BIM and Facility Management

BIM and it’s Correlation with Facility Management

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BIM is a fast-evolving process. The link between the model and the facilities management system varies depending upon the usage of the software. The building design team uses a variety of software products to conceptualize and analyze a model. Along with Auto-desk, Revit, which are also the best available BIM software. In addition to Revit, we can also use Navisworks coordinate Architectural, Structural, and MEP models together. You are helping us to visualize any interference or discrepancies before construction. 

A virtual construction model helps the contractor provide a more accurate time and cost estimate as well as helps them avoid costly on-site changes.

BIM and its Working

With all of the possible software combinations that exist in the design and construction world, when you are requesting a BIM Model as a final deliverable, be sure you know what software our project team is using. Make sure to keep in mind specifying what classifications and standards you expect to see within the model. If our organization does not have its own rules, there is an industry-standard for building operations called COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange). And our development team can use their model to create a COBie output for you at the end of the project. Each part of the team will provide different aspects of COBie output. 

Architects would give you spaces and equipment locations; construction teams can provide the manufacturer and installed product information. Such help from architects and construction teams will help you import the relevant data into our facilities management system instead of trying to go through a model provided and create the link by ourselves.

A relevant model via COBie or any similar standards allows us immediate access to the as-built data. This simplifies process of updating our facility system with help of information. The same information is useful for better strategic planning in rest of the organization. Understand that some facility management systems allow you to directly link with Revit, meaning you could conceivably skip some steps in having a separate COBie deliverable, though you likely want to request this also so you can augment the model.

Limitations

As mentioned, there are some limitations on what a building model can provide to a facilities manager today. Not all manufacturers are offering their products for inclusion in a building model. That means when a construction team uses a product without a manufacturer model provided; the facilities manager may have to track down the relevant data to include in the facilities management system. And remember that model bloat mentioned earlier? The more data you want to get from a model, the larger the file will be. Bear this in mind when you are talking with our project teams. Expectations of each member should be cleared to prevent inclusion of irrelevant data..

Have each team member know what will be expected of them so they can model appropriately and not include irrelevant data.

Advancement

The latest progression within BIM is the unique contractual agreement known as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD is “a delivery methodology that fully integrates project teams. It helps in getting advantage of the knowledge of all team members to maximize the project outcome. Integrated Project Delivery is the highest form of collaboration because a single contract aligns all three parties (Owner, Architect, and Constructor).” Note that the definition does not include facilities managers but does state that all parties are inbound through one contract. That contracts states both fiscal and legal risks for the project. Sometimes there is a shared reward as well for early and under-budget delivery. BIM Coordination Services are the most critical part of BIM. And for IPD to become successful, all parties must be open to communicating more often and more openly than in a traditional contractual arrangement.

Within IPD, project delivery includes much valuable information. It consists of not just model but also the requested revisions, email conversations, project approvals, and more. Being able to track this data is one thing; being able to work on it in a team environment is something else entirely. 

Different Ways to Work with BIM

New ways of working together virtually allow teams from across the globe to keep on track. Cloud computing, data management, as well as virtual building models, keep all team members up-to-date on the latest developments. 

Of all these technologies, Cloud computing has the most significant potential impact on BIM and IPD. Because it enables the delivery of computing services over the internet in real-time, allowing end-users access to data and applications from any device with an Internet connection. By hosting a model within the Cloud, teams can view pieces of the model relevant to them, without fear of being behind an iteration (or two or three). It also allows for project participants to add more data to the model since the delivery of the model is not done from one system or another. Finally, it will enable owners and facilities manager’s insight into the project at any time.

 However, because the final deliverable may not be Cloud-based today, model inaccuracy and unnecessary detailing is still a concern. All of these new technologies hold potential, but it will depend on how the software manufacturers develop and partner together. Given that even today, apart from having multiple Cloud computing options, we also have different types of Cloud offerings like public, semi-private, and private. The question to think is, will one Cloud rule overall, or will there be multiple Cloud sites that our team will have to work within. Also, using Cloud computing is new to BIM. Adding this technology to the process means rethinking how the team works together. Cloud Computing is still an evolving practice, and what works today may not be what is best in the future.

About BLM

The next logical step in BIM is BLM or Building Life-cycle Management. BLM helps with life-cycle of a building with help of a model integrated by data. When BIM and FM ultimately tie together, we will have BLM. The technology is moving towards a living, breathing building model that will sustain itself as the as-built environment. Model will integrate into facility management system and data will keep flowing between the both. That will allow individuals to get the information they need in the order they need to view it.

Cloud computing will also play a significant role in BLM. They have one site where the model and the facilities management system come together. Perhaps even being one program will allow facilities managers to use the rich data available in the building model. They will be able to look directly at a model. Helping in Hiding irrelevant information—sharing that model data with management in a meaningful way. And their project teams on redevelopment will have the most accurate picture of the building. The reason being a model is always in the best update with necessary changes.

Hence, in conclusion, BIM is an efficient catalyst for the betterment of Facility Management. 


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