There is no doubt that the adoption of BIM is no less of a mind shift to when the design and construction industry took the shift from drawing by hand to the introduction of Computer Aided Drawings (CAD). Similar the shift from CAD to BIM, there are special skills required to operate the new authoring software within the market. The big shift came about when not only the construction industry adapted, but also all fields that lead to the build environment, as they needed to understand what is being produced so that the result could be utilised by all stakeholders involved - from concept and design, to handover for operational use.
Each industry has their own defined primary tools with additional applications supporting the enhancement of the result. It gives developers of new structures the flexibility they never had before very early on within the design phase, thereby allowing a complete agile environment where each amendment or specification can be altered in a single source, resulting in a ripple effect throughout the associated data.
Although the technology has been available for many years, BIM has only truly excelled within the last couple of years. Since the last phase of the BIM cycle has become a vital point in the complete BIM lifecycle, FM specialists are starting to influence and assist designers during the planning stages, and communication and collaboration have become even more crucial in achieving a common goal.
So what exactly is the common goal? It is imperative for all stakeholders to have a holistic overview of the project and generate useable data for the operational phase. During the final phase within the construction lifecycle of a project, contractors usually issue snagging lists and involve the enduser in the building handover phase, but most BIM models did not initially have any guidance from a FM consultant to identify the exact requirements during the operational phase, thereby leaving BIM Models over-engineered and over-complicated, causing inconsistency and missing valuable information for the end user’s use.
Although the opportunity for FM consultants to guide the client’s expectations through the design and construction lifecycle is available, FM service providers will need to accept that data will be much more comprehensive than before and would require the right tools and knowledge to get the most out of what the BIM data can offer. Developing BIM models are thereforea fundamental but also expensive exercise for clients, which is why it is so important to use the gathered data during the operational phase, as this is where time and money will be saved over the period of 20 to 25 years managing and maintaining a building.
FSI’s BIM specials with the use of Concept Evolution provide clients with a service and platform to upload and view the BIM data in a format that allows them to make more informed business decisions, and that can be used during the construction lifecycle in order for the operational phase to be as sufficient as possible. This process also requires a detailed strategy and consistent data drop evaluations to quality control the results in each LOD (Level of Detail) model issued.
The combination of technology and industry experience gives FSI the advantage and capabilities to consult and control the quality of the data that would be utilised during the operational phase. Leaving clients relaxed and assured that the money, time and energy spent during the construction lifecycle is not unused. It also sets a solid foundation for the operational phase with all data immediately available
(The Author, Schalk Vorster is the Business Development Manager of FSI Middle East)