Building Information Modeling has the Potential to bring in a sea change in the way facilities are managed across the planet. And an increasing number of stake holders around the world, especially in North America, are gaining recognition of this fact.
According to the latest SmartMarket Report by McGraw-Hill Construction, there has been a massive surge in the percentage of AEC companies adopting BIM for their operations, in the last half a decade. From a mere 17% in 2007, to a healthy 49% in 2009, it peaked at about 71% by the end of 2012. Interestingly, more construction firms – 74% of them, are using BIM, as against the 70% of BIM using architectural outfits. This is an unprecedented trend. 49% of the firms using BIM, have already been with it for over five years, the report says.
What is Building Information Modeling?
BIM is considered by industry experts as one of the most powerful tools for creating and utilizing a digital blueprint of any man made brick and mortar facility. It helps depict both, the physical, and the functional characteristics of a building. But BIM does much more than simply prepare a digital representation. It is also more than just a referential tool. It is an interactive database, an analysis generator, a communications platform, and an industry instructional, all rolled in one.
BIM and Facilities Management
For facility managers, BIM acts as a reservoir of information central to their operational detail. It eases their problem solving process to a great extent. A minor electrical fault in the wiring system of a building for instance, can be as difficult as scanning the entire building physically for the source of the fault, or as simple as inspecting the building model on BIM, and identifying the spot where the wiring has short circuited the electrical hub.
The broad benefits of using BIM for facilities management include, but are not limited to:
- Quicker trouble shooting and efficient facilities management through shared information between facility managers, and all requisite contractors within the AEC and FM industries.
- Better simulation during upgrade and refurbishment projects via thorough design analysis on the BIM platform.
- Cost control and decreased overheads by predicting building performance throughout the life cycle of the facility, analyzing the data, and determining trends, thereby enabling better and precise budgeting for future maintenance.