Reversible BIM

Digital Assessment

Reversible BIM is a digital tool (based on method E.Durmisevic) that provides insight in the reuse potential of buildings and materials reflecting their embodied value and reuse strategies.

To do this, the model analyzes relations and dependencies that individual elements have within a building structure. The reuse potential of materials is mainly determined by their technical and physical dependencies within a building. To do this, the model analyses relations, and dependencies that individual elements have with each other

Based on the Digital Reversibility Calculation, a score indicates the Reuse Potential of each element in a building. The Reuse Potential (RP) scoring system from Dr E. Durmisevic’s methodology (ranging from 0.1 worst to 0.9 best) classifies all building elements into three categories: (i) irreversible buildings (are building elements/materials with low Reuse Potential, materials are in a degradation loop towards recycling and down cycling), (ii) partially reversible buildings (partial Reuse Potential, materials can be remanufactured or reused after major repair) and (iii) reversible buildings (buildings whose materials can be reused directly or after minor repair or reconfiguration).

  • irreversible buildings (are building elements/materials with low Reuse Potential, materials are in degrading loop towards recycling and down cycling)
  • partially reversible buildings (partial Reuse Potential, materials can be remanufactured or reused after major repair and
  • reversible buildings (buildings whose materials can be directly reused or after minor repair or reconfiguration)

The reversibility of buildings measured by Reuse Potential indicates the reuse options that products and materials have after recovery. As it measures effort and time, the model also takes into account the number of disassembly steps and operations required to recover an element. Ultimately, the model results provide a solid basis for environmental and economic assessment of disassembly and recovery operations (see Figure 4). This calculation system is based on the model E.Durmisevic updated in 2009 and tested and verified during the EU H2020 BAMB-Buildings as Material Banks project (Durmisevic, 2006), (Durmisevic, 2019).

In order to use RBIM for automated assessment of Reversibility and Reuse Potential of building materials, the BIM modeller must follow modelling rules that allow reversibility assessment of the digital building model.

Color coded Reversible BIM module

Figure. Color coded Reversible BIM module, (model E.Durmisevic)

You will find background information and the methdology of the Reuse Potential in the following publication: Circular Economy in Construction – Design Strategies for Circular Buildings

Reversible BIM has two characteristics:

  • Digital Parametric Representation of the Building containing information about geometry, location, function, relationships and connections between building elements. Reversible BIM translates 3D point cloud files from 3D scanning (with the help of additional technical building specifications) into standardised geometry and properties that enable digital reversibility analysis of the building and its materials. Such reversibility assessment enables the specification of reuse and disassembly strategies for high value recovery of components and materials, which are explained as the second feature blow.
  • Digital Reversibility Assessment (DRA) provides an assessment of reversibility/reuse potential using the model of (Durmisevic, 2019), developed to assess how easily building products and materials can be recovered without damaging surrounding parts. It also links the assessment to multiple reuse options and the reversibility category of the building/product. The model measures the effort and time required to recover an element from the building, as well as the level of damage that occurs during the disassembly process (to the element itself and to surrounding elements). This reversibility assessment is performed at three levels of the technical composition of the building (i.e. building, system and component levels) (Durmisevic 2019).

The development of the tool has been outlined in a paper for the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction: Development of a conceptual digital deconstruction platform with integrated Reversible BIM to aid decision making and facilitate a circular economy

To effectively use BIM for digital assessment of Reuse Potential, some pre-modeling preparation is required and RBIM modelling rules need to be applied. The RBIM modelling protocol defines preparatory and modelling steps that will help to create RBIM. The RBIM Protocol is available below.

This document specifies rules and recommendations for modelling in Revit for the purpose of creating Reversible BIM, which enables the assessment of Reus Potential.

Use possibilities for different users/clients

Owners: To get an overview of the reuse capacity of a building and its materials in a building easily and efficiently using 3D color-coded viewer and color-coded graphical overview of the reuse options of buildings and its elements reflecting their embodied CO2, tonnages, volume.

This overview supports decision making regarding potential deconstruction and reuse strategies and relevant requirements for the procurement and contracting.

Designers – Engineers: To provide design relevant information about elements with high reuse potential: dimensions, geometry, material type, functionality of elements, in digital / CAD-based/ parametric formats.

Deconstructing Industry: Support the decision-making regarding deconstruction or construction of a project with information about assembly and disassembly sequences, accessibility to individual elements, number and type of connections between elements that need to be recovered. The information is made also visible in a 3D viewer enabling easy use of a 3D inventory of reusable elements on construction/deconstruction site. To get a visual color-coded overview of the reuse options of buildings and its elements, reflecting CO2, martial tonnages / volume per material.

Interests of the tool

To assess the reuse potential of a building and its materials in a (visual) overview, as a support to define, validate and/or present a reuse strategy.


The RBIM protocol specifies the steps the BIM (Revit) modeller needs to take to create a BIM model that can be used to assess the Reuse Potential of individual elements and materials.

Contact :

email: e.durmisevic [a] 4darchitects . nl



Project Info

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