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CONSTRUCTION & BIM MALLEABLE MODELLING We need to change the perception that a transition from BIM to CAFM is


challenging and instead focus on how project outputs could have an immediate and practical benefit to FM service providers, says Paul Durant, Strategic Solutions Manager at FSI.


Up until very recently FM operational requirements have been neglected in the early stages of BIM projects, or, if they are considered at all, they are not evaluated with specific emphasis on how FM requirements would be implemented in an operational CAFM system.


Our early experience with UK BIM projects is that the FM team is involved only after construction or right at the point of handover, leaving the FM team with a digital output from the BIM authoring software expecting them to work out how to use that data operationally on their own.


As BIM becomes more prevalent in FM we hope that FMs are engaged much earlier in the project. But, while we are still in the early days of adoption, it’s important for us to address the challenges posed at handover by simplifying the flow of data between BIM software and CAFM.


Mobilisation To start with mobilisation, most CAFM systems and FM providers will probably have their own methods for collating and importing data, many of which will require some element of manual data entry, consuming time and resource.


With BIM projects, almost all of that work has already been completed and, at handover, the FM teams are provided with ‘as built’ asset data, including accurate connections and sub-components of assets, as well as a wealth of type-specific asset detail such as product specifications and expected lifespan.


Typically, BIM projects will use a universally recognised categorisation standard for facility and asset data, which encourages accurate and consistent classifications of facilities, spaces and assets and in the longer term will allow collaboration and comparison of trend data with other BIM estates.


However, simply dumping this BIM data in to a CAFM database isn’t appropriate and FMs also need to be confident that the data they receive from BIM projects is fit for purpose. Many BIM outputs contain information which isn’t relevant to the operation and maintenance of the facility, and can often use unfamiliar terminology that doesn’t match up with the client’s established asset naming and classification terms. Too much detail in an unfiltered BIM output can be overwhelming when imported directly into a CAFM asset register.


Another concern that will be familiar to many FM providers involved in BIM projects is how to incorporate BIM Level 2 quality data and classifications for new facilities in an established CAFM system. How do you reconcile the depth of detail and defined structure that’s provided by BIM with the ‘legacy’ pre-BIM data that’s already in your asset registers?


To meet this challenge FSI have developed an import tool that can take an output from the BIM Authoring software and automatically creates all of the Facility and Asset information in the FSI Concept Evolution CAFM system, including Buildings, Floors, Locations, Areas, Assets,


44 | TOMORROW’S FM


twitter.com/TomorrowsFM


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