” Evidence-based ” Life-cycle Federal Facility Management, BIM, and the Status Quo – NIBS, FFC

Yesterday (6/19/2012), the National Academies Federal Facility Council hosted a timely, and potentially watermark event “Predicting Outcomes of Investments in Maintenance and Repair of Federal Facilities“.

It is my hope that this event and those similar to it  be expanded as much as possible to assist all real property owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors, building product manufactures, oversight groups, and the community truly practice facility life-cycle management, referred to more recently as BIM (building information modeling / management).

Key Topics / Take Aways:

Identify and advance technologies, processes, and management practices that improve the performance of federal facilities over their entire life-cycle, from planning to disposal.

Predicting Outcomes of Investments in Maintenance and Repair for Federal Facilities
-Facility risks to Organizational Mission
-Potential to quantify
-Ability to predict outcomes vs. investment
-Communication strategies
-The “how” of measuring investment successes

1. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

2. Requirements for facility life-cycle management, efficient repair/maintenance/sustainability, BIM

3. Inventory of Built Environment

4. Physical and Functional Condition of Assets (Portfolio, Site, Building/Area, System, Sub-system, Component Levels)

5. Expected Life-cycle and Deterioration Rates for Physical Assets

6. Ranking of Facilities/Built Environment relative to Organizational Mission

Mission Criticality / Risk Matrix















7. Associated Capital Reinvestment Requirements and Ability to run multi-year “What-if ” scenario analyses

8. Collaborative, Efficient Project Delivery Methods ( IPD – Integrated Project Delivery, JOC – Job Order Contracting)


Strategic approaches for investing in facilities maintenance and repair to achieve beneficial outcomes and to mitigate risks. Such approaches should do the following:

• Identify and prioritize the outcomes to be achieved through maintenance and repair investments and link those outcomes to achievement of agencies’ missions and other public policy objectives.
• Provide a systematic approach to performance measurement, analysis, and feedback.
• Provide for greater transparency and credibility in budget development, decision making, and budget execution.

• Identify and prioritize the beneficial outcomes that are to be achieved through maintenance and repair investments, preferably in the form of a 5- to 10-year plan agreed on by all levels of the organization.
• Establish a risk-based process for prioritizing annual maintenance and repair activities in the field and at the headquarters level.
• Establish standard methods for gathering and updating data to provide credible, empirical information for decision support, to measure outcomes from investments in maintenance and repair, and to track and improve the results.

Vehicles for Change—
• Portfolio-based facilities management (aka asset management)
•Technology (tools, knowledge, risk)
• Recognition of impacts of facilities on people, environment, mission (i.e., prioritizing)
• Changing of the Guard

Best Practices … Partial Listing
• Identification of better performing contractors or service providers
• GIS mapping tools
• Facility condition assessments – surveys, vendors, frequencies, costs
• Maintenance management systems
• Predictive maintenance tools
• Organizational structures
• Budget call process
• Master Planning processes
• Improve relationships with the facility end users and foster a “One Community”
• Energy management


Doug Ellsworth_USACE


John Yates_DOE

Get Moy_Portfolio Mgmt

Peter Marshall_FFC_Chair


Component-section (a.k.a. section): The basic “management unit.” Buildings are a collection of components grouped into systems. Sections define the component by material or equipment type and age.
Condition Survey Inspection (a.k.a. Condition Survey; Inspection): The gathering of data for a given component-section for the primary purpose of condition assessment.
Condition Assessment: The analysis of condition survey inspection data.
Component Section Condition Index (CSCI): An engineering – based condition assessment outcome metric (0 – 100 scale) and part of the Building Condition Index (BCI) series.

Condition Survey Inspection Objectives
1. Determine Condition (i.e. CSCI) of Component-Section
2. Determine Roll-Up Condition of System, Building, etc.
3. Provide a Condition History
4. Compute Deterioration Rates
5. Calibrate/Re-calibrate Condition Prediction Model Curves
6. Compute/Re-compute Remaining Maintenance Life
7. Determine Broad Scope of Work for Planning Purposes
8. Quantify/refine Work Needs (incl root cause analysis, if needed)
9. Establish when Cost Effective to Replace (vs. Repair)
10. Compute/Re-compute Remaining Service Life
11. QC/QA (Post-work Assessment)

Condition Survey Inspection Types
Deficiency: The “traditional” inspection discussed previously.
Distress Survey: The identification of distress types (i.e. crack, damage, etc.), severity (low, medium, high) and density (percentage) present. Data directly used in the calculation of the CSCI. No estimate of cost or priority.
Distress Survey with Quantities: Same as distress survey except that distress quantities are measured or counted. The resulting density is more accurate than a distress survey, thus the CSCI is more precise.
Direct Rating: A one-step process that combines inspection and condition assessment. An alphanumeric rating (three categories, three subcategories each) is assigned to the component-section by the inspector. Rating is directly correlated to a CSCI value, but is less accurate than a CSCI derived from a distress survey. Quick, but no record of what’s wrong.







































About The Federal Facilities Council

The Federal Facilities Council (FFC) was established at the National Academies in 1953 as the Federal Construction Council. The mission of the FFC is to identify and advance technologies, processes, and management practices that improve the performance of federal facilities over their life-cycles, from programming to disposal. The FFC is sponsored and funded by more than 20 federal agencies with responsibilities for and mutual issues related to all aspects of facilities design, construction, operations, renewal, and management.

