In previous blogs, we’ve covered the advantages of working with 3D-model-based Building Information Modeling (BIM) software during the design and build phases of your project.
This sophisticated tool gives you and your team an accurate image of what the building looks like at every step of the process — a seemingly simple feature that improves communication, building efficiency, scheduling, cost savings, safety on the job site, and the project’s overall impact on the environment.
Those benefits are hard to ignore. But what about after the designers and contractors have completed the structure? Does BIM software help over the lifecycle of a building?
In a word, yes. The information saved in a BIM model or drawing can greatly impact the operations of a building long after construction is complete. More specifically, all the stored data can be leveraged to save more time and money down the road — a selling point that provides long-term ROI for the developers behind the project.
Long-Term Facilities Maintenance: How BIM Can Help
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a newly completed urban hotel. On the outside, it’s shiny, streamlined, impressive in its simplicity. Inside, on the other hand, is a complicated grid of offices, hallways, storage units, meeting rooms — and that’s without even looking at the inner workings of the structure.
Every building, no matter its size or layout, has its own unique equipment — all with their own repair/maintenance schedules and instructions. Above-ceiling AC units, for example, have filters that need to be replaced on a regular basis. This might sound like a simple task, but even something as routine as changing a filter requires locating the unit, determining the size of the filter, and thinking about what type of equipment you’ll need to have on hand to actually perform the filter change when the time comes.
Just taking the time to investigate what goes into routine maintenance can create a lot of extra work for a building operator or facility manager. By using the BIM model — that was already created and populated during the design/construction phase — the facility personnel can quickly look up that information in an accurate, ongoing digital record of the building’s information and be prepared when the time comes to complete the task.