2012-09-24

What does an Owner want with BIM?

Question: What does an owner want from BIM?
Answer: Essentially, the same thing they wanted from CAD.

In reality, the answer is actually another question.

Who is the owner?

When people talk about the owner and what they want and what they need, it always varies, because they all seem to be speaking about different stakeholders.


This list breaking down each type of owner is from the perspective of *my* company. If there are other owners who would like to chime in, please feel free to comment. Add some areas that I've missed or tell me how each of these different stakeholders functions in your company.

Owner Breakdown: 


Project Manager: Oversees the bidding, budget, implementation and communication of construction projects. May have been an architect in a past life. Balances a lot of pressures from company leadership, finance and occupants and manages supports (such as walk-throughs from occupants and facilities staff, to space numbering for CAFM and signage for wayfinding).
Needs: Timely documentation to keep all design, review, occupant, support and construction personnel on the same page.
Wants: Anything that will reduce RFI's and help keep the project on-time and on-budget.

Occupant: Will be working in the space. The only one who knows how their workflow should and could happen. Also, one major part of 'owner' that does not have a background in design, construction or engineering.
Needs: A space that will operate as needed for the foreseeable future. A pretty rendering, probably delivered on paper in a project meeting, that helps reassure them that's what they are getting.
Wants: A space that will operate as needed for the foreseeable future, but, may not always be able to communicate precisely what that is, or what it will cost.

Finance: Is petitioned for projects by occupants and project managers and facilities staff and various support services, and balances the needs of the many over the long-term.
Needs: An accurate estimate of scope and price. A pretty rendering, probably delivered in powerpoint, that tries to make a renovation look as tempting to fund as the purchase of fancy Radiology equipment that will actually generate revenue directly.
Wants: Precision and documentation.
(other stakeholders such as the legal department and administrative boards would fall under the same basic description)

Real Estate: Manages space. Ensures that all departments are functioning and accessible in locations with adequate resources to perform their primary duties. Manages departmental moves, from simple to complex, and takes care of leases (whether we are leasing to others, or renting space for our departments).
Needs: Scope of proposed projects, accurate inventory of existing functions and their supplies.
Wants: Scope and schedule to stay as close as possible, so that the shuffleboard game of freeing up spaces for future projects can continue.

This section of the list is often what is referenced by the designers I network with. They are not technical gurus when it comes to Revit MEP or AutoCAD or CAFM or CMMS. They are the ones that wield the most power or get the most facetime with Architects and GC's, though.

Facilities Sub-Breakdown: 


Maintenance Staff: Repairs breaks, performs preventative maintenance to ensure maximum up-time and equipment and systems functioning long beyond their original design specs. In smaller hospitals, this will be a generally educated maintenance staff, in larger facilities, this will be broken down according to skilled craft (Building Finishes/Carpentry, HVAC/R, Plumbing, Electrical, Major Mechanical, Plant).
Needs: Accurate documentation that will help them perform their work as quickly as possible to minimize damage, or the downtime of a revenue-producing department, or future infection concerns for patients, visitors and staff.
Wants: Want the information to be where it says. Looking for a shut-off valve, the zones on a floor need to be called out on the plans. Looking for a section or detail mark and then getting to the details page and realizing there is no corresponding details means that a room gets taken out of service and holes get cut into walls or ceiling tiles get popped out, again causing infection control concerns.
Older staff prefer to look at paper drawings, younger staff expect electronic access to cut down on constant running back and forth across a large campus.

Operations Administration: Schedules preventative maintenance tasks to ensure uptime on all systems and long-term system performance. Sets baselines for all equipment and tracks maintenance history for a myriad of uses. Takes information from new projects and inserts it into a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and/or a Computerized Aided-Facilities Management (CAFM) system. This history helps the Engineers or Facility Managers to make the best specifications (with regard to expected performance and reliable materials and brands).
Needs: Accurate documentation.
Wants: Something which is as simple as possible to import into programs like Maximo and Archibus.

Engineering Staff / Facility Manager: Sets material and equipment specifications, reviews proposed projects during the design phase, tours construction sites during construction, commissions buildings prior to occupancy, uses long years of experience to spot problems (as well as deviations from specified materials or necessary system redundancies).
When new projects do not perform as expected, these are the folks who trouble-shoot the systems and tweak/retrofit them until they perform as needed. They also oversee projects such as system upgrades (happening outside of renovations) and major equipment replacements (such as chillers, air handling units, major pumps and utility loops).
Needs: Accurate documentation that is easy to access and simple to read.
Wants: They don't really care how they get their information (paper, PDF, DWG, RVT), so long as they have it when they need it, and they like the option to carry it out to the site.

CAD / BIM Management Coordination: Sometimes, this role is held by a facility manager or engineer, but, larger companies will have an archivist of some sort.
This person sets the CAD/BIM Standards for the new construction and any special projects that occur. Their first involvement in a construction project is during closeout when they review documents for electronic deliverables compliance. When files are rejected for being sloppy or incomplete, noob designers at other companies protest to their project managers that the owners are idiots who don't know what they need, then this Coordinator attends a meeting with their project manager and eventually convinces the other design monkey that they do, in fact, know quite a bit about CAD/BIM and the long-term needs of their facility (because this is such a great and productive way to spend one's time).
They take in new data, archive it as a project, then patchwork the MEPFP system information into a working set of drawings for ease of use by the engineers, mechanics/skilled maintenance personnel and future renovation and planning needs.
This role manages the technology transitions, such as paper to CAD and CAD to BIM or plotting stations to tablet computers, as transparently as possible for the end users and any random stakeholders.
This person, of practicality and necessity, cares more about basic drawing neatness and clarity than about superficial things like fonts and dimension styles.
Needs: Accurate and EDITABLE documents that can be kept alive and updated throughout the life of a building (in many cases, over 100 years) in formats that they have the ability to work with. In our case, this is DWG or RVT.
Wants: Neatness, clarity, progress.

We also have other support services (Information Systems, Telecommunications, Key Control, Security, Clinical Engineering, etc) that might need to use our CAD/BIM files as they plan and maintain their systems across the campus and across the rest of the healthcare system. These other stakeholders are generally not of concern to the design and construction contractors, as they will get their information directly from the Facilities staff.
Post a Comment