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BIM Life Cycle Operations Community of Practice Launched at World Workplace in San Antonio, Texas

By Raffy Espiritu, FMP, CEO and President of Impec Group

Raffy Espiritu, FMP, CEO and President of Impec Group

During the IFMA ( International Facilities Management Association) World Workplace Conference that was recently held at San Antonio, Texas from October 31-November 2, 2012 , , one the highlights for me was the presentations made by Andy Fuhrman, IFMA Fellow , regarding the creation of a community of practice in the field of BIM ( Building Information Model ), something that would have a significant impact on the facility management profession.

An IFMA BIM community of practice aims to expose IFMA members and other facility professionals to the full potential and value of BIM and associated practices such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Lean Practices through the Design/Build/Own/Operate life cycle of the built environment. Andy believes that IFMA has a unique opportunity to play a significant role in the development o policies, procedures, methodologies and standards currently being created. He affirmed that our community of practice faces the risk of having to live with less than deliverable by not being involved.

BIM according to Andy is the current hot topic in the industry. He showed in his presentation as who drove BIM and why it is important for Owners/Operators/Facility Managers and what they get out of BIM. He described the current state of the practice illustrating the various components of the Real Estate Ecosystem.

The BIM creators were the general and sub-contractors, architects and engineers and materials suppliers who developed the Building Information Models (BIM). These models were reviewed in turn by local permitting agencies and utilities agencies. Eventually technology tools emerged to support Facility Managers and Real Estate Managers which took shape in various types of software modules that addressed aspects of the built environment from portfolio, space, contacts, projects, leases, requests, work orders, assets, documents, benchmarking, sustainability, quick start. These applications have great value to HR, IT, Finance and Security. BIM has also resulted in the creation of Building Automation systems and Building Management Systems. Andy noted that as BIM evolves, certain areas of the BIM movement will be used by Real Estate Brokers, Financial Institutions, Investors, Validation , Legal, external stakeholders and providers.

Currently, the software use by BIM stakeholders is clearly disparate and uncoordinated. Architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, MEP engineers, general contractors, electrical contractors, IT Engineers, HVAC Contractors, glazing contractors, plumbing contractors and roofing contractors use different software tools for developing their BIM models.

Actual use by General Contractors and Architects show how every detail is analyzed to reach sustainability and cost targets. In the DPR project that Andy shared with the participants, the model showed the hangers and penetrations for the floor located from the model and laid out on the floor from the model data. It also showed how the HVAC duct was modeled, and then sent to CAD/CAM for shop fabrication from which pieces were cut and bent into shape, then arranged for shipping, and delivered to the jobsite as needed and installed according to the model. Every electrical conduit under the slap as modeled laid out and installed per the model. Installations were laser scanned and compared against the model before pours. The entire team designed the hospital, not just the architects.

In the case studies, clear benefits were reaped with the use of BIM. In the University of Colorado-Denver Health Sciences Center, which has project cost of $201 million, the project reduced RFI by 74% in the foundation phase, 47% in the erection phase, completed 2 months ahead of schedule, 6 months ahead if similar buildings for same client not using BIM, 50% reduction in labor and 50% reduction in labor. In the Sutter Health Medical Center in Castro Valley, with project cost of $320 million, the project generated $1.2 million savings in actual cost vs. budget, shaving 2.25 years off design and permit process.

Desired outcomes from the COP are documentation of BIM related best practices and case studies to be used for educating IFMA members, enhancing the knowledge and value of the Facility Manager. At the end of the day, the greatest value is for the facility professional to deliver optimal performance of the built environment and its occupants.