The FFC fulfills its mission by networking and by sharing information among its sponsoring federal agencies and by leveraging its resources to conduct policy and technical studies, conferences, forums, and workshops on topics of mutual interest. The activities to be undertaken in any given calendar year are approved by a committee composed of senior representatives from each of the sponsor agencies.

Much of the work of the FFC is carried out by its 5 standing committees, each of which meets quarterly. The majority of meetings include presentations by guest speakers from the federal community, academia, and the private sector and these presentations are open to the public. The presentation slides are posted on the Events page of this website. If you would like to automatically receive notices of new reports or upcoming events, please subscribe to the FFC listserv.
Within the National Academies, the FFC operates under the auspices of the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE) of the National Research Council. The BICE provides oversight and guidance for FFC activities and serves as a link between the sponsoring federal agencies and other elements of the building community, both national and international.

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Demand For Efficient Life-Cycle Building Management Processes – BIM, JOC, IPD – FIATECH PRESENTATION – 2012

Critical components of CONSTRUCTION PROJECT success include communication, collaboration, a defined mutually agreed upon operating relationship and an associated fully defined project scope of work…   all of which are largely determined by the construction delivery method.

A thorough understanding and visualization of a project among Owners,  Architects and Engineers,  Contractors, and other shareholders defines scope, specifications, and is is the  project delivery method that set the overall tone of interrelations ships among the project participants and shapes final outcomes.  Field specific variables, such as weather, on-going operations, soils conditions, security, safety, site lay-out, environment protections and other contexts must be considered as well as the means and methods of work execution. These and other variables impact the overall cost, timing, and ultimate success of the project.

Collaboration among all shareholders on the front end, and then throughout the project is the means by which multiple knowledge domains associated with a construction project are brought together to  allow for  visualizing the building the project prior to construction.  For example, estimating a job requires knowledge about about the impact that AE, context, and execution scope have on each unit, assembly, and system level cost.

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Construction management is a process!  Several exiting as well as newer, disruptive technologies are now enabling the cost-effective development, implementation, and monitoring of collaborative efficient construction management processes in lieu or traditional ad hoc procedures.  The later being largely responsible for the decades long declined in productivity within the construction sector throughout America.

While 0ur AECOO (architecture, engineering, construction, operations, owner) sector is resistant to change and relatively adverse to technology, the convergence of worldwide market drivers and the disruptive technologies that will change the very way we do business.  However, the issues of (check one, or more) global climate change, dwindling non-renewal energy supplies, and/or the altered economic landscape, are forcing greater efficiencies.  And, of course, buildings are a major consumer of petrochemical products… high energy users, and a primary source of green house gas and other emissions.  These drivers to reduce environmental impacts as well as improve productivity will force relatively dramatic change.

Relative to technology….  technology’s  role in one of supporting processes relative to faster implementation/deployment, and consistent/scalable use.  That said, cloud computing not only accomplishes the above more efficiently, but adds previously unattainable levels of collaboration and transparency.  A “FACEBOOK for Facilities Construction and Life-cycle Operations” is on the horizon.  Just think of the impacts that FACEBOOK and other social media had upon Egypt recently, and the power of cloud computing begins clearer.  The next aspect is of course BIM.  Once we get beyond the distraction of 3D visualization, BIM, combined with, deployed by, and practiced via cloud computing BIM will become a game changer.   BIM definition, from NIBS, and I paraphrase, is the life-cycle management of facilities supported by digital technology.  A glimpse of a strategic BIM framework (BIMF) from a process perspective is shown below.   The integration of these activities, associated competencies, business processes, and supporting technologies via cloud computing is the foundation of BIM.

Central to the discussion of AEC process change within the scope of this discussion also include:

-Construction Project Delivery Methods for NEW and EXISTING buildings, specifically Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC) …, as noted above and below….
-Sustainability and the concept of High Performance Buildings
-Higher Level FM Processes – LEAN, TCO / Total Cost of Ownership / Life-cycle Management
-Standards (data formats, lexicon, taxonomies, interoperability, metrics vs. benchmarks)

Job order contracting, known and implemented as SABER in the Air Force, one example of IPD, or integrated project delivery developed over twenty years ago within the DOD sector.  It has only recently begun to be adopted and deployed in other sectors in an accelerated manor, including non-DOD federal government, state/county/&local governments, higher educations and large k-12 school districts, hospitals and clinics, as well as airports and transportation authorities.

