Why Building Owners Love BIM
Ask any building owner what his or her most important issues are and they will tell you, “Energy efficiency and cost savings.” With the tight budgets that building owners and managers are facing, is there any wonder why these two issues are at the forefront? These two issues are particularly important to both public and private institutions that face ongoing financial pressures despite signs that the recession is ending and the economy is recovering. Public institutions are still lagging behind in tax revenues and private institutions will continue to feel the pinch until individuals feel comfortable spending money again. Sources say that when asked about the problems they’re currently facing, over one-third of the facilities managers mention insufficient funding or lack of resources.
Additional problem areas include:
- Finding funding for required building maintenance
- Lack of staff to perform routine maintenance
- Dealing with old buildings and aging facilities
- Setting expectations for project delivery time frames
- Projecting accurate construction costs during the design phase
- Executing projects on time and within budget
- Quality control during a project
- Project Closeout
- Transitioning from construction to operations
Interestingly, all of these problem areas become acuter as project activity begins to pick up as the economy recovers. Many building owners face a more demanding environment as the economy improves and construction project activities resume, while ongoing maintenance needs persist, and budgets still remain tight.
How BIM Can Help
Although BIM has been used on construction projects for a number of years, owner enthusiasm for BIM has taken on new dimensions. Owners are beginning to see significant benefits that BIM can bring to facilities management after the construction project is completed. BIM can be tied into asset management and can become a tool that can be used to track building assets. However, owners are slow to adopt BIM for FM and site obstacles that they consider challenges to the use of BIM in facilities management.
Obstacles sited include:
- Typically, FM staff are not technologically savvy – they prefer working from paper plans rather than with computers.
- Little or no funds to invest in the training, hardware, and software needed to turn their FM staff into computer-savvy workers
- Inability to make handwritten sketches or margin notes on a BIM
- Lack of a good easy-to-use FM solution that is applicable to daily FM tasks and the personnel who perform those tasks.
- Lack of the time to spend on changing a way of doing FM that works “well enough.”
Can BIM Facilities Management Be Outsourced?
With an eye to both economics and efficiency, building owners are finding that it can be beneficial to outsource some BIM facilities management. The idea is to find out which work to outsource and which to keep in-house. Clearly, the daily task workers who handle FM maintenance need to be in the building working, and can’t be outsourced to some other location. BUT the BIM FM management of assets is a task that can be outsourced…
BIM is used for facility and real estate management in order to enable building owners to leverage facility data throughout the building’s lifecycle. This enables the owner to provide safe, healthy, effective and efficient work environments for their tenants. Ask yourself, “How long does it take to recreate a new tenant phone list, update office furnishing lists, or create a new employee space allocation guide?” Outsourcing these tasks to an experienced BIM facility management service can make these everyday tasks happen quickly and easily without the need for you to have dedicated, trained personnel, or the hardware and software systems needed to perform the tasks. You and your staff can focus on doing the work required to prolong the life of the building, while your outsourced BIM FM service monitors and updates building systems maintenance, repair, replacement, and alterations.
The cohesive information within the BIM can be used and displayed in a variety of different methods, from a simple spreadsheet to a fully integrated relational database containing an efficient graphic representation of the structure(s). Even if your building was not designed as a BIM, an experienced BIM FM outsource service can convert your 2D Construction documents into an intelligent BIM using Autodesk Revit® or other appropriate software.