BIM & Efficient Life-cycle Management of Facilities & Infrastructure

bim and efficient life-cycle facility management

Efficient life-cycle management of facilities and other physical infrastructure is impossible until real property owners are better educated and truly capable in their role as stewards of the built environment.

LEAN best management practices and associated collaborative construction delivery methods (Integrated project delivery – IPD, Job Order Contracting – JOC, etc.) are REQUIRED in order to deliver quality renovation, repair, sustainability, and new construction projects on-time and on-budget.

Most Owners do not have the educational background or professional experience needed to consistently deploy LEAN construction delivery methods and/or life-cycle management.

job order contracting

job order contacting - JOC

What is BIM?

If you can’t see the whole picture… you can’t appreciate BIM.

elephant BIM

Hard to believe…perhaps to some… but many /most of us in the Architecture, Construction, Owners, Operations sector still don’t know how to define BIM.

Anna Winstanley and Nigel Fraser of Lean BIM Strategies Limited provided the most likely reason in a recent perspective…  if you can’t see the whole picture… you can’t appreciate BIM.

BIM Definition – Short – The life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.

BIM ToolsBIMF - Building Information Management Frameworkvia –  Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software supporting JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA … and featuring integrated contract, project, document management, visual estimating/quanity take-off. QTO, and an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line itme RSMeans Cost database.

The Metrics of BIM – The Manage the Built Environment

As the old saying goes…”you can’t manage what you don’t measure”.



Here’s the beginning of a list of information requirements spanning various domains/competencies, technologies, etc.,
While an important component, the 3D component of BIM has been a very unfortunate distraction.  It appears that many/most have “gone to the weeds” and/or are “recreating the wheel” vs. working on core foundational needs such as the consistent use of appropriate terminology and the establishment of robust, scalable and repeatable business practices, methodologies, standards, metrics and benchmarks for facilities and physical infrastructure management.

It is common terminology that enables effective communication and transparency among the various decision makers, building managers, operators and technicians involved with facilities and physical infrastructure investment and management.

Here are examples of metrics associated with the life-cycle management of the built environment:

Annualized Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) per building per gross area = Rate per square foot

Annualized TCO per building/Current replacement value = Percent of Current Replacement Value (CRV)

Annualized TCO per building/Net assignable square feet = Cost rate per net assignable square feet per building

Annualized TCO per building/Non-assignable square feet = Cost rate per non-assignable square feet per building

Annualized TCO per building/Building Interior square feet = Cost rate per interior square foot per building

Churn Rate

Utilization Rate

AI (Adaptation Index) or PI (Programmatic Index) = PR (Program Requirements) /
CRV (Current Replacement Value)

Uptime or Downtime – Defined in percent, as amount of time asset is suitable for the program(s) served.

Facility Operating Gross Square Foot (GSF) Index (SAM Performance Indicator: APPA 2003)

Custodial Costs per square foot

Grounds Keeping Costs per square foot

Energy Costs per square foot

Energy Usage

Utility Costs per square foot

Waste Removal Costs per square foot

Facility Operating Current Replacement Value (CRV) Index (SAM Performance Indicator: APPA 2003)

Planned/Preventive Maintenance Costs per square foot

Emergency Maintenance Costs as a percentage of Annual Operations Expenditures.

Unscheduled/Unplanned Maintenance Costs as a percentage of Annual Operations Expenditures.

Repair costs (man hours and materials) as a percentage of Annual Operations Expenditures

FCI (Facility Condition Index) = DM (Deferred Maintenance) + CR (Capital Renewal)
/ CRV (Current Replacement Value)

Recapitalization Rate, Reinvestment Rate

Deferred Maintenance Backlog

Facilities Deterioration Rate

FCI (Facility Condition Index) = DM (Deferred Maintenance) + CR (Capital Renewal) /
CRV (Current Replacement Value)

AI (Adaptive Index) or PI (Programmatic Index) = PR (Program Requirements) /
CRV (Current Replacement Value)

FQI (Facility Quality Index) or Quality Index or Index = FCI (Facility Condition Index)+ AI (Adaptive Index)

BIMF - Building Information Management FrameworkVia – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software for the built environment – , …

BIM Strategy, Collaboration, and Interoperablity… Getting it right from square one.

The construction industry (architecture, engineering, construction, operations/facility management, business product manufacturers, oversight and regulatory groups), like most other sectors, is in a state of rapid change.

