BIM Operational Models: 3D Models are nice, but Parametric 3D Models are even better!

 

BIM is becoming the standard process for planning and construction of all kind of new building projects (private, PPP, public, etc.). Pilot projects have shown positive results over the past years and the ROI (return on investment) of BIM on both design and construction phases was already proven a long time ago. What is less well known – but potentially as important – are the long-term effects of BIM, especially at operational phase. Indeed, on a temporal scale, conceptual and execution phase of a construction project only occupies a small portion of a building’s full lifecycle. After the handover of a building, the running stage (which could represent up to 95% of the whole building lifetime, from the first shovel in the ground until final dismantling), is managed by Facility Managers.

Facility Manager also can derive benefits from BIM Authoring Models, as soon as the As-Built characteristics are integrated into the final 3D Model handed over. As-built BIM Models are constituting precious tools for everyday FM but they are highly depending on the accurate identification and categorisation of each item and component installed during the construction. Nowadays, new constructions are filled with several sensors and captors located everywhere: such technologies are generating tons of information that are critical for the efficient decision-making processes happening throughout the operational phase. BIM Operational Models are able to handle such data, but only if the corresponding elements and their parametric properties are correctly integrated into the Model.

Thus, Facility Management activities such as the elaboration, implementation, and operation of different strategies for the global and specific maintenance of buildings and their components can be significantly facilitated – or not – according to the parametric modeling choices and quality of the As-Built Model handed over. This should be kept in mind by design teams during the whole duration of conceptual phases; 3D Models are nice, but Parametric 3D Models are even better, especially for further steps.

After all, it is all what collaboration is about: ensure the comfort of the end user while keeping the building’s performance and condition at its maximum, at any time and regardless of the stage (planning, construction or operation).

Contrary to popular belief, BIM is not only for conceptual and execution steps. Everyone should work together and use BIM to provide other stakeholders the best possible conditions for the achievement of better, smarter and optimized building. From the early beginning until the very end, through design, construction and operation.

 

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