Discover the Importance of Using BIM for Facilities Management and Operations

Marketing Team
Published on March 16, 2022

From corporate real estate directors and architects collaborating on the design to facilities managers supervising crucial building systems, many people contribute to the success of a building project. Building information modeling, or BIM, is a collaborative technique that combines 3-D modeling and software with a collaborative approach to allow everyone involved in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of a building to work together. In a nutshell, it's a means to design better buildings from the ground up and maintain them through predictive analytics.

What is BIM?

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a process-driven technique for mapping and quantifying the physical characteristics of a structure. BIM is used in the design of buildings, the construction of structures, and the maintenance of infrastructures. The main goal is to quantify as much of a building as possible and use that information to make better facility management decisions. Buildings are becoming smarter, and the systems that govern them are becoming smarter as well. Building Information Modeling is one of the most common pieces of technology that enterprises can use today (BIM). BIM (Building Information Modeling) is revolutionizing the building industry. It unifies the architecture, engineering, and construction processes by allowing all parties to access coordinated, reliable, and shareable data. BIM for facilities management and operations, in addition to the construction phase, can considerably benefit the overall health of the facility and minimize continuing operating expenses.

While the advantages of BIM processes throughout the design and construction phases are well-documented, BIM reaches its full potential when used throughout the facility's lifecycle. It is feasible to properly manage the maintenance and operations of new and existing facilities using BIM. Digital twins are the simplest way for facilities managers to learn about BIM. A digital twin is a 3D digital copy of a real structure that serves as the basis for a BIM record. A facilities manager can use a digital twin to identify different aspects of a building, isolate them for data, and understand the needs of that specific element as well as its link to other systems.

BIM as a Function of Facilities Management

BIM provides detailed digital models of all the components that go into building a structure. Stakeholders can use these models to learn about a facility's physical and functional qualities. As a result, BIM for facilities management provides managers with critical information about the building, allowing them to operate and maintain the facility more efficiently. Depending on the type of building, facilities managers may have access to a variety of details. In facilities management, BIM's job is to deliver measurable insights. BIM allows you to peer at a realistic model of a facility and parse information as needed. It's one thing to look at a balance sheet and see facility expenses and figures; it's quite another to look at a building model and see exactly what those costs are and how they manifest.

BIM is widely used nowadays by businesses since it is beneficial at all stages of facility maintenance. Microsoft offers Azure Digital Twin Solution to use BIM data for improved digital representation. It can mimic the consequences and changes associated with upkeep, repair, or improvement and provides proactive insight into essential systems. In practice, it provides real-time information about how facilities are currently operating, all the way down to the system level. Finally, it's a data-driven system of record that interfaces with critical management applications. It's an excellent resource for facility managers at all levels of decision-making.

 

"BIM provides the foundation that all future data will be derived from. The accuracy and completeness of a building's BIM have a ripple effect through all the building data collected."

 --Shaun Cooley, CEO, Mapped.

 

How does BIM Benefit Facility Managers?

According to the BIM FM Consortium of the International Facility Management Association, having a plan to deploy Lifecycle BIM is critical to a facility manager's success. BIM has been developed over many years to assist building management in reducing costs, increasing building ROI, streamlining operations, increasing employee engagement, and preventing problems. According to the group's BIM for Facilities Management Implementation Guide, a worldwide system will improve space management, expedite maintenance, use energy more efficiently, save money on renovations, and improve lifecycle management.

  • Improves Space Management

Space and real estate management have a direct impact on facility expenditures. Facilities managers can integrate scheduling, budget, maintenance, and sustainability into the equation with 6D building information modeling. A facilities manager can eliminate vacancies, manage schedules, and uncover possibilities to combine or rearrange spaces by fully knowing space consumption. By incorporating this information into building information modeling, facilities managers may better manage real estate expenditures, provide flexible work arrangements, and boost employee happiness. This vital information is easily available thanks to space management software. Sensors provide an additional layer of data to the BIM process, allowing for a better understanding of how employees use office space in real-time.

  • Smarter and Efficient Maintenance

Maintenance teams can get critical performance and condition data about the building assets when the facility's informative model is updated on a regular basis. A user can, for example, inspect a 3D model of an HVAC unit to learn more about its performance, maintenance schedules, and manufacturer information. He or she can design preventative maintenance plans for the equipment using this information. Furthermore, the 3D representation of the facility helps technicians to have total awareness of asset placements, allowing them to swiftly find and resolve issues. And, once the asset location changes, the information is updated for all stakeholders, ensuring that everyone has access to the same information.

  • Improves Energy Efficiency

Energy is used in a variety of ways for different purposes in a building. For most business facilities, energy conservation is a top priority. Building information modeling aids facility managers in analyzing and comparing various energy sources, as well as their diverse environmental consequences and costs. Buildings, comprising residential, commercial, light commercial, and institutional buildings, account for over one-third of total energy use. This is particularly true with green buildings, which are designed to have a low environmental impact. BIM provides facility managers with access to data on energy use, allowing them to study and compare various energy alternatives in order to reach their energy targets. Facilities managers can understand where their building functions are leaking or squandering energy by using the modeling, planning, and collaborating features of BIM. This allows them to increase building energy efficiency.

  • Improve Economy of Renovations

Living information that is constantly updated and changed is used to populate BIM systems. This gives you more accurate information on the state of your assets, allowing you to do more precise, quick, and effective preventative maintenance and capital planning. Because your facilities manager has more reliable data to give to contractors, they can arrange downtime to maximize efficiency and mitigate any difficulties that may develop, saving money, personnel, and time.

  • Enhances Building Lifecycle Management

Some designers are beginning to incorporate data such as life expectancy and replacement prices of smart building components into BIM models. This information aids decision-makers in selecting materials and technologies that will provide a better return on investment in the building's long-term productivity. Consider considerations like the durability of one type of material over another, which may be more expensive at first but will save money in the long run due to less frequent replacement.

Conclusion

Buildings will continue to create information that is useful to BIM as they grow smarter. More informed design decisions will result from the ability to plan smarter and use truly connected building systems. Every IoT sensor gives contextual data points that are integrated into a building's ecosystem. BIM will eventually be able to recreate a real-time dynamic representation of a building, from the infrastructure to the people that live inside it. And, when each new data stream is aggregated into the larger BIM schema, facilities managers will have even more data to work with as they attempt to design the best management strategy possible.