Reality of BIM in FM - Podcast

This summer, I sat down with Angela Simoes and Jonathan Girroir from TechSoft 3D to discuss Digital Twin, and how that actually plays out in the real world.

While I am currently a consultant, and have been since 2016. Most of my career was on the owner / operator side of the AECO industry. I will never try to convince our clients to use a solution I would not use in their shoes. 

In fact, one of the services that we offer here at R.O.I. Consulting Group is evaluating IWMS and IoT solutions for clients and making an informed recommendation to them, based on our knowledge of the platforms and their needs. So, my leadership and coworkers are of the same mind as me in this regard.

On a high level, we discussed:

1. What does it look like when an ideal model-based handover occurs and is ingested into the operations management system?


2. What does handover actually look like and where does it go wrong?

Topics that were touched upon: 

  • In this discussion, I explain why owners need a single file format for deliverables, and how those (either DWG or RVT) work with our IWMS / CAFM / CPIP systems.
  • How BIM requirements are laid out in materials specs/SOWs.
  • We do not get the deliverables that we spec and pay for, sometimes intentionally, sometimes due to shifting priorities.
  • Collaboration between teams during design and construction is far overstated.
  • There can be multiple points of failure during closeout and handover that results in clients not receiving editable documentation or consistent documentation.
  • Every design team should have at least one programmer who can automate changes across a project. Don't do this manually, come on.
  • Don't make assumptions on Facility Engineering requirements, ask why that spec is there.
  • The IWMS is the single source of truth and touchpoint for most users, not the model.
  • How databases have longevity and portability, ensuring long term maintenance.
  • The model MUST to be editable, for maintenance corrections and future renovations.
  • Keeping models up to date saves vast amounts of money on future projects not requiring surveying and redrawing.
  • The biggest improvement in our segment of the industry is actually SaaS IWMS hosting (regular included updated) vs internal or consultant hosted (years between updates, so many customizations that upgrades are long and expensive).
  • The design team needs to speak to the owner, meaning the operator... not the project manager. If you are involving the occupant, you can involve the FM team, too, include it in that process.
  • See Also: Who is the Owner and how do they use your deliverables? 
  • The technology is there, but the processes and coordination still have a long way to go.
  • Scanning existing conditions is getting easier as devices become cheaper.
  • Monitoring devices, sensors are so much cheaper and easier, you can DIY. For example, the Disruptive sensors that are plug n play
  • Consumer level devices such as these are easier to get past Finance / IT, etc. compared to traditional BAS/BMS and hand surveying which is more complex and expensive.


Recognition from Verdantix

When I worked on the Owner's side, I remember reading a few Verdantix reports in my day. So, it has been pretty exciting this year, being able to play a small part in my company being included with the impressive service providers listed in their "Green Quadrant: Workplace Systems Integrators 2023" report.

Press release: R.O.I. Consulting Group

Going to the source, I was happy to see the Green Building Quadrant I'm familiar with. Please click through and read for more insights and perspective from Verdantix.


Green Quadrant - Workplace Systems Integrators 2023: Verdantix

Congratulations to all of my colleagues at R.O.I.! They are an amazingly talented group of people, providing implementation and support services for multiple IWMS / CAFM / CMMS / CPIP platforms, as well as helping building owners evaluate and select what platform is right for them.

Among those platforms we actively support:

  • MRI - Manhattan CenterStone
  • Planon
  • Serraview
  • Tango
  • Archibus
  • Tandem
And we also partner with a few IoT easy-to-use sensor vendors, including: 
  • Disruptive
  • Freespace
  • Vergesense


OT: What they think I do meme

A few years back, I ran across this IT meme, and made some equivalent memes that apply my own industry. The original: 

Tech Support

  • What my friends think I do
  • What my Mom thinks I do
  • What Society thinks I do
  • What my Boss thinks I do
  • What I think I do
  • What I actually do

CAD Operator

  • What my Mom thinks I do
  • What my Friends think I do
  • What my Boss thinks I do
  • What Society thinks I do
  • What I think I do
  • What I really do

CAD Manager

Facility Manager


AUGI Survey Reminders

The majority of responses to the AUGI Annual Survey do come as a direct result of our email blasts (if you are an AUGI member, please check your settings to ensure you receive AUGI Bulletins, which is any news from AUGI, separate from ads).