As an  example of productivity improvements afforded by JOC.  What typically took over a year to accomplish in months or even weeks.  Furthermore quality is improve, change orders are reduced, and lawsuits are virtually eliminated.  A comparison of IPD/JOC and tradition delivery methods is shown below.

Thus, in summary, below is road map of where we have been, and where we are going.

NIBS Recommends that Congress Prioritize Building Industry Concerns

While “Government Focus” and/or “Government Priority” may seem to oxymorons to many of us, it is indeed past due that the Federal Government address Sustainability and Productivity issues within the building / AEC sector.

Efficent Construction Delivery Methods - Sustainabilty - Climate Change

The altered economic landscape and the ever ticking global climate change clock require that we address facility renovation, repair, and sustainability immediately.  This will require consistent condition assessment practices and efficient project prioritization mechanisms as well as efficient construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC).

 May 26, 2011

National Institute of Building Sciences, Leading Organizations Issue Report of Findings

A new report from the National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council identifies five primary areas of concern regarding the nation’s buildings and infrastructure, and provides recommendations for action. Topics include: Defining High-Performance and Common Metrics; Energy and Water Efficiency; Codes and Standards Adoption and Enforcement; Sustainability; and Education and Training.

Time for Building Standards and Efficient Project Delivery

The National Institute of Building Sciences enabling legislation established the Consultative Council as an important link among disciplines in the field of building technology. The Council engages the leadership of key organizations with the intent of providing findings and recommendations for the advancement of the built environment. The Council report represents the collective vision of these leading organizations from across the building community.

“Given the many services we ask our buildings and infrastructure to perform, it is essential that the many disciplines and organizations responsible for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of buildings work together to identify overarching needs that can lead to widespread high-performance buildings,” said Ryan Colker, Director of the Consultative Council and Presidential Advisor at the Institute. “The Council’s initial report reflects this collective thinking and has the potential to significantly influence policymakers and the building community.”

The Council recommendations identify cross-cutting issues essential for reaching building industry goals. Specific recommendations include:
o The need to establish common definitions to guide measurement and expression of actual performance;
o Energy codes and standards should shift from prescriptive requirements towards performance-based provisions aimed at ultimately achieving net-zero energy use;
o Investment in energy and water related infrastructure is desperately needed and will vastly improve efficiencies and create jobs;
o Increased participation by federal, state and local government agencies would yield more uniformity and consistently adopted and understood codes, and increase the effectiveness of model building codes;
o At the state and local level, financial and technical resources must be available to ensure code and standard requirements are followed;
o Achieving sustainability requires addressing the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental stewardship and social progress in all building and infrastructure projects;
o Public construction should address life-cycle costs and benefits, while accounting, financing, insurance and tax policies should facilitate and promote private investments in sustainable buildings and infrastructure;
o Education and training should be aimed at facilitating the entire life-cycle of buildings, from concept to design, construction, commissioning, occupancy, modification/renovation, and deconstruction; and
o Education and training incentive programs should be available to cover all levels and types of businesses and organizations, and should encompass all design, construction, maintenance and operational core competencies.

In 2010, Consultative Council members included: ASTM International; American Institute of Architects; American Society of Civil Engineers; American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; Associated General Contractors of America; Building Owners and Managers Association, International; Construction Specifications Institute; ESCO Institute; Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association; Illuminating Engineering Society; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; International Code Council; National Insulation Association; National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago; and United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry. Joining the Council in 2011 are the Laborers’ International Union of North America and HOK. The summary of recommendations appears in the Institute’s 2010 Annual Report, which is sent to the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress. To download a copy of the complete Consultative Council report, visit www.nibs.org/cc/Activities.

About the National Institute of the Building Sciences
The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology. For more information, please visit www.nibs.org.

BIM and the Role of Neural Networks – AI

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There is definately a role for the application of neural networks / AI within the AEC sector.

The technology would  help to support the integrage of disparate data.

That said, it is the lack of awarencess of, and associated implementation of existent robust business processes that is primary issue within our industry.
For example, many FMers don’t appreciate the differences of CMMS, CPMS, CAFM… or the criticality of standardized reference cost data, UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, core benchmarks….FCIs, etc., or COBIE, OMNICLASS, etc.  No do many appreciate the role of efficient construction delivery methods such as IPD (integrated project devliery) and JOC (job order contracting), the later a form of IPD specifically for facility renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction.

Neural networks can parse disparate data (to a degree, they are   about 80% to 99%+ accuarate depending upon source data and specific application, and thus still require human intervention such as manual mapping of “outliers”), FMers would do well to focus upon process, efficient construction delivery methods, etc.

