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BIM Track—Intermediate

Courses labelled as tbd are placeholders for future development. We encourage you to submit your comments, proposals for syllabi and details of your ideas about these courses.

Leverage design and documentation

The Design Prototype Model is the second step. It is central to the process.

Design Prototype Model (DPM)
To most people the DPM is a “normal” model. You develop the DPM based on the decisions reached in Validation. The DPM most closely matches the models shown by vendors or used in a nonintegrated virtual building model environment. The models that you have seen have probably been DPMs.

The DPM may flesh out the Digital Repository Model or the Concept Vision Model. It can also be an entirely new design direction in response to the Validated Program. You and the owner decide how to proceed with this step. Decisions, decisions, decisions

The first decision concerns the design solution.

Is the concept in Validation the best solution? If so, you continue to add detail to your Concept
Vision Model until the DPM is ready for the next step.

If not, you use the constraints from Validation to create the best design solution.
You have an additional option. Some projects are too large, too complex, or require special handling. For a variety of reasons, a large firm or a “signature” designer may be required. In this case, the Validation becomes the framework for managing the design. As the owner’s trusted advisor, you transition to other roles.

The second decision concerns implementation. What is the best format for constructing the project?

Do you have a constructor that can work from the model? If so, you are really integrated. You likely do most of what this course recommends daily. You built the DPM to allow for integration with the constructor. Your model includes the basics to support 4D and 5D. You model all systems with this in mind.

Would some level of design/build be best? Earlier we discussed using the Concept Vision Model and Validation data for bidding design/build. With the DPM, you can take this a step further. With the DPM, you have an ideal tool for reducing design/builder uncertainty to achieve better bid results and smoother projects.

Will the process look a lot like a traditional design/bid/build? You will have to produce public bidding documents. You will likely comply with a rigid review process that has defined submission requirements. You will concentrate on building the model to a level that complies with your submission requirements.

You may find that your Concept Vision Model already includes all required Design Development documents—as soon as you compose your views on standard sheets. With a bit more effort you will have 50% Construction Documents.

You will create a well-thought-out plan for how to integrate consultants. You tailor your plan to the implementation approach. Much as in the “normal” process, you tailor specialist support to the project. You ask questions:

  • What support is required to produce an excellent project?
  • How will I integrate consultants? Have they integrated their internal processes?
  • Can they work with my models? Can I integrate their work?
  • You should also consider the level of design analysis and data sharing that will happen in the project.
  • Do your analysis tools require any “special” data?
  • Must you fill in extra data fields in objects to use online tools?
  • Do you need to place layers or zones in a certain way to ease future development?

BIM is about making early decisions. You should think ahead about your models. If you plan to analyze your building for sustainability, you should address this up front. The same is true for any analysis tool.

This is a place where “barreling ahead without a plan” can really work against you. Too often, those new to BIM have gotten far in the process, only to find out that much of their work was for naught. They could not use the model for the purpose intended.

The process relies on creating prototype models that contain the right information for each stage of the project while looking forward to future needs. You arrive at this step in an instant, from the perspective of the overall process. Yet the DPM is critical to success. It must be well conceived and built to a repeatable standard. It must support what comes next.

Gear the design prototype model toward creating biddable documents. Include the detail needed to support that goal.

Construction Prototype

You are not limited to any specific construction delivery approach. You can use the process for all delivery methods. Tailor your services to the approach that is best for your client.

Construction Prototype Model (CPM)

Are you public bidding your project to general contractors?

The CPM continues the development of the Design Prototype Model. You have arrived at this stage with much of the production work already built into your model. Your goal is to maintain this advantage as you extract and compose bidding documents from your model. The level of detail and complexity that you build into the CPM allows automated extraction of construction detailing, schedules, and other documentation required for the bidding process.

This one process may require old-fashioned 2D drafting. However, this happens within the framework of the model, but in 2D linked windows.

Your bim tool should automate much of the process. The goal of this model is to produce clear, concise, and complete documents for public bidding, with a minimum of mundane and repetitive work.

Integrating other team members’ data is critical to this prototype. As you move forward with the process, your consultant teams should consist of people who understand integration. They should be as invested in the technology as you are.

Today this is not always possible. In fact, today this is unlikely to be the case. Therefore, you may have to rely on translations via “flat” formats.

Plan your CPM production process accordingly. Some team members will be fluent in data sharing, some will not. You will find that you must take responsibility for the entire effort. Team members who work in a BIM environment are rare. So are architects. Fortunately, this is changing fast.

You should also consider the long-term use of your model.

