Case studies are used to compare pre-existing databases and new 3D-modelling solutions (based on a “Scan to BIM” workflow). This allows first conclusions regarding the added values of these technologies in the management process of existing buildings for real estate investors, developers and asset manager.