16 February 2017

BIM: Big Information Mess?

Over the last decade, BIM technology has prominently been on the radar for real estate and facility management and to this point its position within facility management could be characterised as “high interest, limited uptake.”

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When I wrote on this topic in the original Work on the Move, I said the technology is capable of providing a means for enhanced design and simulations, support of collaboration during design and tools for logistics and logistical simulations during construction. This makes BIM a prime tool for digital business regarding the design and construction of buildings. Many real estate organisations and departments are currently making a case for what is called “Digital Building Information Management” which is spanning the full lifecycle of an office building.

What to watch for when preparing for BIM adoption? Although mitigation measures will be available for any impediments, the total picture is probably still pretty complex to allow for a wide and swift adoption of BIM technology for the lifecycle of buildings.

As I discuss in Chapter 8 of Work on the Move 2, one reason for this is that the BIM technology industry itself has yet to address some specific requirements inherent to building life cycle management. BIM technology needs to move from a project toolset proposition to a digital business service. Developments in IT are moving fast and one can expect the BIM vendors to address them. 

There are several undisputable reasons why BIM is slowly but steadily being adopted in specific industries and areas. In the IFMA publication BIM Technology for Facility Managers, author Paul Teicholz eloquently explains:

An inordinate amount of time is spent locating and verifying specific facility and project information from previous activities.”

If you are able to retain valuable data at commissioning time, information waste is prevented and costs associated with recovering the information are avoided. In addition to avoiding this wasted time and money, there are two other primary reasons why organisations are shifting towards inclusion of BIM in their facility management processes:

  1. On an operational level, the visualisations that BIM provides can enable higher levels of efficiency and security in operating and maintaining the facilities.
  2. Another reason is compliance. There are governments who demand the use of BIM systems in order for permits to be granted for building development. Other governments require the availability of BIM models for any facility they occupy or rent.
This is just one of the technologies building smart futures I write about in Work on the Move 2. Download the book or watch our webinar to learn about other technologies affecting FM and how you can start thinking about them for your organisation.
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