Will the constructor use the model for conflict checking, or for 4D or 5D analysis? If so, it should be set up to allow this to happen.

Will the model become a long-term asset for the owner? Will you use the model for facility management and operations? At this stage, your model includes much data. Now is the ideal time to connect this data to a computer-assisted facility management system.

These considerations are critical to the process. If you are not thinking long range, you are not really doing BIM.

How do I charge for BIM?

Fees change

As a young architect, I was taught that you had to match the work effort to the available fees, if you hoped to be profitable. When the costs to deliver a project exceed the fee for the project, you are in big trouble.

Architects sometimes forget this simple equation, because they are architects first and business people second. They sometimes value the design process much more highly than others do.

  • Architects sometimes work their way into traps that get them into trouble.
  • They spend excessive time refining the design.
  • They undercut their ability to do the detailing and construction documents.
  • They focus on the aesthetics and forget to answer the mundane questions of how and how much.
  • They delude themselves into believing that they understand what drives the owner and what makes construction efficient.

The traditional five-phased process minimizes architects’ abilities. The process is fraught with disconnected tasks, repetitive work and mundane processes. In theory, the process moves from gateway to gateway, building detail as you progress. In reality, it is inefficient and unwieldy.

If you step back, look at the character traits of a good architect, and compare them to the character traits that would get the most from the traditional process—there are major misalignments. The traditional process is much like an assembly line—getting high volume from a large contingent of semi-skilled laborers.

Integrated practice is a very different approach.

  • It more closely aligns with the characteristics that we associate with architects.
  • It reduces or eliminates mundane and repetitive input.
  • It works best for those that can synthesize complex data.
  • It reduces the workflow problems that currently plague architect’s offices.
  • It makes it possible for creative designers to focus on design, supported transparently by knowledge captured in the tools.

We looked at how you allocate fees in the traditional process. You allocate your fees differently in an integrated process. In both you estimate the actual work effort on each project and allocate the fees based on the work effort. In an integrated process, you focus much more attention on the earliest steps in the design process.

Adjust your fee percentages to match the work effort. This makes the fees heavier on the front end.

Overall integrated project fees have proven to be less than or equal to the “normal” fees. They front-load, however.

Experience has shown that owners highly value processes that front-load decision-making. These processes make owners more confident and certain about where their project is heading.

By structuring your process to take advantage of this perceived value, you have the opportunity to create additional services. As a minimum, you have the opportunity to focus the project’s direction. You also have the opportunity to ensure that you are basing your services on the most accurate scope and project scale.

Traditional process fees

To illustrate the problem, let us consider a hypothetical process. The process goes something like this:

You review the owner’s program and develop a concept. You quote a cost per square foot that is no more accurate than the budget the owner developed in the program. The Schematic Design phase uses between 10% and 15% of your fee.

You then develop the concept to define the systems. With a well-managed process, you build on the first step. You refine the concept and your engineers create system concepts. You refine the cost-per-square-foot estimate. Design Development uses 15% to 20% of your fee.

You then produce construction documents. With a smooth process, you build upon the first two steps. More often than not, here is where you and the owner make most of the detailed decisions for the project. Sometimes the decisions require major changes to the work completed in the first steps. Near the end of this process, you prepare your first estimate based on unit costs and assemblies. Construction Documents use 30-45% of your fee.

You then package the documents and bid the work to contractors. Since there has been little (if any) interaction with contractors prior to this, you issue the work and then hold an office betting pool to see who guesses the closest. Procurement uses about 5% of your fee.

Finally, you receive bids. The chips fall where they may. They could be high—they could be low. Common wisdom suggests that they are usually high. If the bids are high, you work with the contractor to cut things out to get to budget—you re-engineer but do not get much value in return. You redesign to cut things out—usually without additional fees. You then have 15-25% of your fee to administer the problems caused by these after-the-fact changes.

What is wrong with this scenario?

  • The owner paid the architect three-fourths of his or her fee before the problem occurred. The owner bears the costs of the items value-engineered out after bidding or other problems that develop.
  • The owner wonders why the architect was not smart enough to see it coming. From the perspective of integrated practice and best use of the Cost-of-Change curve—everything is wrong!

You can change this process, but for now an overview:

  • Use BIM and your knowledge base at the beginning of projects. Make every possible decision, as early in the process as possible. Conceive the design using building information models from the beginning of the process.
  • Manage costs, because now you can get reliable quantities early and often. Use your building information models to communicate with constructors and suppliers early in the process. Tailor procurement to owner requirements and to the most efficient delivery process, for your location.
  • Your fee allocations change. The owner has more certainty of outcomes before spending most of the design fee.

