So what's the deal with BIM? Do you need it?
Building information modeling (BIM) is a relatively new technology for facility managers and is quickly becoming the industry standard we use to design buildings. Although we think of BIM as a digital tool, it’s not a software--it’s actually a process.
Contractors, architects, construction crews, and facility teams use BIM concepts in conjunction with CAD software to generate 3D models of buildings and the assets within them, allowing for a more dynamic view than 2D floor plans offer. These data-rich models have a wealth of applications:
Easier code compliance reviewing
Faster, simpler information sharing
More accurate structural analysis
Dynamic asset integration
Quicker, cleaner, more efficient renovations to building plans
But what are the benefits of using BIM in facility management?
Top 7 Benefits of Building Information Modeling:
1. BIM makes planning a breeze
A 3D model is the closest you’ll get to actually seeing a building short of going through the entire construction process. Things come alive through BIM in a way that paper plans can’t capture. From walls and doors to HVAC systems to entire facilities that function in a virtual world, BIM software is an extremely powerful design resource with nearly endless capabilities.
2. BIM can make your facility more energy efficient
Planning via BIM ensures higher efficiency and less wasted materials. Smart objects in a BIM model can tie to other objects and provide data on how they work within your larger asset ecosystem. We can optimize performance by cycling through different potential setups until the most cost-efficient, energy-efficient solution.
3. BIM makes you prepared for a remodel
BIM files won’t go anywhere. If your team is looking at a remodel (whether planned or a surprise), contractors will thank you when you provide them with clean, easy-to-access, up to date plans. BIM objects and their connected assets know where they are in a model, so planning demolition and construction around them is a simple, cleanly-integrated process.
4. CMMS implementation becomes a non-issue with BIM
One of the biggest hurdles for a facility management team looking to integrate CMMS software is facility data collection--there aren’t enough hours in the day to walk every building and collect data for implementation. BIM already has a majority (if not all) the information your team would need to hand over when it comes time to set up a facility management software.
5. BIM reduces time in the field during maintenance
Because BIM models provide accurate, updated records of building layout and assets, time spent searching for information is greatly reduced. Everything is in one place, easy to access, and easy to share. The information we gather from BIM models can help increase wrench time and get us moving to our next project as soon as possible.
6. BIM data is forever
Digital storage means your facility information won’t ever get lost or fall prey to disorganization. Information can change hands or go through endless revisions without turning into a disaster. From inception to construction, work orders to renovations: your information stays clean, accessible and complete.
7. BIM will continue to innovate
Because BIM is such a versatile file type and has so many unique applications in the building world, other technology companies have latched on to ways that BIM can continue to innovate the AEC industry. Notable examples include augmented and virtual reality buildings, where BIM has the ability to transform the way buildings load many different data sets in virtual environments. The applications for this, especially for facilities that are still under construction, can be huge.
We hope these BIM tips help you springboard into a more proactive way of maintaining your facilities.
If you're interested in more ways to innovate in your buildings, check out our guide to building technology trends.