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How useful is BIM in facilities management?

Below is an extract of a more detailed article featured in FMJ – click here to view.

Facilities management practice is changing as FMs find new ways to collect and use data for improved building management. Gary Watkins, CEO of Service Works Group, explains BIM’s key role in this.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been hailed as the future of building design, construction and management.  As the weight behind this view continues to grow, it’s clear that there are many opportunities for the UK FM industry, with the prospect of new sources of improved data for the management of buildings and services.

With BIM already being embraced by the design and construction communities, the challenge for facilities managers is leveraging the possibilities this technology offers. By taking a leading role in the emergence and deployment of BIM systems, FMs can streamline the move from construction to live operation and dramatically improve the day-to-day management of their facilities.

Spreading the word

In many cases, the value of BIM has been slower to advance through facilities management than other built environment disciplines. This is because some feel BIM is not relevant or will take too much time to populate and will also require knowledge of CAD software and 3D modelling. Fortunately, neither of these views are true. The  data stored within BIM system files includes schedules and drawings as well as asset information (such as cost, location, service life, carbon impact, maintenance, spares, re-ordering, substitution, serial numbers, warranty details and more) all of which is absolutely on the must-have knowledge list of most FMs.

However, the positive message is spreading, with 83% of respondents to a recent BIFM survey believing that BIM will help support the delivery of facilities management, with the same number indicating it is already having an impact, or will do, in the next five years.

The value of BIM is further increased through integration with FM software, creating the holy grail of better quality standardised data and improved reporting. This level of information allows FMs to make more informed decisions through the whole lifecycle of the facility, around areas such as space use, floor planning, equipment and asset maintenance, energy consumption and cost efficiencies.

Are you ready?

There is no doubt that BIM is the future: this is where the built environment industry collectively is headed.

Facilities teams often struggle to get the reliable, up-to-date building and asset data they need to produce the reports required for organisational management. By leveraging the reporting capabilities inherent in BIM, and coupling this with the power of FM software, information is stored in one place, making timely, accurate and in-depth reporting far easier – and at the same time raising the profile of facilities management.


To learn more about how Service Works’ CAFM software can integrate with BIM, BMS or other systems, contact your local office.

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