Now let us look at an integrated approach to the same scenario. We will look at how your fees change when you work in an integrated process.

Integrated process fees

To illustrate the fee structure that you may encounter, consider another hypothetical process. The process goes something like this:

You develop a validation study. Within the study, you analyze needs and objectives and create prototype models. You prepare a master schedule and project strategy. You prepare cost models, cost assumptions and comparisons. You run solar, sustainability, and other analyses. Then you spend the time to review all of this with the owner. You document the decisions and embed them in your prototype. Validation uses 20-25% of your fee.

You add detail to the validated prototype. Alternatively, start a new prototype from scratch using the validation as the design control. From this model, you are able to extract nearly any graphic that you can envision. You embed consultant data. You extract views to create bridged design/build bidding documents or prepare for a more detailed model in the next step. You refine costs and analyses. The concept prototype process uses 22-27% of your fee.

Assuming that construction is procured through public bid general contractors, you add more detail to the concept prototype to extract construction documents. The bulk of work on this model involves composing sheets, cleaning up sections, and conducting quality assurance operations. You refine costs and analyses. The construction prototype uses 20-25% of your fee.

You then package the documents and bid the work to contractors. Since you have shared the documents with constructors and the owner from the beginning, you have a clear idea where you are going. You focus on responding to all questions and concerns—you let nothing drop through the cracks. Your goal is to eliminate all uncertainty at the bid table. Procurement uses about 8% of your fee.

Finally, you receive bids. You are still at the mercy of the market. However, you have now analyzed, tested, and verified to a level where you have eliminated confusion and the need for most contingencies. Experience has shown that the bids will be within 5% of the budget you validated in the first step. You now have 20-25% of your fee to administer a clear and well-understood project.

The process moves decisions to the beginning. It focuses your energies on creating the correct solution and allocates the funds to support your efforts. The process gives the owner a high degree of certainty. It retains at least as much fee in the construction process as in the traditional process.

You focus your creative energies on getting quality decisions early. You minimize downstream problems. You become more focused on the design and less focused on production. The tools automate much of that for you. Freeing you up to do what you do best.

Design and solve problems.

Scenario-based planning

Be more precise

The built environment is complex. In an ideal world, you look at absolutely everything that affects your design. BIM gives you the tools to focus on an almost limitless range of issues that influence your design in this world. You are able to assess the affect fenestration options have on users. You can know the cost and energy implications for every solution you try. You are able to analyze the response to an attack or an accident—as you develop the design. All of these (and many more) are possible with BIM and integrated processes.

Simulate events

Earlier in this course, we discussed the Onuma Planning System. We looked at how rules-based systems support BIM. OPS also supports scenario based planning on an enterprise level. By integrating verified data with clear visual images, the system allows fact-based simulations.

Knowledge from many sources integrates to simulate events. You set parameters and the system gives you a simulation of what happens.

An example is the ability to conduct security planning with blast analysis that visually displays the effects on facilities critical to an owner’s mission. Since the simulations are database driven you can look at casualties, extent of physical damage and costs to recover.

The ability to integrate this level of simulation allows you and your clients to study the effects of decisions, well before programs are set, drawings are committed to paper or you pour concrete. You are able to “know” context in real time.

Understand the principles

Major strides have been made in simulating Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) issues due to the pressures that developed post-9/11. By integrating CPTED principals, properties of destructive devices and facilities data, systems now exist to predict outcomes at a high level, before a terrorist strikes or tragedy occurs.

The goal is to create the safest environments possible, while supporting and enhancing an owner’s primary mission. The environment heavily influences performance and behavior. By understanding and correctly manipulating the environment, you positively influence behavior and improve performance and security.

Safety and security depend on both physical and operational issues. A physical solution without proper operational changes will likely fail. Operational changes in a “target-rich environment” may have marginal results. Operations integrated with physical changes, assessed early in the planning process is what integration is all about.

Following the principles of crime prevention and emergency management helps you to create a balanced environment where security and emergency response complement design issues. By applying CPTED principles and techniques, appropriate behaviors are encouraged, inappropriate behaviors are discouraged, and emergency response capabilities are greatly improved.

Understand the client’s mission

You can use BIM as a tool to understand the environment and to visualize and quantify options and their effects. BIM as-built models provide security consultants with the information that they need to evaluate conditions and make recommendations. Models, when integrated with GiS, allow effective safety and security analysis from remote locations when conditions prevent on-site access.

The process begins with an understanding of your client’s mission. The security consultant must understand what the client does and how they do it. This is a fundamental step in developing a comprehensive integrated strategy. The adage “one size fits all” does NOT apply to security and emergency response planning. What works well in one situation often fails in another. Each facility has its own unique context and needs its own equally unique plan.

