How BIM could optimize facility management operations

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the primary reason our buildings are getting smarter. The integration of precise data is enhancing this even further. The whole concept of information-oriented modeling has given designers and other stakeholders the opportunity to make better technical decisions, which in turn provides better business returns.  

The basic, fundamental reasoning behind BIM giving you a better probe into your AEC operations is its visual-driven approach. Every stage of the process and the information associated with it is visually clear in real-time to all the stakeholders. The developmental benefits of BIM are so evident to the industry. However, one must also realize the potential it holds for management operations.  

The BIM way to facility management is still quite unexplored. Imagine a scenario where you have BIM (building information models) ready as per the up-to-date developments on-site. This is the most ideal scenario to start the management of that facility.  

Now the only requirement is to constantly feed that model with even a minuscule number of changes and real-time data. So, the model would be able to optimize the operational planning for managing this facility. 

BIM could be utilized at every step of the facility management process. Now let us envision how BIM could change the way we do facility management.

The first step in any facility management process is documenting the facilities. The scan-to-BIM operations could eliminate the ultimate burden of lethargic manual documentation. In addition, the scan-to-BIM process is more precise and accurate in capturing the facilities. Also, the probability of lasers reaching out to difficult areas is greater than that of a human hand reaching difficult places and greater heights. Therefore, there is no better way than a laser scanner to capture the reality of your facilities, generate point clouds, and finally automate them into BIMs.

The advantage of integrating data with BIM

A facility management set of operations without machine intelligence at the backend is totally redundant in today’s 21st century. To make better facility management decisions, one has to opt for predictive maintenance rather than reactive maintenance. The basis of any predictive maintenance is data.

In today’s time, when running a business requires analysis of multiple parameters, data-driven management is a need of the hour.

Facility managers must be able to not only take note of the facility’s performance data but also visualize it thoroughly through model simulation. The integration of all kinds of data with BIM visualization would help facility managers simulate the performance of each asset in the facility. The simulation would provide a better understanding of how to invest smartly in the management of the assets constituting the facility. 

The Sources of Data for integration in the BIM

The sources of data for integration in the BIM
Image source: Researchgate

The different types of data that could be reflected on BIM Dashboards are:

Machine Data: to predict breaking down 
People’s Behavior: User Pattern 
Climate data: for architectural elements 
Inventory: To predict shortages

Predictive Maintenance (taking actions before the occurrence of problems)

Predictive maintenance (taking actions before the occurrence of problems)
Image source: pcimag.com

The main purpose of BIM is to make better decisions. The better decision is to integrate data that is also in visual format, something that has a spatial representation in the facility’s 3D visualization. Simulating your data-driven decisions in a 3D format could obviously give you better management insights.  

However, the whole case with BIM for facility management is reflecting your management decisions in a 3D format.  

10 Benefits of Predictive Maintenance for BIM Facility Operations & Maintenance

10 Benefits of Predictive Maintenance for BIM Facility Operations & Maintenance

In this way, all the parties involved in the process would be able to better understand the development required for executing the decisions. With BIM for facility management, it is about being predictive rather than reactive. BIM, in integration with critical metrics, allows you to take action on problems that may occur in the future.

This is exactly the concept of BIM Dimensioning could be simply explained as: 

3D: Model 

4D: Time 

5D: Cost 

6D: Assets 

7D: Sustainability 

8D: Health

So, this is what we call optimized planning for development and maintenance operations. Nowadays, with BIM dimensioning getting more and more normalized with AI stepping in, planning on issues through a BIM approach would make resource allocation visual too. How much labor and cost, in combination with a sustainability strategy, could be on your BIM dashboard? That too is backed by solid reasoning.

BIM for Facility Management is a Cyclical Process and this is the actual benefit!

BIM for facility management is a cyclical process and this is the actual benefit!

BIM for Facility Management is a Cyclical Process and this is the actual benefit!

It is not about the product; in fact, it has never been. Rather, it is a process that is required to be enhanced with data. After the complementation of one process cycle, the game doesn’t end here. You constantly have to monitor the virtual model of your facilities to get an analysis of future maintenance and development needs. This is exactly where one more boon for BIM can aid, i.e., a digital twin.  

Dynamic digital replicas run on various kinds of data, which we have already talked about, are a game changer in facility management. Those digital twins of your assets constituting your facilities reflect their utmost trueness, and this is what is very essential in making technical and business decisions.  

Another aspect that justifies the concept of a never-ending cyclic BIM for the facility management process is training systems and models on various parameters. You trained your software with your model being modeled on various parameters.

However, unique conditions would give consideration to metrics you were not considering before. Therefore, the combination of BIM and AI will totally pave the way for intelligent facility management. But to ensure it’s effectiveness, a dedicated workforce for upgrading the operations is necessary, i.e., a dedicated workforce for BIM for Facility Management.