Construction delivery methods are at the center of  this ongoing transformation as they dictate the structure, tone, and legal requirements of any project.  Thus, whether you are involved with construction, renovation, repair, and/or sustainability projects… Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, for new construction, Job Order Contracting – JOC, for minor new construction, renovation, repair, and sustainability and Public Private Partnerships – PPP, are examples of collaborative construction delivery methods that are rapidly replacing traditional and somewhat dysfunctional methods such as Design Bid Build (DBB).

While collaborative construction delivery methods have been in existence for decades and are well proven, they are only recently being more readily adopted.  The drivers for change include environmental, economic, and technology factors.  We are all aware of shrinking resources whether budgetary or non-renewal energy related, as well as associated environmental regulations relative to global warming, the latter of which will become increasingly stringent.     That said, disruptive technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling) and Cloud Computing are also a major causal factors  as well as enablers  relative the  business process change so desperately needed with the construction sector.
As collaborative construction delivery methods become more common, the need to share information transparently becomes paramount. Project teams need to adapt to early and ongoing information sharing among distributed team members and organizations.   In the case of JOC (also known as SABER in in the United State Air Force), technology has been available for over a decade to support virtually all aspects of   collaborative project execution from concept thru warranty period.  An example is 4Clicks Project Estimator combined with RSMeans Cost Data, and/or organizational specific unit price books.  With all parties leveraging the same data and following robust, collaborative processes from concept, thru site walk, construction, etc., the net result being  more jobs being done on-time and on-budge with fewer change orders and virtual elimination of the legal disputes, the latter be unfortunately common with traditional methods.

Job Order Contracting Process
Job Order Contracting Process

IPD vs. Traditional

How built environment stakeholders share information and work together will continue to evolve.  The methods in which we, as Owners, Contractors, AEs, etc. participate in this exchange within our domains will determine our ultimate success or failure.

As show in the following graphic, the project delivery methods, while a fundamental element, is just one “piece of the BIM pie”.

Multiple “activities” , business processes” , “competencies”, and “supporting technologies” are involved in BIM.

BIM is  “the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technologies”.

BIM Framework
BIM Framework

BIM is NOT 3D Visualization – 4D, 5D …..

Building Information Modeling, BIM, is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  As such, the core requirements of BIM include collaboration, standardized information, multiple domain competencies, and several supporting interoperable technologies.

Let’s face it, BIM continues to languish.  Sure a lot of architects use it for pretty pictures to win business, and there are several “case studies” surrounding clash detection, etc. etc.   However, life-cycle and/or ongoing facility management using BIM?  No so much.

This is not only sad but economically and environmentally imprudent.   The efficient life-cycle management of the built environment is critical to both global competitiveness and preserving sustainable resources.

Why is BIM of to a slow start?  Too much focus on 3D visualization, too much “reinventing the wheel” trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, and virtually NO EMPHASIS upon the requirements for life-cycle management… associated competencies, domains, technologies, ongoing collaboration, integration, and continuous improvement.

Design-bid-build and “low bid” awards are the downfall of the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner, and Operations sector.   The method is antagonistic, wasteful, and typically delivers poor initial and ongoing results.

Focus upon CHANGE MANAGEMENT and building awareness relative to both COLLABORATIVE CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHODS AND LIFECYCLE, TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP MANAGMENT is the only thing that will “kick start” BIM.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC) are both collaborative construction delivery methods that have been proven for decades, however, awareness remains low.  IPD’s focus is upon major new construction, while JOC focuses upon the numerous renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction projects so critical to efficient use of our current infrastructure.

The below diagram outlines the competencies, technologies, and process required for the lifecycle management of the built environment.

BIMF - Building Information Management Framework

via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery technology solutions for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOS, BOS…  Featuring an exclusively enhanced 400,000+ line item RSMeans Cost database, document/contract/project management, and visual estimating / electronic quantity take-off, QTO.

