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Workplace


Liz is an enthusiastic player of video games and was no


stranger to working within the world of virtual reality. She laughed recently when she heard the results of a Gallup poll which was taken a few years ago in the US which said 80+% of the workforce was not engaged in their jobs. This was hardly the case of the RE and FM digital workplace team as they bring the same sense of adventure to their work whether it is during design, or a project like this in the early construction phase, or even post-commissioning when they can use the data they collected from the digital BIM during the previous stages of the building’s life-cycle. As a technologist working in the real estate and facility management digital workplace, Liz uses her skills with augmented reality and virtuality, as well as knowledge of analytics, 3D printing and new drone technology to create entirely new and innovative ways to transform O&M. Gone are the days when O&M was considered jobs for low level technicians. In the New Facility Management paradigm, the job of using these innovative technologies to maintain the life-cycle of the built environment is one of the most important work processes performed in the company as it enables the creative consulting geniuses to do their jobs with no thought of the fact that they are working in the most sustainable, healthy, collaborative and cost effective environment possible. Okay now I must confess, this is not a true story, but one that is based on real technology that has not yet been released to our profession yet. Leading real estate and FM software developers are now piloting this new technology to deliver substantial value to the market, combining 3D software with mixed reality and collaborative platforms for life-cycle planning, design, construction, operations, management and optimisation of a building portfolio. The purpose of the above futuristic scenario is to provide a glimpse into just one of the possible ways that traditional operations and maintenance processes can be enhanced as we create a new facility management paradigm. Soon, instead of basing decisions that will affect the management of that building throughout its entire life- cycle on a 2D or 3D model disconnected from the real building, the model and the real building can be compared in the field during construction. Repairs or renovations then no longer are dependent on the experience of the engineer or architect’s judgement during a condition assessment. The 3D model is now stored centrally and allows more scientific based decisions to be made as a result of the collaborative virtual environment which can be accessed and manipulated by all of the people involved in the project. Later on, Images can be captured on the state of deterioration and information regarding causes and repairs for a particular type of building component can be called up to support any deferred maintenance decision. This same information is valuable for the project management team when they plan for rehabilitation. This new futuristic world is very exciting and alluring,


but we cannot forget that today we still need to implement technology that is available today and keep accurate operations and maintenance information in either


72 FACILITIES


IWMS or CAFM solutions1


. O&M is the source of a large


number of the problems faced by workplace managers and account for over half of the total cost of occupancy (TCO) for a building. Particularly for existing buildings, there are many opportunities for cost, operational and sustainability efficiencies in automating O&M processes. When last surveyed in 2012 (Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey), 44% of all commercial building space in the US was found to be over 23 years old. Therefore, we have lots of existing building stock to create more efficient and effective O&M programs for cost savings, customer satisfaction and more sustainable environments, for both interiors and exteriors. Before we can realise the vision that Liz has set out for us in the beginning of this article, we can begin by taking advantage of 3D modelling by transferring the relevant BIM data captured in the design and construction phases into to IWMS. As RICs has stated in their June 2015 report BIM and the Value Dimension: The value dimension of BIM is therefore defined by the information or data required during the assessment of the risk, growth and depreciation status of a property and provides a description of its performance through life. This lifecycle perspective includes its original commissioning, project execution, operations and maintenance, and recommissioning/disposal. We believe that value is enhanced even more when most of the data resides in IWMS or CAFM and flows back and forth between these systems, as well as CAD, GIS and now moving into the 3D realm and eventually, the mixed reality worlds of the real estate digital workplace.


References 1. IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System) and CAFM (Computer-Aided Facility Management)


2. See any of the work of Alcinia Zita Sampaio and Augusto Gomes from the Technical University of Lisbon on this topic, but the best research publication is from the International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering, Volume 4, Issue 4, entitled “Maintenance of Building Components Supported on Virtual Realty Technology” (April 2014). It describes in detail how VR applications support the condition assessment of roofs, facades and painted interior walls.


Author information


Nancy Johnson Sanquist, Industry Segment Lead, Trimble Real Estate & Workplace Solutions


Nancy is an IFMA Fellow and AIA Associate, and internationally recognised technology specialist with over 25 years of diverse experience in Corporate Real Estate (CRE) and Facility Management (FM), Nancy is a leader in the CRE/FM technology field; she created the first seminar for the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) over 20 years ago. Nancy has conducted numerous technology seminars and training sessions for both IFMA and CoreNet Global in North America, Europe, Australia, India, and Asia. Additionally, she has contributed substantially to the research and development of CRE/ FM through her many written works. She has a B.A. from UCLA, an M.A. from Bryn Mawr College, and an M.S. from the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Columbia University.


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