(Source for following paragraph and above image –http://blog.aecsa.org )

 Neural networks have been used in computer science for speech recognition, image analysis, adaptive controls, software agents, and statistical analysis for some time now. Your input layer [see image above] would consist of multiple models and code standards databases from different sources and phases of a project. This inputs are facets of an aggregate building model, interpreted by a middle layer (algorithms aka secret sauce) which results in the desired output (BIM) for specialized purposes (i.e. design, engineering, FM). They are in no way practical as the software architecture for a BIM authoring application as they are slower and require more computing resources to retrieve data. However, they would be useful for interpreting the relationships between nodes in an aggregate data structure where compute resources and storage space are not an issue… enter cloud computing.

BIM for FM…. Or Big BIM Process & Strategy

BIM 3D,4D,5D & Constructio Project Devlivery – Process First! – 8March2011


Looking at a BIM PROCESS and STRATEGY… should happen well before any technology discussion, though technology is the enabler for implementation, deployment, scalability, etc.
Everything starts with you…. Your situation … Your needs …. Your resources … and Your PROCESS.
The lack of robust PROCESSES has been endemic to and a virtually unique aspect of, the AEC community.
BIMF for Building Information Modeling Framework, is used to describe an integrated approach to facility management and BIM… also referred to a “big BIM”, with the FOCUS upon the “I”, INFORMATION aspect and sharing information from formerly disparate FM silos.

What is BIM – Software, Business Process? – BIM Definition – NIBS – National BIM Standard – BIM Standards

Both….  BIM is a digital technology and a business process for life-cycle facility management, from concept thru disposal.

The below figure represents components of a BIM strategy.

What is a BIM?

The National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee defines BIM as:

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility.  A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.

A basic premise of BIM is collaboration by different stakeholders at different phases of the life cycle of a facility to insert, extract, update or modify information in the BIM to support and reflect the roles of that stakeholder.

The US National BIM Standard will promote the business requirements that BIM and BIM interchanges are based on:

  • a shared digital representation,
  • that the information contained in the model be interoperable (i.e.: allow computer to computer exchanges), and
  • the exchange be based on open standards,
  • the requirements for exchange must be capable of defining in contract language.

As a practical matter, BIM represents many things depending on one’s perspective:

  • Applied to a project, BIM represents Information management—data contributed to and shared by all project participants.  The right information to the right person at the right time.
  • To project participants, BIM represents an interoperable process for project delivery—defining how individual teams work and how many teams work together to conceive, design, build & operate a facility.
  • To the design team, BIM represents integrated design—leveraging technology solutions, encouraging creativity, providing more feedback, empowering a team.¹

NBIM standard will incorporate several elements described later in this document but the focus will be on standardized processes which define “business views” of data needed to accomplish a particular set of functions.

BIM for FM – The Evolution of Facility Management

The evolution of facility management.

Driven by economic and environmental pressures, facilities management (FM) will…. more rapidly align itself with the core mission, encompass more  services, use global  standards,  embrace flexibility and continuity,   focus upon life-cycle sustainability,   maintain and end user/client   focus,   improve supply   chain synchronicity,   achieve a life-cycle   / total cost of ownership perspective,   and employ better capital/risk/performance reporting and metrics for management and continuous improvement.

Integrating robust FM processes, especially the following five (5) areas, each with its support technology backbone, will centralize and standardize building INFORMATION and link with a core BIM  (Building Information Modeling) system.

Capital Planning and Management (CPMS) – Multi-year capital planning, decision support, and physical/functional conditions management will enable owners to better reinvest available funds based upon organizational mission requirements.
Computerized Maintenance Management (CMMS) – Maintenance and inventory of “moveable” equipment systems will allow for more efficient, timely, and less costly minor repair and maintenance.
Space Planning (CAFM) – Space planning and utilization management systems will assure maximum space utilization, mitigate waste, and help to limit carbon impacts.
Construction Delivery Methods (IPD, JOC, DB) – Efficient construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery for new construction and Job Order Contracting for faculty renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction will become the norm, driving collaboration, transparency, quality, and performance.
Building Automation Systems (BAS) – Electronic data gathering and system/equipment monitoring and management systems, including GIS will provide real-time feedback on site, building, system, and equipment location, operation, and performance, providing the ability to more rapidly adapt to change.

The importance of BIM is actually “BIM for FM”, with building Owners leading the charge.
BIM for FM will not replace the above processes or technologies.
On the contrary, the above domain specific, rich information systems will support a central repository of reusable, standardized information (BIM).
Cloud technology and standards such as COBIE, UFC, Uniformat, MasterFormat, etc., with enrich these domain specific knowledge centers feed a rich information repository to enable more efficient building life-cycle management.

Exciting time for us all!

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