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How does BIM benefit facility management? - white paper by Service Works Global

What is BIM?

Project and asset information, documentation and data will need to be electronic for all new construction projects, which will enable each part of the supply chain, from architects, through to construction and facility / maintenance management, to share the same data. As a result, companies using BIM will derive significant cost savings, increased value and improved energy performance through the use of open shareable asset information, which will result in optimum building performance. Many companies are now using BIM to achieve great benefits. There are four levels of BIM,  see the definitions of each level here.

Using BIM in Facility Management

BIM offers the opportunity to export asset data which is already held within building and construction specifications. Via an industry standard interface, known as COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange), asset data, such as model, manufacturer and its location within a building, can be imported into QFM facility management software to create and pre-populate a comprehensive asset register and streamline planned and reactive maintenance management. This improves the quality and accuracy of data and delivers significant time and cost savings in terms of data collection.

Information which is not relevant for FM, such as architectural and structural detail is not captured, whilst essential data, including equipment lists, manuals, warranties, and spare parts, is automatically recorded in QFM to enable the creation and ongoing management of efficient maintenance schedules from inception. If a change is made to asset information within QFM, the two-way interface pushes this update back to the BIM model to retain a current and accurate picture of a building and its components.

BIM for P3 Projects

Public-private partnership (P3) projects can be also be managed effectively via BIM and QFM integration. In addition to streamlining FM by populating details of a building’s assets and physical attributes, it can assist in P3 projects where there is no maintenance element. The BIM / QFM interface enables property developers to provide their clients with a ready-configured facilities and space management software system, based upon the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawing that they have used to design and build the infrastructure. This allows clients to ensure optimal building management from day one.

Request a copy of Service Works’ complimentary white paper, Deriving Meaningful Data from FM Software & BIM Integration, for more information about BIM and the opportunities that it offers to facility management.

Definition of BIM Levels

There are considered to be four levels of BIM which refer to the level of compliance from no collaboration to full collaborative working:

Level 0 indicates that there is no collaboration between the different parties in the design, construction, maintain and operate process. 2D CAD drawings are used and material is shared in hard copy or emailed documents. Only a minority of the industry remains at this stage.

Level 1 is still fairly basic comprising a combination of 3D CAD at concept stage and 2D drafting. There may be some sharing of data in a common data environment (CDE) but there is no collaboration between the different disciplines and each manages its own data. The majority of the industry is at this stage.

Level 2 is a step up with all groups using 3D CAD models, but not necessarily working on a shared model. However there is a vast improvement in how the data is shared between the different parties. This is typically through a common file format, which allows partners to combine the data with their own and interrogate it. This is the minimum target set by the UK Government for all centrally-procured public sector work by April 2016.

Level 3, also known as Open BIM, signifies full collaboration between all parties through a single, shared project model which is held centrally. Everyone can access and modify the same model, and there is no risk of conflicting information. The UK Government is aiming to have all public sector projects operating at this level between 2016 and 2025 with 2019 floated as a target date.


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