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.

What is the Single Most Disruptive Force in Construction? and why BIM won’t solve it.

Simple answer…  an industry-wide lack of collaboration, transparency, and shared risk/reward.

Change however is possible IF and ONLY IF Owners, Contractors, and AE’s take the time to understand and implement collaborative construction delivery methods correctly.   Job Order Contracting (for renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction projects) and Integrated Project Delivery (for major new construction), are examples of readily available, proven solutions to the construction sectors lack of productivity and legacy of legal disputes.

Fundamental change in how construction industry players perform business must occur.  That said, not everyone will be able to, or wish to, participate.   Excellence in both education and execution are requirements for the transition.

JOC and IPD share the following characteristics:

– Parties that understand and “buy-in” to the processes (not everyone will be up for the task)
– Robust, well-organized cost data (enhanced RSMeans line item cost data with full material, labor, material, and equipment breakdown, supplemented as needed for localized requirements, see
– Shared risk-reward
– Supporting software to assure consistency and reduce deployment costs

Design-Bid-Build, DBB and even Design-Build, DB can’t resolve our industry’s problems. We MUST change.

“Many/most projects are currently done with low bidders, ill prepared, with parties being dragged through the project just to try to get the work done with some reasonable quality. People’s actions are driven in two ways, reward or punishment. There is too much punishment and not enough reward. How many jobs have liquidated damages for delays but how many have you seen that gives a reward for finishing on time or early? We all know that construction is a “risk” business the question is how much risk are we willing to accept for little reward? The issue is achieving and “all for one and one for all” mentality.””  – quoted from a Linked-In discussion

BIM is supposed to be the “life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology”.  Unfortunately, far too much emphasis is being spend on 3D visualization and low level technical “mumbo jumbo”, vs. defining core processes, a robust onology/glossary, and associated sharing of rich information.

Learn or Retire?

The Value of BIM – Building Information Modeling – IPD – Integrated Project Delivery and JOC (Job Order Contracting)

The true value of BIM in NOT in 3D modeling, clash detection, or providing architects and AEC firms a with a better way to “sell” new projects/buildings.

The value of BIM is in INFORMATION and the associated aspects of collaboration and life-cycle building management / total cost of ownership.

BIM is NOT technology alone, but a business process that is embedded within and support by technology. Autodesk, Bentley, Archicad, et al can not and do not supply BIM. They supply basic components of BIM, the 3D visualization engine and an associated database architecture … (both hopefully based upon open standards or they will be of little value). While all three would argue the point, facts are facts. There is too much domain knowledge required for life-cycle management for a single technology vendor to cover “all the bases”.

It up to Owners, Contractors, AE’s, and the wide range of Consultants and Complementary Technology/Software Providers to deliver true value to BIM – space planning, capital planning, operations and maintenance, costing/cost engineering, standardized taxonomies, metrics, benchmarks, decision support, collaborative project delivery processes, etc. …. components that enable a complete BIM system.

Transparent standardized information, collaboration and technology may someday enable BIM to deliver integrated construction / renovation / repair / maintenance / sustainability project delivery on a life-cycle basis.

In the interim, both JOC (job order contracting) and IPD (integrated project delivery) deliver today relative to exponentially more efficient and transparent construction project delivery methods and processes. Both are superior to design-bid-build, design-build, etc. etc.

Both JOC and IPD demand collaboration and both are performance based. JOC drives the project from concept/scoping through bidding, construction, warranty, and close-out.

IPD currently focuses upon collaboration from project conception through start-up, however, can be easily extended.

The limited view of IPD. The contractual IPD based upon various standardized IPD contracts ( IFoA – integrated form of agreement, etc). While the more important view of IPD is extension of the collaborative processes throughout the project and associated use of technology.

JOC already provides IPD and associated technology for renovation, repair, maintenance, and sustainability projects. It is a proven process, developed by the U.S. military years ago, however, currently, vastly improved through the use of technology such as that provided by e4Clicks ( and associated reference cost information (RSMeans) or other price “guides”.

JOC ( also known as SABER in the Air Force ) is available today for renovation, repair, and sustainability projects and is proven to improve collaboration and quality as well as reduce costs. Paperwork costs, which average 2-3% of total project costs are mitigated using JOC cost estimating and project management software (such as e4Clicks Project Estimator), while project timelines can be reduced dramatically, providing exponential value.

While the importance of BIM can not be overlooked as it will hopefully reshape the AEC industry, BIM is currently limited to 3D CAD and modest functionality, requiring the integration of third party software for CAFM, CMMS, CPMS, and JOC to reach it’s potential.