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Submitted by Erin Benn on 7 August 2018

 

Facility managers have a difficult set of responsibilities to keep track of, with ongoing building maintenance and cost savings being at the forefront of their concerns. Because facility managers are focused on so many different building pieces and components, adoption (as well as excitement) of building information modeling (BIM), can be at the very bottom of the heap. And that’s a shame, as BIM data could prove extremely useful to facility managers and owners.

So, building owners take note: Here are four big ways BIM data can help with the facility management, through the entire life-cycle of the building.

Performing inspections

Something as routine as building inspections to make sure all openings are in order can be an arduous task. As a start, a facility manager might spend the bulk of their time trying to locate past building records, as well as current building plans that may or may not exist. If those records aren’t up to date then they have to manually check the entire facility which can eat up a lot of time -- and that’s not even considering the need to catalog and document what isn’t compliant or requires new hardware. But using tools like Openings Studio™ makes this process easier by allowing distributors, contractors, and building owners to create Smart Tags -- scannable QR code stickers -- which can be attached to door frames. This allows facility managers and maintenance staff to quickly and easily identify the door and its corresponding hardware. Scanning the QR code on a phone or tablet pulls up installed data about the door, frame, and hardware, including not only the manufacturer of each part, but also the part numbers and corresponding product data.  This could include installation instructions, product warranties, and anything other relevant data to inspecting the opening -- and it’s all paperless.

Replacing hardware

Sometimes hardware breaks or only a specific opening or two is affected by a small renovation. BIM data, especially when used in a complimentary software built for collaboration, can be used to quickly find original specifications, identify proper hardware standards, locate inventory, and immediately discover potential costs of replacing or repairing openings hardware.

However, those utilizing the right technology solutions from the building project’s beginnings will save a lot of time. For instance, the Virtual Design Guide, available from Openings Studio, offers a way to pull design guidelines and up-to-date product information to help facility managers communicate commonly used, or even difficult to describe, openings not only in a visual format, but also on a technical level.  This information can be passed along to architects, security consultants, distributors, and contractors for communicating changes on renovations.

Hiring out for repairs

Everyone knows how long it can take to have repairs made. Often times, when a technician is called, they must come out and assess the hardware first before understanding what is installed or who needs to make repairs. But, what if you had that information in hand already? Using BIM data can save tons of time when trying to find the correct person or company for repairs, and helps to eliminate a lot of potential delays caused by outdated or insufficient information. And tapping Openings Studio as a building management tool can also save time, as it allows facility managers to identify the products on an opening from, say, across campus rather than having to visit the opening to find out.

Building record management

Facility managers often are at the mercy of who held the position before them, or navigating through the records the may or may not have been kept by the previous building owners or staff members, if they exist at all. On top of that, they’re charged with keeping up with building records over time, which tends to be a fairly inefficient process and one that’s hard to keep track of over time. But with the right software solution, BIM data can help to communicate and share information in a way that leads to better and more accurate record-keeping, including changes for new building codes, repairs, or additions.

Conclusion

Investing in BIM tools and software is not just a better way to manage and keep track of new building projects, it’s also a tool that can prove extremely valuable to building owners who want to make sure facility managers are able to keep pace with changes well into the future.