Building Information Modeling (BIM), as its name indicates, is a methodology in which the 3D model created is not merely a “drawing”, but each element has its information linked and assigned. A parametric model is thus created with information that involves each agent within the project and provides guidelines on how to carry it out. It could be perfectly defined as an intelligent model that collects the information of each element of the project.
BIM is composed of several levels, known as the 7-dimensional BIM. In this article we will talk about the seventh dimension, aimed at the application of Facility Management and Operations (FM&O), setting out the pillars on which this dimension focuses.
Pillars of the 7th dimension BIM (FM&O)
The main parts that make up this dimension are:
- Life cycle strategies: all assets involve a few years of existence and a life cycle in which the different parts of the asset have to be maintained, reviewed or even replaced to extend their duration as much as possible and be of good quality. With the BIM methodology and existing applications, a series of strategies can be created that offer these possibilities to the asset.
- BIM As-Built file: taking into account the methodology, this implies changing the initial file offered by the agent in charge of the project. If there is any modification in any of the phases, it has to be included in the final model. In this way, we can have true and current information of the model in each moment and not the initial one not agreeing different points.
- Inclusion of operations and management manuals: within the different parts of a project the building book is delivered, which details all the necessary and recommended operations that should be carried out on the asset to maintain its good condition. Carrying out all these operations will prolong the life of the asset.
- COBie: exchange of information on the different elements of the asset collected in spreadsheets, detailing all the information necessary to identify it. It is used especially in the case of needing to exchange some element to know what the requirements would be.
- Maintenance and technical support plans: the definition of the necessary maintenance operations is one of the options that are less developed or even non-existent in the different software and the options of choice are scarce.
- Cloud file for updates: projects do not end at the moment they are carried out but continue to exist over time until the end of their life cycle. Bearing in mind that updates are not only carried out when the project is finished, but also through its execution and the rest of the phases, access must be gained to the asset file to operate with it.
Whenever it is necessary to modify any element, the model will be made and updated, taking into account that all the agents involved will have access to the model before, through and after the end of the project.
The best method to be able to modify the model and create the new files that have access to all the agents will be a Common Data Environment (CDE) that can be from web access to the different options that we can think of for the creation of that environment dedicated to the common data for use and transformation of all agents. Most of the programmes also provide the aforementioned environments, although it is true that without having the availability and/or licence of a programme the options are restricted.