Among all the applications of BIM, BIM for facility managers is the latest one. By integrating the digital model of the building designs with sensors installed on the equipment & CMMS software, BIM for FM can help with the maintenance of the buildings and reduction of the cost.
Where BIM has become an integral part of the construction, there it is now being used in maintenance as well. In case you wish to understand what is BIM, you can check our article on – BIM Model | How it can help construction industry players? Let’s explore it a bit more later but first, let’s understand what is facility management.
What is facility management?
Facility management is the process that starts right after the construction of the building is complete. Although it starts after the construction is done, it is a continuous process throughout the lifecycle of the building. The major objective of this process is to guarantee the optimal management of the asset and its supplies like furnishings, equipment, etc. In simple words, it is impossible for any building to function properly without proper facility management, maintenance, etc.
As per the International Organization of Standardization, facility management is defined as – an “organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.
How can BIM be used in maintenance?
Now that we have understood the meaning of facility management, let’s explore the role of BIM in it. The basic use of BIM is to provide quantifiable insights. With the help of BIM, you can get answers to the following questions –
- How much money is XYZ costing you within the framework of facility maintenance?
- What is the service record of XYZ this year?
- In case you upgrade XYZ, what will the ramification be to peripheral systems?
If we begin to discuss the role of BIM in facility management, we would say that it is a holistic approach to the design, construction, and management of the facilities in the building. Using BIM, you can get information about the building design along with other elements as a facility manager.
How BIM helps in Operational Efficiency?
The primary role of the facility manager is to assess and reduce the wastage of space leading to the reduction of cost and real estate expenses. Thanks to BIM, facility managers will get information about the floor area and rooms based on which they can assess the space utilization. Using BIM modelling, you can get a comprehensive understanding of the existing space utilization of the building. All the information gathered by the BIM modelling can be used by facility managers to plan, track, analyse, and control the space and optimize it efficiently.
Preventive maintenance scheduling
Another aspect which BIM can help facility managers with is preventive maintenance scheduling. This can happen by adding information about the asset, building structure, mechanical, electrical as well as plumbing components. All this information is gathered by using BIM modelling which can further be used by facility managers to arrange, schedule or plan the repair, replacement, and maintenance, reducing months of effort.
Retrofits, renovation, and reconstruction
The as-built BIM model of the building provides all the references & basis for future planning of renovation, refurbishment, and retrofits. Thanks to BIM, facility managers can make informed decisions and always be aware of the existing building condition which makes it simpler for them to minimize the cost.
The energy efficiency of the building is another major responsibility of the facility manager. It is a well-known fact that efficient use of energy has a direct environmental impact & thus the operating cost. BIM helps facility managers by assisting them with the necessary information that can help them analyze the cost and compare alternatives to reduce the cost of energy by switching to environment-friendly choices. Along with this, it can also help keep a continuous track of the performance over the life of the building along with factors like comfort, water consumption, electricity consumption, etc.
These are some of the ways in which BIM helps facility managers. Each one of the points mentioned above explains the importance of BIM for facility management.
Facility management is the department that ensures that the building is operating systematically with enhanced performance & reduced cost. Thanks to BIM, facility managers have full control over the information & documentation of the building design which helps them assess and analyse the building for any and all glitches and find ways to optimize it.