BIM in FM or FM in BIM?

How’s this for a breath of fresh air?… last week I had a meeting with a client who brought along their FM team leaders!

As most of us already know, this is the next stage in making BIM work; first the consultant design teams adopted BIM, then contractors climbed on board, clients are engaging… now FM companies are investigating and realising where the opportunities lie.

One of my co-speakers at The Green BIM Conference, Marilyn Standley Chair of BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Managers) stated in her presentation that

…currently most Facility Managers will work their entire careers without being involved in a new build process…

If, as an industry we are going to improve the way our buildings operate, we need to include FM input at the briefing stage. All too often (currently 99% I imagine) of FM companies ‘inherit’ the building’s they operate upon completion, only to then find that it has been compromised in one form or another. There is then a need to ‘tinker’ with it to make it work the way it should… This is a brand new building!

Then we come to energy use; it is a fact that on average there is currently a 30% difference between a building’s designed performance and actual performance. This gap can be reduced, not only by the BIM process but with input from the building operators or end users during the briefing stage.

The opportunities to make a difference with building performance are there, we just need to make sure the right people are aware of them and allow them to have their experiences heard.

For me, this week really was progress and it’s up to us (the design team and knowledgeable BIM folk) to expose the end users to the possibilities of what the BIM process can offer them. The ‘light bulb’ moments I saw only prove further that the BIM process is filtering through to the right people.

So, BIM in FM or FM in BIM? Whatever you decide, its a good thing… go share your experiences!

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