Lifecycle management most important aspect of BIM say FMs

The relationship between Building Information Modelling (BIM) and lifecycle management is the most important factor for facilities managers, who, along with owners and occupiers believe BIM will becoming increasingly important in day-to-day working practices within the next two to three years. The findings are from a poll of individual members of the BIM4FM group which represents institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment. “The results clearly show that there is recognition that BIM offers the opportunity to improve the lifecycle management of buildings. Interestingly there is both a desire, and an expectation for BIM to be able to support better working practices and improve operation and maintenance of buildings in practice:” said Geoff Prudence Chairman of the BIM4FM group

When asked how they would like to see BIM supporting facilities management 75 per cent of respondents highlighted lifecycle management as the most important factor. When asked how they anticipated their organisation would use BIM in the future, 84 per cent of respondents believed that lifecycle management would again be the most important issue.

“The first cut of the survey results reinforces that for BIM to achieve its potential it will require FMs to engage in the earlier stages of the design and construction process,” said Prudence.

“By incorporating their understanding of operational practicalities within the design process, it can help shape and influence decision making. This should lead to better lifecycle management and operational facilities in the occupation ‘in use’ period of a building’s life. When considering how this might work in practice, it shows that Government Soft Landings (GSL) has an important role to play in implementing BIM, and this is something that the BIM4FM group is keen to support.”

The same survey revealed that FMs, owners and occupiers believe BIM will becoming increasingly important in day-to-day working practices within the next two to three years.

Prudence continued: “This timeframe is in line with the Government’s deadline for all construction projects to be BIM Level 2 compliant by 2016. However, the survey showed that there is still work to be done in this area with 31% of FMs, seeing BIM becoming more relevant after this time period and 9% of respondents questioning the value of BIM altogether. However these results reinforce the message that building managers, owners and occupiers recognise that BIM is definitely here to stay and growing in importance.”

“The challenge for the BIM4FM group is to now work through possibilities to fully exploit the opportunities surrounding BIM, and clearly signpost and establish the correct guidance for those working in this area.  One of the key objectives of the BIM4FM Group is to clarify ‘What BIM means for FMs in practice’ as an enabler for the future approach to implementation.”

Having closed its survey in May the BIM4FM group is currently establishing its next course of action. The group hopes to be able to reveal details of this along with the full survey results later this summer.