Another resounding success for the CKE ThinkBIM series today that explored Building Information Management and Facilities Management and raised acutely pertinent issues and questions for future debate.
There certainly was much learning and sharing, from Deborah Rowland’s keynote, (Cabinet Office and Soft Landings) on the round table discussions, from Marty Chobot (FM Systems) on a live feed from North Carolina, proving FM can manage buildings from a BIM model, and of course from the numerous and entertaining pecha kucha style presentations.
Until today I saw a missing link in really moving BIM forward across the built environment being the lack of awareness / knowledge of BIM from the Facilities Management sector.
However I am once again reminded of the lack of understanding from design, construction and indeed the BIM fraternity of what exactly Facilities Management is really all about, and how they need, and indeed will benefit from access to BIM.
The conference discussions also pulled up memories from the late nineties and early noughties on Design and Construction Integration with FM, on the need for FM to be a process broker for new build, and the role of FM to both feedback lessons into construction whilst feedingforward improvements into the business – feedbackfeedforward
And perhaps, just perhaps, as suggested by a few attendees, BIM has started from the wrong end of the process, and should start from the business and FM side, feeding back into construction. And in the context of 1:5:200 thinking, you would start where most value is generated – the 200 business end, not the 0.5 design or 1 construction end of the process.
It’s probably too late to resurrect the FIM not BIM argument. But we need to be acutely aware that we do not just deliver buildings but collectively we provide facilities to clients, and that usability is far more important to FM than light bulb maintenance. Or should be.
The thinkBIM question take away must now be – who needs to educate whom
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I see the drivers being on both sides meeting somewhere in the middle; the clients with an eye on FM will ask for it as part of their specification while the more forward thinking providers will suggest it. The interesting aspect will be whether maintenance contractors will embrace it going forward and what the timescales will be before it becomes standard.
With the latter I’d guess that the pace of client demand will quicken as more buildings designed within a BIM environment come in to use and the benefits are obvious for the longest part of the buildings life cycle.
What will be more interesting is whether greater BIM focus raises clients awareness of FM costs and how they can be managed in the design stages and if it changes views on value engineering and its longer term effects.
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