The release of ISO 19650, the international standard for building information modeling (BIM), has served to mark a turning point for the use of BIM in construction and FM. Unified practices across all BIM users accentuates its true meaning: an uninterrupted flow of information for improved collaboration across all stakeholders. And with global standards come global best practices, making it easier for companies to improve how they use BIM and start on the path to ISO accreditation.
Removing the guesswork
As BIM in the construction industry is becoming more embedded, the interest for the FM industry is also increasing. Those who have access to BIM data from the building’s inception are able to access a wealth of information as soon as the building moves into the operational phase. Details such as floorplans, materials, warranty information, serial numbers, components, systems and assemblies, and more. Having this level of detail at one’s fingertips provides a great advantage and removes the hours of investigation or even guesswork to keep the building running efficiently. But what of existing buildings? Is it too late for them?
Creating the model
A key benefit of BIM is that it can be used not just for new buildings but also for existing buildings. Starting with the creation of 2D and 3D models, the building is scanned by laser, or pictures are taken using cameras or a drone. A point cloud is created from this data which is then used within a CAD system as a base for creating a realistic scale model. This shows correct dimensions of all the rooms and areas within, which can be color coded according to requirements, such as with their function, who is renting them, or what standard they must be upheld to (for example, the level of cleanliness required for different hospital rooms).
An asset database can then be attached to the 3D model which provides extensive details such as the location of each asset, its maintenance history, its components, purchase date etc. The integrated work management system (IWMS) system improves access to all information for the FM team and speeds up job rectification time. For example, if a job is sent to an engineer they can check the BIM model for the make and model of the asset before travelling to the site. They can then better understand what needs doing, and check if there are any access restrictions for which a permit or special training is required.
BIM and virtual reality
The 3D BIM model can be understood in a unique way by pairing it with virtual reality (VR) devices, which are now readily available. Service Works Global demonstrated its own VR capability at this year’s Facilities Show in London. With just a headset and mobile phone, users were able to experience a virtual tour of the inside of a building. They can ‘walk’ around the room, through doors and look in any direction to as if they are physically there. VR BIM provides significant benefits for landlords and property owners who can use it to show their facility to potential tenants, or it can be used by FM teams to view a remote site in detail. It can also help with project or business case sign-off, for example to gain approval for a new extension by giving the board a better understanding of the benefits or even the changes that need making – which can be difficult to visualize on a 2D floor plan.
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