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World-renowned Canadian Facility, in partnership with FSI and PlanIT Measuring, proves why BIM should be front and center in FM

02/04/20 | Rebecca Drewett

Facilities management is an incredibly demanding industry. Yet for those who are embracing technology and keeping up with the times, things are becoming much more sophisticated and subsequently easier to stay on top of. Easier to collate data, easier to make decisions based on real-time information, easier to visualize everything that’s going on all at once. JB (Jon) Benjamin, Regional Vice President of FSI Canada and the Americas, tells us why BIM should be at the forefront of FM in his latest blog.

Facilities management is an incredibly demanding industry. Yet for those who are embracing technology and keeping up with the times, things are becoming much more sophisticated and subsequently easier to stay on top of. Easier to collate data, easier to make decisions based on real-time information, easier to visualize everything that’s going on all at once.

With the BIM process being incorporated into more and more modern building constructions, and even some implementation taking place retroactively, the process is opening up a world of opportunity for Facilities Management companies and teams.

BIM gives everyone involved in a building’s construction, management and ongoing maintenance a digital blueprint of every layout, space and asset down to the most intricate detail. Doing this in the first place is one thing; understanding how to capitalize on the benefits of BIM as the building moves into the operational phase is another challenge entirely.

With 80% of the whole-life cost of a building fixed in the first 20% of early design, BIM can be integral in driving meaningful data and business-shaping decisions. One company that understands just how important the role BIM plays in their clients’ building management is Dexterra, a client of FSI for the past 6 years.

Dexterra operates Facilities Management services across 11 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. The scale of the ongoing maintenance and operations they deliver exceeds over 50 million sq ft. of infrastructure across aviation, defense & security, retail, commercial, private, healthcare, education and government. It’s fair to say they are well and truly leading the way in integrated FM across Canada.

Dexterra is already doing great work for their clients with Concept Evolution. When government SLAs are missed, penalties can be anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars up to hundreds of thousands – something which Dexterra has never had to worry about. They consistently meet their SLA targets and continue to win accolades for their innovation and best practices.

Jon Benjamin, Regional Vice President for the Americas and the Toronto Team at FSI, has recently helped Dexterra implement a comprehensive BIM plan for a high-profile building they manage – the Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex in Toronto (for which they won BOMA’s highest Platinum award).

The state-of-the-art facility features several laboratories with complex machinery that’s integral to the work completed here. The first phase of the BIM project involved a comprehensive laser scanning of the rooms and floors where these machines are located. The information collated from the scan allows a model to be built and, once other phases are complete, will integrate with Concept Evolution and FSI GO.

The idea is for this model to incorporate all managed assets so that Dexterra can see and act on preventative maintenance tasks. They can troubleshoot what’s wrong with a piece of machinery before it’s able to take hold and increase how efficiently they manage maintenance.

The model and data will also provide an essential extra layer of security for the site. With privacy a core consideration for FSI’s Jon Benjamin, he says “I’d like to say the days of sign-in books have long passed us. But some companies are still unaware of the great security breaches they can cause.”

“Luckily, Dexterra also values their clients’ security and privacy functions as much as I do. So with the future phases of the BIM model, they will soon be able to tighten security even further. Guards and employees will be able to pinpoint exactly where a guest should be in a building simply by scanning their pass.”

Beyond security, Dexterra’s BIM project will automate many tasks and verification processes. For example, cleaners will be verified at the location before they begin a task and their entire works will be documented through a digital audit trail.

With completion expected in the next 3 months, FSI and Dexterra are excited about the huge potential of this BIM project and the difference it is going to make to an already world-renowned building.

Craig Francis, Facility General Manager at Dexterra Forensics, says of the project, “Our relationship with the FSI Canadian team transcends a vendor-client relationship to be more of a partnership. The team is very responsive, and they have introduced multiple innovations to us, such as integrating our site’s BIM into Concept. This innovation enhanced our operational abilities around electronically tagging and tracking asset performance. Partnerships such as the one we have with FSI provides value and we look forward to continuing this solid relationship.”

With energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental impact also woven into the very fabric of the building’s smart model, it’s no wonder that facilities managers from all over the city are booking tours to view the innovation the site boasts for themselves.

In order to be able to capture the data in the first place, it was integral to work with a reputable digital measuring company. This project was completed with Planit, a leader in the development of as-built digital records. They used their advanced data collection methods along with best-in-class equipment to capture and model the complex space using several tools and technologies. The final BIM model included the geometric digital twin, a 360-degree HD image and asset tags with equipment details.

Albert Mansour, VP of Business Development tells us, “We scanned and represented the connections of equipment and piping across the mechanical floor. The accurate as-built visualization of the facility created a single and rich capture that improved the efficiency of managing the space.”

The FSI team is incredibly proud to have helped drive Dexterra’s success in this ongoing project. With Concept Evolution acting as the central hub of all the building’s data, teams continue to make intelligent business decisions. Now that BIM models will be integrated, the possibilities are endless.

About Dexterra

Dexterra provides quality solutions for the operation and maintenance of built assets and infrastructure including facilities management and operations, remote workforce accommodation, and forestry services. Dexterra is a Canadian business with a 70-year heritage servicing clients in both the private and public sectors. Dexterra has an outstanding record of creating and managing places that play a vital role in our national economy and our local communities. Our expertise in bringing together the right people with the right skills to transform service delivery and improve your customers’ experiences is what sets us apart.

About Planit

Planit is a leader in the development of as-built digital records. Planit uses advanced data collection methods including LiDAR scanning. Along with best in class equipment, Planit’s team is highly skilled in identifying how best to capture a built space. Planit’s modeling team has extensive experience in multiple disciplines and effectively translates the point cloud data into an accurate representation of scan.