2006-05-17

BIM for Facilities Management... ok, fine... Facility Owners

I do note that this article says ‘Facility Owners’ rather than ‘Facility Managers’… as the Director of my Department likes to say ‘We’re the tail trying to wag the dog’.

While not in a construction field, I do subscribe to AECbytes, as Lachmi Kemlani always has great articles and jumpstarts fantastic discussions from industry leaders on her site.
See below where I’ve snipped out the bits of this particular article that can apply to facility managers, as well as a great bit from her summary at the end. As always, I love to hear speculation about the
Future of FM.

The ‘Transition to BIM’ is an issue that any facility owner is going to have to face. Almost all of our construction documents are created by outside contractors. So, a transition here wouldn’t just mean sending me and a couple others off to training. It would mean convincing our contractors to move forward, as well as forcing them to work more closely for increased consistency across their models, which means choosing reliable and easy to use collaboration tools.
Just the thought of that almost makes me want to give up on the whole idea right now.


BUT! Thinking of all of the money that BIM could save during construction is just a drop in the bucket compared to how much it could save us in the long run! According to the deskers presenting at the first FM mixer at AU2004, building a building costs about $200 sq ft, and maintaining costs about $40 a sq ft annually.
Do I have any hard numbers on this?
No. I don’t budget for our maintenance, and I don’t manage the new construction projects… but, I do support the people that do… and I know how important accurate documentation (or heck just HAVING ANY documentation) is.

Her article points out that the discussion brought up the point that there are currently no BIM-FM solutions available... well.. of course, my thought on that is...
Building Systems for FM?
I *AM* the End User
The BIM technology is maturing for Architectural and Structural and Building Systems aren't far behind. We should be building on these programs that are gaining acceptance, not trying to create something entirely new and distanced that we have to face import/export challenges with.

Anyway… for the non-FM’ers here, I do encourage you to check out the rest of Lachmi’s article and see what your customers are thinking about.


Use of BIM by Facility Owners: An "Expotitions" Meeting
The biggest one was that of the transition to BIM, and the overall consensus was that the "pain" was not really in the technology or in learning it, but in the change of the business process that is involved. To put it in another way, 70% of the change that is needed to move to BIM is going to be cultural, while the technology will account for only 30% of it.

Getting back to the owner's perspective—which, after all, was what the event was all about—some felt that owners need to look beyond the immediate benefits of BIM in the design and construction phase and focus on the long-term benefits they will realize in their facilities management and operations processes

what continues to surprise me is the amount of time that is still spent on debating BIM. I see BIM as a logical evolution from CAD, the next technological step for the AEC industry, and very much in tune with the technological advancements happening in other fields and in society as a whole. While BIM may be a complex technology, we should try and avoid making its adoption so much more complicated than it needs to be. We spend far too much time dwelling on the difficulties involved in making the change, and we are constantly trying to look too far ahead to see what benefits BIM can bring down the road. While a long-term perspective is important, the focus should be on what we can achieve with BIM in the near term and trying to find the best way to do it. I think we can only make some serious headway with BIM in the AEC industry as a whole when we start taking it for granted—just as we take CAD for granted now—and focus on the "how" rather than on the "why."
- Lachmi Khemlani of AECbytes


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