A Facility Owner’s Guide: Leverage the “I” in BIM Project Delivery

09/19/2012 | By Michael Ruiz

BIM is becoming an increasingly important tool in the facility manager's arsenal.

Operating and maintaining high performance buildings requires a sophisticated organization. With careful preparation and planning, these facilities can work wonders. Taking care of them requires a well-managed project delivery system, complex business processes and an expert operation and maintenance (O&M) team.


Architects, engineers and contractors have long embraced BIM, but ultimately the BIM models they create will belong to the building owners. As such, it is imperative that they have organizational processes and technology-enabled tools to facilitate the transfer of information from design and construction to operations. Together, these processes and tools will enable reporting and calculation of the “big data” they gather. We refer to this concept of project delivery as the Integrated Model State, or IMS.


The central component of the IMS is the BIM Data Specification. This document outlines the owner’s BIM project information requirements for the design and construction teams and other service providers. These requirements identify the owner as the primary data consumer and the project delivery team as the primary data author. In this specification, all major tasks and deliverables associated with the creation and delivery of BIM data are described for the AEC community.


Articulating BIM requirements is only half of the battle


To fully realize the promise of BIM, owners must also learn how to organize model data as it arrives. This means extracting and validating model data, managing the process of making changes and, finally, leveraging that data toward business goals and objectives. An information exchange platform enables facility owners to extend their business processes and workflows to their mobile devices and to their business partners using industry standards. Utilizing an information exchange across project stakeholders enables easy collaboration across systems and companies.


Ultimately, success depends on having sound business processes, tools and protocols for collaboration. For now, let us consider the IMS as a framework in which specific applications assist owner BIM processes and workflows.


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