Building owners appreciate the benefits of integrated project delivery (IPD) and building information modeling (BIM), which have proven to help reduce construction costs and accelerate schedules.

However, life-cycle facility operations and maintenance remain a much more significant overall cost factor, ranging anywhere from one-and-a-half to five times the price of construction. As a result, many owners seek to optimize the profitability of their facilities by reducing operations and maintenance costs and designing in health and quality-of-experience factors that tend to enhance the productivity of the people occupying the facility.

To support these objectives, owners want to know how the data and knowledge encoded in the BIM developed during design and construction can also support life-cycle cost management.

Given that computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) systems have extracted room and space data from 2-D CAD for decades, one might ask what’s new in BIM for facilities management? The answer: A LOT!

As technology continues to advance and our experience deepens with a variety of projects using IPD and BIM processes and tools, following are just a few of the notable features:

Visualization for maintenance access
We’re all familiar with using 3-D BIM for clash detection and trade coordination. It’s also important to review the BIM for maintenance access.

BIM coordination review needs to include the owner’s operations and maintenance personnel, as early as the design development phase, to assure access to MEP systems components such as shut off valves and light fixtures.

Catalog and locate rooms, spaces, furniture and equipment
Using BIM, the work required to catalog rooms, spaces, and furniture and equipment in your CAFM systems can be more efficient than doing that same work with 2-D CAD.

BIM authoring tools include intelligence that permits room and space elements to be associated with walls, facilitating changes to the model and making it unnecessary to redundantly draw space and room boundaries in your CAFM system.

In addition, BIM authoring tools permit you to name, classify, and locate the elements in the model that represent furniture and equipment, materials, and assemblies. The tools allow you to add attributes to associate these elements with documents and data outside of the BIM authoring tool, such as manufacturer data sheets and LEED documentation data.

Catalog and locate MEP products and systems
BIM authoring tools permit you also to catalog and locate the MEP products. Imagine receiving a work order, and knowing the exact location behind the paint or ceiling tile of a shutoff valve, and the means of access, before walking the site!

There are many other new capabilities that BIM can bring to your facility management and operations process, from incorporating laser scanned representations of your existing buildings for space planning and other purposes, to integrating with geographic information system (GIS) and providing fire and safety information for local agencies.

It is critical for the owner to consider all these capabilities at project inception and make sure they are “designed into” the project delivery approach to get the most “bang for your buck” with BIM well after construction completion.

Andrew Arnold, PhD, Director of Consulting for DPR Construction, offers a unique blend of business and technology expertise to the AEC industry. As director of DPR Consulting for DPR Construction, one of the nation’s top technical builders, Andrew applies more than 25 years of experience in product design and management, product, and process modeling for AEC software applications and consulting to help DPR customers and teams establish the appropriate lean construction, building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD) strategies and practices for their projects and facility operations, post project turnover. Most recently, Andrew assisted in a BIM for facilities management implementation on a large-scale healthcare project in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Andrew received his Ph.D. in Construction Engineering and Management in 2000 from Stanford University at the Center for Integrated Facilities Engineering (CIFE). His dissertation investigated the exchange of design and engineering information and services between suppliers and buyers of products installed in buildings, and interoperation between component analysis applications and a BIM. Subsequently, he worked in technology startups, designing and managing products and services that focused on modeling and indexing product performance information with BIM,  BIM content management solutions, and BIM analysis applications, including quantity take-off and cost estimating, LEED contribution and documentation, and immersive BIM visualization on the desktop and Web. 

Andrew has presented on BIM and IPD at several conferences, including the Construction Specifications Institute BIM Chicago Seminar, Forbes Conference: E-Business in the Construction Industry, and the American Institute of Architects, Technology in Architectural Practice conference. 

Contact Information: 

Andrew Arnold

DPR Construction

1450 Veterans Blvd.

Redwood City, CA 94063

(650)474-1450 (o)

(510) 759-1145 (m)