Just for fun, I thought I would post some of the content from the email blasts that we send out. Yes, they are primarily a call to action, but I also try to include information, in the form of charts from last year, or a snapshot of the current year's survey, that our members might find interesting.


WIB - Women in BIM is also conducting a survey right now, not affiliated with AUGI, but as long as you're in a mood to take surveys, feel free to jump into theirs

The Global Work Survey:  BIM and digital roles across the built environment (surveymonkey.co.uk)

Salary Survey Launch Email

We have the expected questions about pay and benefits, but there is also a chance to share information on what markets your company serves or what specialty services they offer. Our Hot Topic page has questions that might vary from year to year, in order to explore how (and how quickly) our work is changing.

So that this year’s review can provide measurable and meaningful data, it is important that all AUGI members volunteer a couple of minutes of their time and a little bit of information (anonymously, data is not in any way connected to your user account and will only be reported in broad groups), so that everyone can get an idea of the current state of their industry.

Even if you have recently been laid off, furloughed, or have had reduced hours please take the time to participate (with your most recent full time job details), and indicate your change in employment, because we would like to know that, too.

Reminder Email

Below is a chart of industry representation in the survey so far. Is your field well represented? Please share the survey link with your coworkers and other colleagues and urge them to add to the dataset, which will increase the accuracy of the results.

If you are logged in, you can download results of past surveys here: AUGI Salary Survey Archives. In addition to the Survey review from Melanie Stone, the 2022 download also includes advice from Mark Kiker on justifying staffing increases, and KaDe King on how to negotiate pay raises or starting salaries.

Here are the Top 5 Hottest Jobs last year:

And these are the Top 10 Most Appreciated Jobs last year:

Here are the Top 10 highest paying design discipline specialties in 2022:

And, finally, after you have taken this year’s survey, you might want to get ready to request a raise from your employer, so here are some resources to help you in negotiating salary: Find Your Price and Use the Numbers.

Even if you have recently been laid off, furloughed, or have had reduced hours please take the time to participate (with your most recent full time job details), and indicate your change in employment in those respective questions, because we would like to know that, too.

The encouraging news is that, from responses so far, only 1% of the industry is reporting a reduction in hours, furlough or layoff in 2023! That is an improvement over recent years.

For those affected, please remember to network online to get connected with those companies still hiring, the AUGI careers page, the AUGI forums or our LinkedIn group. You can also list yourself on the AUGI Resource Directory.

Final 2023 Survey Reminder

Voice your company’s experiences with business expansion or contraction, or your own gauge of job security and layoffs. Which markets does your company serve and how do those specialties affect wages and job security. Is AI having an impact? How are staffing concerns and remote work adoption?

In closing, the below images provide a look back over past survey results. at the average salary* for Designers (our most popular job title), as well as the industries who reported the largest raises last year.


AUGI 2023 Annual Survey

It's that time of year again, folks! The running of the AUGI Annual Survey. Where YOU get to reveal how the industry is really faring.

How secure is your job? How busy is your company? Are you using AI? Are you back to office?

Take the Survey 

Open until July 18th!

(5 minutes, anonymous, results in the September issue of AUGIWorld Magazine)

If you have not taken the survey, please feel free to watch this video where I took the survey and you can hear my dulcet tones talking through my thoughts on how I answered some of the questions.

YouTube walkthrough of AUGI Salary Survey

This image is a snapshot from the 2022 survey, showing average page, and highlighting a couple of facts. Feel free to check the salary survey archives to see past surveys in full.

This is a snapshot of our survey results so far in 2023. Civil/Surveying/GIS has a pretty good lead on participation. If you'd like to see more representation of your industry, please share the survey link with your coworkers and colleagues.

Finally, this is a snapshot of the most common markets served (industry served).


2022 More Results for the IFMA ITC's Digital Twin Survey

IFMA Survey Summary: Expectations and Reality


Last year, R.O.I. partnered with IFMA’s ITC and Autodesk to run our first annual survey on the state of electronic documentation for building owners and operators. Autodesk recently published a whitepaper revealing the highlights of that survey, demonstrating current state and desired future state. Please download this document and see what the industry has to say!


The 2023 IFMA ITC Annual Digital Twin Survey is running now. The IMFA survey has closed, please keep an eye out for results.

Please take a couple of minutes to chime in with information about your facility.


While you’re here, you might want to check out my prior article on the current state of electronic records and BIM requirements.


