BIFM launches new guide to construction and design processes 0

BIMThe British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has launched its new ‘Operational Readiness Guide: A guide to ensuring long term effectiveness in the design and construction process’. The guide aims to ‘equip facilities management professionals with the skills, knowledge and guidance to effectively engage at each stage of the design and construction process to deliver greater value to the end user organisations that occupy the buildings.’ Its launch coincides with the first day that centrally procured public sector projects in the UK will require the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) at Level 2. The authors claims that in order for FMs ‘to deliver long term effectiveness and relevance for the end user facilities management professionals need to be engaged from the start and learnings and insights from operators applied to close the gap between building design and performance’.

According to BIFM, this process supports the achievement of not only sustainable and energy efficient building operations but also of providing work environments that maximise the productivity of the occupants. FM professionals as the representative of the end user of the building and with a detailed understanding of the core business and thus their key requirements are central to ensuring the definition and relevance of the project to deliver high performing buildings.

The guide is built around the RIBA Plan of Work launched in 2013 which leads the design process and unites professionals from across the built environment and the end user in the design and construction process. The Plan of Work stages are aligned to the new BIM process model and this presented a new opportunity for facilities management with stages 0 – Strategic Definition and 7 – In Use. Stage 7 recognises the building occupation and in use period, providing the opportunity for new post occupancy services that will help to ensure that a building is running as intended and effectively for the user. The outcomes from stage 7 feed into stage 0 creating a virtuous circle focussed on full lifetime performance. Stage 0 uses feedback from previous projects and allows a proposed project to be defined and ratified before a detailed brief is prepared during Stage 1. This emphasis on the full lifetime occupancy, relevance and effectiveness has firmly placed facilities management at the heart of the building life cycle.

“The Government Construction Strategy set out the aims for the public estate to embrace BIM as part of a process of continual improvement and better development of its assets. It has long been recognised by FM professionals that for our profession the soft landings processes are the way of FM to deliver this mandate, and that different professions from across the built environment have different roles to play. “However, in real terms, much of the advice and discussions were theoretical, and translating this into new ways of working and processes has demanded new ways of thinking and innovation. Therefore this guide has been created to determine in practical terms what happens at each stage of the construction process and the specific role that FM, as part of the project board, has to play.” said Peter Brogan, Research and Information Manager at BIFM.

The Operational Readiness Guide has been developed by BIFM’s steering group of the same name including a range of practitioners in the facilities management industry and under the direction of BIFM and academics. The guidance provides practical insight of the roles and responsibilities of the FM discipline at each stage of the process and promote greater collaboration and integration across the built environment. As each stage is aligned to the BIM process, each member of the project team can focus, from the outset of a project, on delivering high quality data which can be incorporated into Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) systems.

The role of FM will vary for each stage dependent on the nature of the project and the requirements of the client organisation. Therefore flexibility about when specific activities are to be undertaken is anticipated. However the guidance aims to cover the compliance, people, process, procurement, technical elements that FM professionals must understand and deliver. The guidance will be of particular use for FM professionals working on new build and major refurbishment projects. It will also be useful for those working or supplying FM services to the Public Sector Estate to gain an understanding of future FM requirements.

As part of the guidance set, BIFM will also be holding webinars as part of its operational readiness briefing series. The webinars will feature authors from the guide to talk through each key stage and illustrate the key learnings for FM professionals. The webinars are open to all and take place on the below dates and will be available for playback:

5 May 2016 – Operational Readiness and FM’s Role Part 1: Stages 0-4 Strategic Definition through to Technical Design

12 May 2016 – Operational Readiness and FM’s Role Part 2: Stages 5-7 Construction, Handover & Close Out and In Use.

This latest guidance follows the March 2016 publication of BIFM’s Good Practice Guide Asset Management Surveying Practice that highlights the role and ways to manage Asset Management data with CAFM systems. A webinar providing an overview is being held on 21 April at 4pm.

Future guidance from the Operational Readiness Group will be released on Employer’s Information Requirements which centrally funded government departments will be required to provide “clear and complete” Employer’s Information Requirements (EIRs) with all contracts.