In the age of information, knowing everything about your facility is crucial to ensuring a better present and future for repairs, maintenance, and even financial costs. There are processes that make knowing about your building much easier, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM).
What is BIM?
BIM or Building Information Modeling is a highly collaborative process that allows many different AEC professionals (architecture, engineering, construction) and stakeholders to collaborate on the different parts of a building in one 3D model. This includes all the steps that go into a building: plan, design, build, operation, and maintenance. These data-rich models have a wealth of applications:
- In-depth visualization
- Easier code compliance reviewing
- Faster, simpler information sharing
- More accurate structural analysis
- Dynamic asset integration
- Quicker, cleaner, more efficient renovations to building plans
Although building information modeling has become the standard in construction, it has yet to be fully leveraged in facility management. The 3D model in BIM is the most visual way of seeing the ins and outs of a building from start to finish. This tool offers a wide range of benefits in facility management and building operations post-construction.
What are the benefits of BIM in facility management?
1. BIM Provides More Accurate Capital Planning
With BIM technology, you can visualize your entire portfolio's health and make more strategic capital investment decisions. Measuring FCI across your entire portfolio, identifying probability of failure of strategic assets and better managing deferred maintenance are just a few of the benefits BIM can deliver when it comes to facility capital planning.
Fun fact: 44% of unscheduled equipment downtime was caused by aging equipment (Plant Engineering Study, 2018)
2. BIM Enables More Effective Collaboration Amongst Teams
Just as in construction, BIM technology provides a single source of truth that allows for team members from different professions to seamlessly work together on the task at hand, as opposed to traditional drawing sets that can be hard to explain or see fully. Better collaboration means projects can be completed faster and more efficiently than ever before.
3. BIM Helps Streamline Maintenance & Repairs
BIM technology can work hand in hand with current CMMS and facility management systems. This provides facility teams with access to visual facility data, so they can be more proactive in their maintenance. BIM not only supports better maintenance of existing systems, but makes it easier to implement new equipment and systems in the future.
Fun fact: On average companies save between 12-18% in costs by investing in preventive maintenance (O&M Best Practices Guide).
4. BIM Leads to Reduced Energy Waste & Carbon Footprint
By connecting your physical facilities with BIM technology you can monitor energy usage more easily and help save the environment too. 3D modeling drives better space management, allowing you to visually identify underutilized areas and more efficiently design workplace layouts. You can also implement sensors into your equipment, which feeds back energy data to your BIM so you can make more strategic, data-driven decisions to reduce costs and your carbon footprint.
5. BIM Supports the Future Role of Facility Management
Facility management is evolving to be much more than maintenance on facilities and the equipment inside them. Facilities and facility teams are finally getting the attention they deserve as organizations look at them not as a budget line item, but as an active part of achieving business outcomes. Today, facility teams are being looked at to generate revenue, deliver better workplaces and actively support organizational missions. Technology such as BIM enables facility teams to successfully meet these new expectations by providing a visual and flexible platform to more efficiently manage their building portfolios.
Fun fact: A 5% error on a 2 million GSF campus could create excess spending of $450,000 to $500,000 (Aramark).
We hope this sparked your interest in learning more about BIM. If you’re looking to take a first step towards a BIM future, see how AkitaBox can digitize your facility management into a more visual and responsive software.