2006-08-22

Bentley has BIM for FM? wot?

Just decided to do a Google for Facilities Management BIM... and link #3 (~sigh~ and of course the first two show my pathetic self ranting alone on this podium to a seemingly empty room)... is about Bentley's BIM program... "for architects, engineers, contractors, owners, and operators to design, analyze, build, and operate buildings and facilities. These solutions support all phases of the project lifecycle—from conceptual design and construction documentation, to coordination and construction, and throughout ongoing facilitymanagement, maintenance, and operations"

What's this? Well, I guess I've got my head in the sand, as usual. I don't use any Bentley drawing programs (I'm sure you don't count Bentley Viewer? At last count, we've got about 40 pc's across the campus sporting that one), so I hope I can be excused.

It looks like, just like Autodesk's FMDesktop, they've got different modules geared toward specific tasks.
Alright... I'm watching their demo video (nice music btw), but, I really don't see what makes this a BIM FM program rather than just an FM program (aka an ASSET MANAGEMENT program). I saw reports and queries... and a 3d shaded model of a space. While those things are all a part of a good and effective Facilities-Management program, I'm not sure from this demo on how this makes a Building Information Model? Of course, I might be making a mistake in assuming that BIM means the same to them as PEN (parametrically-enabled) means to me and I'm just expecting something that is not at all what they're intending to offer.

Now, I do see that they have BIM systems design programs, I just haven't yet come across anything telling me that those two programs can work together seamlessly. *Perhaps* this module, Facilities Inquirer can work with the data/model, but, I'm not quite clear from what I've read.

Perhaps this whitepaper from FM Innovations will prove interesting reading to some...
Topics include: What is BIM? Will BIM replace CAFM? What can the model provide? What role will BIM play? Can BIM be applied to existing buildings?
Since the April 3, 2003 “Great Debate” between Autodesk and Bentley on the topic of Building Information Modeling (BIM), there have been many articles, white papers and responses on this topic. None of them however, including responses by the big 3 – Autodesk, Bentley or Graphisoft – seemed to discuss in any detail what the long term affects of BIM will be.
One key to all this is that the premise behind BIM is that it is a database housing both tabular and graphical information.
Conclusion: Building Information Modeling, or some evolved form of it, is the wave of the future.
Creating a BIM will never replace the “human factor” in designing, constructing and maintaining a building. The creativity of a design, the craftsmanship of the construction, and the fundamentals of maintenance have to exist. But the tools used to fuel these skills will make the process more efficient.


Hmm. Interesting enough. This paper covered the topics which facility managers should be contemplating, but, it was really long on speculation and short on definites... but, that's the point we're at today. I look forward to Autodesk's developments, of course. ?Ensuring that FMDesktop is compatible with Revit and ADT (~cough~Revit Systems and ABS~cough~I hope)?

I do realize that so much of what I am looking forward to is going to depend on human factors... support for the programs, budgeting, adoption, training, data gathering, data input, constant updates... but! that will be a challenge no matter what method... even if we continue to photocopy blueprints and not insist on accurate as-builts coming to us when a project is complete.

There are many unique challenges to our position, and I can't help but think that there MUST be more efficient ways to go about how we're doing things.
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