BIM and Life-cycle Facility Management

by Peter Cholakis

The rapidly changing global economic and environmental landscapes demand efficient life-cycle building management processes. While proactive, knowledge-based capital reinvestment processes have been successfully applied, such as Capital Planning and Management Systems; these depend upon quantitative physical and functional facility information and enable multi-year “what-if” analyses to optimize capital reinvestment in concert with an organization’s mission and goals. Integrated and adaptive construction project management has proven elusive. Clear benefits and risks are associated with facility capital reinvestment decisions, including life-safety, “downtime”, financial impacts, as well as the overall ability to perform an organization’s stated mission. On a broader scale, buildings directly impact global climate change and the world economy.

The convergence of BIM and Cloud technologies provides the catalyst, tools, and collaborative environment to drive sorely needed cultural changes within the AEC sector, and enable major productivity improvements relative to facility management practices.

A colleague recently commented that the convergence of BIM and Cloud Technology allows for the creation of “FaceBook for buildings”. I couldn’t agree more. Imagine FaceBook with enhanced features such as: tracking changes, enabling reversal of changes by authorized individuals, instantaneous communication among owner, contractor, sub-contractor, trades, etc.

The integration of life-cycle facility management, BIM and Cloud Technology will catalyze change throughout the AEC sector. The convergence will enable the following:

  • Owners, Contractors, Subs, AEs, and Oversight Groups will be able to successfully leverage technology to maximize construction project performance and project ROI.
  • Consistent processes embedded in technology will increase operational efficiency.
  • Transparency – A single system of record makes it easier to identify projects that are deviating from process. Consistent documentation supports claims avoidance and wins.
  • Better access to project information results in faster decisions and shorter cycle times relative to procurement, award, construction, and post-construction processes.
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration among owners, service providers, contractors and AEs.
  • Contractors/subs/trades will be able to leverage technology to better differentiate themselves from the competition, win more work, and maximize performance and profitability on jobs.
  • Consistent processes provide a competitive advantage to win more jobs and increase operational efficiency.
  • Better access to project information results in faster decisions and shorter cycle times.
  • Contractors engaged in longer term relationships with Owners.

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