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What Are The Applications of BIM (Building Information Modeling) Models

Infrastructure
Posted by James Donovan on 18 January 2017 Connect with James on LinkedIn Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

What do BIM Models Currently Cover?

At the moment, BIM models cover the following areas:

  • Architectural
  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing

Each discipline creates a BIM model, and all models are integrated into a composite master model. As more and more business and building applications (such as voice, data, video, wireless and building control services) operate over one network infrastructure, the network infrastructure should be covered under the BIM models.

After all, this network infrastructure is the superhighway for these applications and is commonly referred to as the fourth utility (water, mains power, and HVAC are the other three utilities). This will enable better coordination between the M&E and the network design teams.

BIM and Space Management

Using a BIM model for space management enables the facility team to allocate, manage, and track spaces and related resources within a facility. Building Information Modeling (BIM) permits the team to analyze the existing use of space, evaluate proposed changes, and effectively plan for future needs.

Having accurate and detailed space information is especially useful for planning renovation projects, where some building segments will remain occupied and change during the construction phase. Existing workspace management systems should be integrated into BIM.

BIM and Asset Information Management

Data from a BIM record model can be linked to a database of building assets to assist in maintaining and operating a facility more efficiently. These assets often include the building elements, systems, and equipment that must be maintained and operated efficiently to satisfy the facility users’ requirements in a cost-effective way.

Asset management systems are used to support financial decision making, short-term and long-term planning, and maintenance scheduling.

Using the information in a BIM record model, facility managers can:

  • Evaluate the cost implications of changing or upgrading building assets
  • Track the use, performance, and maintenance of a building’s assets for the owner, maintenance team, and financial department
  • Produce accurate quantity takeoffs of current company assets for financial reporting and estimating the future costs of upgrades or replacements

BIM and Facility Management & Building Analytics

BIM can be used to track, update, and maintain facilities management information to support better planning, operations, and maintenance decision making throughout a building’s lifecycle.

Tracking performance data from the building systems and comparing these values to design model predictions enables facility managers to ensure that the building is operating to specified design and sustainable standards and identify opportunities to modify operations to improve system performance.

BIM – What are the Implications for Building Designers?

Building designers can also use this data to validate and refine their prediction models and evaluate the impact of proposed materials and system changes to improve performance. Existing facility management systems should be integrated into BIM. This is where 6D BIM potentially fits.

Building analytics often focus on building energy use. However, sensor networks are becoming key ingredients of smart buildings and they provide insight into systems operation, building usage and location of occupants.

When combined with building analytics, the data can be converted into business intelligence and allow for informed decisions on energy optimization, operational efficiency and space utilization. This is where 7D BIM potentially fits.

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