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BIM in CAFM/IWMS, and the future trends of BIM in the Construction industry

Facilities Management

11/01/21 | Rebecca Drewett

FSI Marketing Manager, Sally Wotton, discusses with Tomorrow's FM.

Delivering a BIM compliant construction project into a CAFM/IWMS solution yields many benefits, including the time and cost savings of mobilising CAFM/IWMS from BIM data, but also seeing tangible benefits from using rich BIM data in practical Facilities Management (FM) operations.

As with many Building Information Modelling (BIM) construction projects, challenges can include how to capitalise on the rich data and structure provided by BIM models after project completion and handover to the FM operations team.

Most CAFM/IWMS systems have long had data import options used during implementation of new systems or facilities. Typically, these import routines take data collated in a fixed template and any variations to the way that the data has been collected or handed over by contractors often mean that customised import routines are required.

Anticipating growth in the importance of BIM in FM and the adoption of COBie as a universal and consistent way of extracting data from BIM models, FSI have worked for some time to develop a suite of standard BIM tools integrated into the Concept Evolution CAFM/IWMS solution.

With BIM, you can harness data, empowering you to make the decisions on the lifecycle of buildings, facilities and assets, for improved building quality and optimised operational efficiencies.

With the tools in place, 2020 would have seen BIM technologies making a huge impact on many industries, and the construction industry would have embraced these technologies for sure.

The global pandemic made us all hit the pause button on the use of these technologies, but with there being light at the end of the tunnel and with ‘normal’ returning at some point in 2021, the complexities of buildings mean that technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will help architects and construction teams to not only improve their designs, but also to identify any errors made to designs.

Building design in the construction industry can be improved with the use of these technologies, for the creation of 3D models of buildings, helping to improve BIM, and providing permanent records of building designs, all before the construction phase. And to push the boundaries even further, what’s to stop the 3D printing of building materials, or the use of robots for bricklaying among the usual construction workforce.

The Construction industry also has a moral duty to play their part in reducing their impact on the environment and to encourage sustainability. The design and construction of any buildings should therefore consider energy efficiencies, low carbon emissions, the use of insulated materials, reducing waste, and recycling materials.

And to come back to where we started, BIM, the process of creating and managing information on a construction project from start to finish, and to be able to plan design, construct and manage a building and its infrastructure, makes BIM more important than ever in the evolution of construction projects.