TFM Article – BIM, Cloud Computing, IPD and JOC

Construction Disruption           Peter Cholakis

As they pass the emergent stage, BIM and cloud computing will continue to impact project delivery.
Emergent disruptive technologies and construction delivery methods are altering both the culture and day-to-day practices of the construction, renovation, repair, and sustainability of the built environment.
Meanwhile, a shifting economic and environmental landscape dictates significantly improved efficiencies relative to these facility related activities.  This is especially important to any organization dependent upon its facilities and infrastructure to support and maintain its core mission.
The disruptive digital technologies of building information modeling (BIM) and cloud computing, combined with emergent collaborative construction delivery methods are poised to alter the status quo, ushering in increased levels of collaboration and transparency.  A disruptive technology is one that alters the very fabric of a business process or way of life, displacing whatever previously stood in its place.  BIM and cloud computing fit the profile of disruptive technologies, individually, and when combined these stand to create a tidal wave of change.
BIM is the life cycle management of the built environment, supported by digital technology.  While a great deal of emphasis has been placed upon 3D visualization, this is just a component of BIM.  The shift from a “first cost mentality” to a life cycle cost or total cost of ownership is a huge change for many.Improving decision making practices and applying standardized terms, metrics, and cost data can also prove challenging.An understanding and integration of the associated knowledge domains important to life cycle management is required, resulting in what is now being referred to as “big data.”
Cloud computing is also a disruptive technology, and it’s one that impacts several areas.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing is as follows, “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.  The cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”
It is perhaps helpful to define cloud computing in terms of its benefits.  Cloud computing enables far greater levels of collaboration, transparency, and information access previously unavailable by traditional client/server, database, or even prior generation web applications.  Multiple users can work on the same data set with anyone, anywhere, anytime, in multicurrency, multilanguage environments.  All changes can be tracked to “who did what” within seconds (potentially the best form of security available), and information is never deleted.
The disruptive technologies of BIM and cloud computing will accelerate the adoption of emergent construction delivery methods and foster new frameworks.  Design-bid-build, the traditional construction delivery method for decades, is inherently flawed.  As a lowest bid deployment it immediately sets up adversarial relationships for involved parties.  Owners prepare a solicitation for construction projects based on their understanding of them1, with or without third-party A/E assistance, and in most cases they go out in search of the lowest bidder.  Then without a thorough understanding of the owner’s facility, bidders base their responses on the owner’s solicitation, plans, and specifications.  Owners typically allow a period of time for bidders’ questions and clarifications; but the quality of this interchange is at best questionable if based solely on a written scope, plans and specifications, and/or a meeting with suppliers.
Design-build, arguably a step in right direction, falls short of bringing all stakeholders together.  More responsibility of design and construction is shifted to the contractor and/or A/E.  However, the dual level participation structure doesn’t assure the interests of all parties are equally addressed.  Furthermore, the design-build process is typically reserved for major new construction projects versus the numerous sustainability, repair, renovation projects, and minor new construction projects typically encountered by facility managers (FMers).
Because BIM brings together previously disparate information into a framework that enables decision support, using the technology requires a collaborative construction delivery method.  The integration of the domain knowledge and robust processes required to allow fms, A/Es, and other stakeholders to achieve heightened levels of information sharing and collaboration is enabled by methods that include Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC).
Key characteristics of these emergent construction delivery methods include: choices based on best value; some form of pricing transparency; early and ongoing information sharing among project stakeholders; appropriate distribution of risk; and some form of financial incentive to drive performance.
Both IPD and JOC allow, if not require, owner cost estimators and project managers to “partner” with contractors, subcontractors, and A/Es to conceptualize, create, cost, prioritize, start, and report upon projects—in the very early phases of construction.
IPD, JOC, and Simplified Acquisition of Base Civil Engineering Requirements (SABER)—the U.S. Air Force term for applying JOC practices—are practiced simultaneously by a growing number of organizations and supported by digital technologies.  These construction delivery processes are embedded within software to allow for rapid, costeffective, and consistent deployment as well as the associated level of collaboration and transparency.
BIM and cloud computing are disruptive technologies that will accelerate the adoption of emergent construction delivery methods such as IPD and JOC.Construction delivery methods set the tone and level of interaction among project participants and can be viewed as the management process framework.When supported by BIM and cloud computing, the life cycle management of the built environment, and the associated management of big data, can be expected to become commonplace for many construction projects.

Cholakis is chief marketing officer for 4Clicks Solutions, LLC (, a Colorado Springs, CO provider of cost estimating and project management software.  With expertise in facilities life cycle costs and total cost of ownership in various market segments, he is involved in numerous industry associa- tions and committees including the American Society of Safety Engineers, Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, Society of American Military Engi- neers, BIM Library Committee-National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBS), and National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee.




BIM Requires IPD.

BIM requires some form of Integrated Project Delivery… Period.   Why you say?

Simple.  BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  BIM therefore, requires the integration of multiple knowledge domains, stakeholders and supporting technologies… from strategic and capital planning, through design, construction, operations, utilization, repair, renovation, adaptation, maintenance, and deconstruction.

Efficient project delivery methods such as IPD and Job Order Contracting (JOC) are integral components of efficiently managing the built environment over time.  The help define the specialized framework needed to enable Owners, AEs, Contractors, Oversight Groups, and other Stakeholders share information and collaborate to enable the appropriate distribution of resources needed to optimize the physical and function conditions of the built environments.


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