BIM Basics 2014 – Building Information Modeling, Models, and Management

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by technology.  As such, its ultimate purpose is to manage total cost of ownership (TCO).

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)/Lifecycle Cost :Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a dollar per square foot value ($#/square foot) associated with a facility. It is a calculation of all facilities-specific costs (not including furnishings or non-facility specific equipment) divided by estimated lifespan of the building (30 or 50 years), and the total gross area. Facilities specific costs include all construction, preservation, maintenance, and operations costs. A strategic asset management practice that considers all costs of operations and maintenance, and other costs, in addition to acquisition costs. TCO, therefore includes the representation of the sum total of the present value of all direct, indirect, recurring and non-recurring costs incurred or estimated to be incurred in the design, development, production, operation, maintenance of an facility/structure/asset over its anticipated lifespan. (Inclusive of site/utilities, new construction, deferred maintenance, preventive/routine maintenance, renovation, compliance, capital renewal,and occupancy costs.) Again, note that land values are specifically excluded.

Is this an appropriate metric?  Are there others?

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BIM / BLM Onology – Building Information Modeling / Built-environment Life-cycle Management – 2014

Ontology was originally reserved as a philosophical exercise dealing with categorization, analysis, and inter-relationships.  Ontology is now a rapidly evolving science in response to increasing complex information systems and/or “big data”.

Specific to the built-environment life-cycle management BLM / BIM, ontology is a fundamental requirement as it’s needed to establish robust, coherent, and consistent representations of ever-changing information.  This information comes from a variety of competencies, processes, and technologies and must be aggregated and harmonized to enabling enhanced decision-support mechanisms and overall improvement in resources allocation.

“Formal ontology now spans conceptual modeling, database design, software engineering, organizational modeling, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, the life sciences, bioinformatics, geographic  information science, knowledge engineering, information retrieval, and  the semantic web.”

 

Common methods support comparable outputs!

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2014 – Owners Need to Step It Up and Get Serious about BIM / BLM – Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment

It’s time for Owners to stop the marketing… Stop hyping their LEED  Silver or “Whatever” Buildings… and actually participate in life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.   This is the real BIM / BLM  (built-environment life-cycle management) and it’s critical to the financial, economic and mission goals of many/most organizations.

Improved decision making with respect to construction, repair, renovation, operations, and sustainability of the built environment, as well as associated efficient construction project delivery has several basic requirements.

1.   Recognition and consistent implementation of built-environment life-cycle management (BLM) “best practices” relative to business processes, workflows, requisite competencies, technologies, information management requirements, and associated metrics.

2.  Standardized robust terms, definitions, and inter-relationships for all associated built environment practice areas and/or competencies.

3.  A focus upon life-cycle costs vs. first costs in terms finance and environmental impact.

4.  Collaborative project delivery methods and practices such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Job Order Contracting, (JOC), and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) vs. traditional ad-hoc and antagonistic methods such as design-bid-build (DBB) or interim methods such as design build (DB).

5.  Continuous monitoring and improvement.

Owners pay the bills are ultimately responsible for managing the built environment efficiently.  It’s beyond time that many/most Owners get started!

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BIM ONTOLOGY – Prerequisite to BLM – Built-Environment Life-cycle Managment

People – Process – Technology are traditionally considered the cornerstones of BIM.  That said, without a robust ontology BIM is virtually impossible.  Life-cycle management of the built environment is not mainstream due to the following factors.

- Need for a a consistent set of terms and definitions as well as associations.  A BIM Ontology enables collaboration and cost effective information creation and ongoing reuse.

- Collaborative construction delivery methods vs. ad hoc antagonistic methods such as design-bid-built.

- Focus upon life-cycle cost vs. first-costs.

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Job Order Contracting Process Diagram

Job Order Contracting Process Diagram

Time to Restart, Reinvent BIM … BLM… Built-environment Life-cycle Managment?

If one had to name the single most important aspect of BIM, I would select the project delivery method.   Collaborative methods are a requirement.  They set the tone, establish responsibilities, and determine if/how information is shared (as well as when and the format)… and ultimately determine the success or failure.  The good news is they are not new and they are proven.  The bad is that the market has cultural objection to change and to sharing.   Examples of collaborative methods are Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, Job Order Contracting, JOC, Public Private Partnerships, PPP, etc.

Equally important is a life-cycle view vs. first cost mentality.  This provides true value for everyone and removes the disadvantages associated with low bid.

I have been blessed to be able to work with the largest Owners across all market sectors as well as contractors, subs, and AEs of all sizes.  My focus is upon both the strategic aspects of life-cycle management and tactical implementation supported by technology and robust data architectures. 

As we all know, there’s a lot of dysfunction in the AECOO market,   Folks continue to attempt to reinvent the wheel despite proven business best practices, vendors (especially software) mislead by saying the “do everything”…especially the IWMS folks.  Also the BIM focus has largely focused upon 3D visualization and many don’t even understand life-cycle management, requirements, and/or metrics.

The 3D visualization aspect BIM has little true value at the moment other that pretty pictures, crash detection, and prefabrication (specific material vendors).

BIM is really BLM (built-environment life-cycle management) and therefore must support a as framework of collaborative project delivery.   Many/most current methods and models only support linear and/or serial processes vs. parallel co-existent cycles.

 

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A BIM / BLM primary issue that has been largely avoided to date is the lack of a robust BLM (built-environment life-cycle management) ONOTLOGY.     BLM/BIM will continue to be impossible without one.   For starters what is a life-cycle…what are the primary phases…competencies…technologies… metrics…? 
There is a reason BLM/BIM has stagnated… and this is it. 

Is there a BIM/BLM clear mission statement, clear value. proposition,  robust ontology….documented proven business best practices, quantitative metrics… all of these must precede technology. 
Tech is just an enabler for cost-efficient deployment, etc.

Veteran’s Administration – Time to Better Manage its Facilities? Need for Global Oversight and Local Implementation of Robust Business Processes, Transparency, and Collaboration.

The Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) 21 Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) offices oversee 152 VHA healthcare facilities and over 1,220 related community based outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and Vet Centers throughout thecountry. After 16 years, the VISN offices’ expenses had increased over $164.9 million, over 500 percent above the original estimate of $26.7 million.
To this day, however, there is virtually no global oversight, nor implementation of consistent robust business process relative to the numerous facility renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction project performed daily.   As a result, efficient management is impossible.  As a result, proper stewardship, so critical for building users and taxpayers, is at best questionable.
VHA lacks budget formulation and execution controls and reliable staffing and expense data to monitor VISN offices and ensure the effective and efficient use of funds. As a result, VISN offices lacks adequate fiscal controls and accurate information to ensure transparency, accountability, compliance with policies, and the effective and efficient use of funds …. VHA allows its VISN offices to operate independently ….
- VA Office of the Inspector General, Office of Audits and Evaluations
The above audit was concerned primarily with operations expenses and associated cost increases, however, standardized practices specifically with respect to facility repair, renovation, sustainability, and minor new construction would dramatically improve fiscal transparency and simply get more on these important projects done on time and on budget.
Job Order Contracting, using RSMeans cost data, and associated JOC specific technologies have been proven to provide the required levels of transparency, accountability, and productivity.  To date, the VA has not implemented a “best-practice” JOC process across its portfolio.   Isn’t it time?