What Makes a Digital Twin?


Much like CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) and IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System), what people believe a technology does or should contain is influenced by their respective needs. As a result of this survey, we see that the top component of a Digital Twin is a facility record model.


 Which Elements Are In Use Today?


The prior chart displays what facilities want from their technology adoption, as an end goal. They also shared what elements are already in use. We look forward to monitoring this during our annual surveys and seeing how the industry progresses.


Why Not Digital Twin?


For the respondents not yet utilizing a Digital Twin, a variety of obstacles were revealed. There are many replies citing a lack of resources (whether that be skills, funding, leadership support, or current large projects which would benefit), but nearly half of the negative replies indicate they cannot currently justify a business case.


Dominant Use Cases


For those who shared their expected business case, the most popular is supporting maintenance. Though, visualization for space and workplace management is not far behind. Commissioning a building and execution of jobs are fairly close in popularity as well. Some additional use cases were suggested, strategic portfolio planning, simulation, predictive design, and baseline comparisons.



Anticipated Business Benefits


When we asked, “Does your senior management see value in Digital Twin?”, a resounding 78% affirmed that they have support.


When queried, on a scale of 1 to 5, what are the most valuable benefits you expect from a Digital Twin initiative? All of the suggested benefits ranked strongly, indicating the importance for a wide range of functions. Receiving better deliverables and having an easier time keeping record documents up to date post-occupancy were valued most.



Please keep an eye out on notifications from R.O.I., Autodesk, and the IFMA Information Technology Community (ITC) announcing future results and surveys.


2022 Results for the IFMA ITC's Digital Twin Survey

IFMA Survey Summary: State of Digital Deliverables

Last year, R.O.I. partnered with IFMA’s ITC and Autodesk to run our first annual survey on the state of electronic documentation for building owners and operators. Autodesk recently published a whitepaper revealing the highlights of that survey, demonstrating current state and desired future state. Please download this document and see what the industry has to say!

The 2023 IFMA ITC Annual Digital Twin Survey is running now. Please take a couple of minutes to chime in with information about your facility. The IMFA survey has closed, please keep an eye out for results.

To prepare you for the next run of that survey, we would like to go over the first year’s questions and results more in-depth:

  • What is your industry?
  • How much of your records are available digitally?
  • Do you require BIM for project deliverables?
  • Why haven’t you adopted Digital Twin yet?
  • What are the essential elements of a Digital Twin?
  • What are the most important use cases you have for Digital Twin?
  • What benefits are you expecting from your Digital Twin adoption?
  • Where are you in the process of digitizing your portfolio and asset records?
  • How are you planning to maintain your Digital Twin?
  • Do you have support from Senior Leadership?
  • Do you believe a single vendor can provide adequate features for your needs? 

Who Participated

The responses to this survey came from a variety of job roles across the industry, however, the majority came from Facilities Management and Corporate Real Estate Professionals. More than twice as many building systems (MEP/FP) AEC Professionals participated compared to Architectural.

To give you an idea of the type of work those roles specialize in, see the chart below.

Industry representation covers a wide variety of market specialties. Financial Services had the highest level of participation (16.8%), but Education (14.3%) and Commercial Real Estate (13.7%) were not far behind.

Current Electronic Records

Whatever goals we set for the future; it is important to assess where we are currently. The chart below illustrates what percentage of respondents reported having 50-100% of their documentation available electronically.

BIM Requirements

If applicable, do you require BIM deliverables for your new construction and/or renovation projects?

The answer is yes!

If you are wondering why BIM might be required on some projects, but not others, within the same facility, there can be a variety of reasons. Some might be budgetary, any projects over X amount will have room for documentation, but smaller ones may not. Renovations that only involve finishes but not MEP or structural components would also be a reasonable exception.

Long Term Digital Twin Management

When assessing whether or not a single software vendor was capable of providing a solution platform, 73% of respondents stated that they think it is possible.

Once a platform is selected, one needs to determine who will be responsible for maintaining their records over the long term. A majority (66%) of Owners intend to manage their Digital Twin in-house, whether than means utilizing an existing resource or expanding a team to hire specifically for those skills. Only 17% of respondents intend to outsource that work to a consultant at this point.

Please come back and read our next article on what facility owners and operators expect from a Digital Twin initiative, and where they currently stand with the various components of their smart buildings.