BIM For Facility Managment – FM

First and foremost “BIM” is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology. 3D visualization tools, such as Revit, Archicad, Bentley, etc. represent only one of several technologies and business processes/competencies required for efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.

There are far more important considerations, such as CPMS, efficient project delivery methods such as IPD and JOC, CMMS, BAS, CAFM, Portfolio Management, Property Management, life-cycle costing,  etc. etc.

Leveraging a robust ontology and quantitatively measuring physical and functional building levels and actively managing capital reinvestment over time.. with a focus upon life-cycle costs and impacts vs. first costs are the most important considerations to a successful strategy.

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.



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.

Why the majority of CMMS System Implemenations Fail

The majority (60-80%) of CMMS implementations fail for the same reason that the majority of ERP systems and IWMS systems fail…   the lack of  due consideration of robust, lead, processes and procedures.   Quite simply, technology is used to automate existing processes vs. implement more efficient, transparent, collaborative, and accurate policies and procedures.

For example, virtually none of the major (or even minor) CMMS or IWMS technology vendors incorporate a standardized cost database, such as RSMeans, from which users could compare their actual material, equipment, and labor costs against a localized reference standard.   “Just plain stupid”, right?

What good is a CMMS system into which an Owner inputs their own experiences without comparison to industry averages, best-practices, or any third party metrics?  What can these Owners possible be benchmarking against?  How can goals, objectives, targets be established?

1. How many Owners understand the difference between CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) and CPMS (Capital Planning and Management Systems) and the absolute requirement for BOTH relative to efficiently managing larger facility portfolios?
2. How many Owners continue to be reactive in their capital allocation, even with a CMMS…aka spending 60%+ of their budgets on emergency or unplanned maintenance vs. planned, preventive and/or predictive maintenance?
3. How many Owners still wallow in design-bid-build and change-orders, legal disputes, and poor quality vs. collaborative efficient methods such as Job Order Contracting and Integrated Project Delivery?
4. …..
The sad part is, there is a lot of information out there on efficient life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  Why are many facility management executives still supporting unsustainable business practices?   That’s the hard question.

Facility Life-cycle Management Framework



















Facility Management Process/Technology Roadmap – BIM, IPD, JOC, TCO, EVM, IWMS

If you believe Cloud Computing is “hype”, “unsecure”, “won’t be accepted as an enterprise-wide solution”…. WRONG.

Significant change is upon the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, Owner) Sectors, and many are unprepared.

BIM… as a process (not as a 3D visualizuati0n tool) will be commonplace, in parallel with cloud computing, total cost of ownership, as well as efficient construction project delivery mechanisms such as IPD (integrated project delivery) and JOC (Job Order Contracting).

Currently used techologies and processes such as IWMS (Integrated Workplace Mangement Systems), EVM (earned value management), and LEAN are interim at best as they do not provide the level of domain-knowlege, ease-of-use, or scalability, collaboration and interoperability needed to be efficient.

IWMS systems, for example… like Maximo, TMA, Planon, etc.   have roots in legacy applications and/or specfic knowledge-domains (such as CMMS-commuterized maintenance management, or CAFM-computer-aided facilities management/space planning/utilization).  Despite attempts to provide equivalent levels of sophisitications across all requisite domains, they appear to struggle at best.

Similarly, processes sush as EVM or ” earn-valued management” are being applied to Construction Project Management.  While this may represent a step forward for many construction firms and Owners, is far too simplistic to enable facility life-cycle management and/or total cost of ownership (TCO) level decision support.

The convergence of BIM as a process and Cloud Computing provides the enabling platform for facility life-cycle mangement.   The future is now.

What is COBIE ?

COBIE is a process framework for collecting llife-cycle building information.  COBIE requires OmniClass,  a CSI data architecture/classification/taxonomy.  (Uniformat is a part of OmniClass).

The COBIE framework can be used with BIM or independent of BIM.

COBIE is intended to allow repair/maintenance/renovation task data to be electronically exchanged.

The Construction Operation Building Information Exchange (COBIE) is an “international standard format” intended to improve the transfer of  design and construction information to the operation and management team.