Strategy based on real needs

There are codified standards in use for safety and security planning. They inform a rules-based system. Be careful when using rules-based systems in an automated design approach to safety and security. Used without knowledgeable professionals you run the risk of “garbage in—garbage out” in this area. Personal intervention assures that the output of the rule-based system correctly resolves contextual and operations differences.

You should help your clients’ create their strategy based on their real needs, not on a generic security product. The security consultant recommends tactics to support the client’s overall safety/security strategy. You should also help them to focus on tactics that are appropriate in their specific situation. These tactics should provide long-term performance and value.

Support day-to-day operations

Careful use of your models, scenario based planning systems and security professionals allow you to support your clients’ needs for a safe and secure environment. Tactics implemented without such analysis and understanding often fail from lack of support.

Knowledgeable security consultants integrate security and emergency response considerations into the design during the Initiate Phase. This assures the selection of appropriate tactics that fit with the overall security goals and actual facility use, early in the process. Used as part of the Validation Process, it has the effect of reducing redesign and additional fee costs.

BIM and security analysis are used to develop an emergency response plan that an owner can use to respond to an emergency and then to return to an operational condition as quickly as possible.

An effective plan requires an assessment that will:

  • Identify and prioritize the assets to be protected
  • Define the level of threats the organization and facility may face
  • Determine the vulnerability to the identified threats
  • Evaluate the risks (the consequences of a threat) to the mission of the organization and facility.

You translate this plan into actionable plans and goals. You design implementable plans. You create workable goals that support day-to-day operation of the facility.

Integrate with design

An example is probably the best way to illustrate how this works.

You are designing a new hospital. Parking for nurses is a problem because they work shifts and are often alone after dark in the parking lot. This puts them at risk. The question is how to make them safe?

Parking can be inside or outside of the building. The parking lots can be on any side of the building, close to the building or far away… These are decisions best made by the owner and architect as part of the design process. The security consultant’s job is to find the appropriate security solutions for wherever the parking lot needs to be located. The question becomes how to integrate the selected tactics without interfering with the aesthetics and functionality of the design.

First, consider the issue of lighting. Lighting should be greater than two foot-candles with no bright or dark spots across the entire parking area. The color of the light is also important. It affects the aesthetics of the area as well as security. If people visually monitor the parking lot, it is important that they be able to identify colors. This means white light. Other requirements become important if surveillance is by CCTV. The requirement can also change depending on the type of cameras and systems in use.

This is but one small example of the security issues that need to be integrated into the design. There are other considerations, such as paving material and color, which affect lighting and the surveillance capability. How these surfaces wear and change over time also becomes part of the consideration.

Tailor your approach

By identifying issues such as these, the security consultant provides a performance specification for lighting. The style, type (halogen, mercury vapor, or metal halide), and location of the lights must still be selected by the owner and the designers.

One of the benefits of BIM is you can model these options and visualize them before you finalize the design. You can extract the costs of installation, operation, and maintenance so that the decision will take into consideration life cycle costs.

Knowing this information is an extremely important security consideration. If you do not maintain security tactics, whether due to funding or inaction, you lessen their effectiveness and they may even become a liability for the owner.

The process is the same for any other part of the design: First, identify the possible threats, then determine how the environment contributes to making the facility vulnerable to the threat, and then determine ways to mitigate the threat.

For every situation, there is more than one solution. There are many ways to reach the desired goal. It is up to the security consultant, the designer and the owner to determine the best solution. The beauty of BIM is that it allows you to evaluate alternatives early in the design. By developing and integrating security early in the design process, you truly integrate it into the environment instead of security being “bolted-on” after the design is completed.

With the traditional process, the bolt-on approach has all too often been the way most designers do security. The bolt-on approach is arguably responsible for many recent security failures.

Integrated practice and BIM let you do security a better way.

Focusing your efforts to integrate security and other similar issues at the beginning is a very different way to start a project.

Owners embrace the process once they understand the level of information that you are providing about their project. Using BIM to study everything that influences a project, at the beginning, is invaluable.

Normally architects have floated an architectural concept and then waited to work out the details in Design Development or Construction Documents Phase. This is the root of many owner problems with the traditional process.

Rules-based systems

Automate the mundane

Is it practical in today’s economy to continue to replace drafting by hand with drafting by computer? Does this really improve the quality of your work? Would it be beneficial to use a process that makes what you know more accessible?

Take a comprehensive look at your processes. Make decisions that, over time, make you more efficient.

Making early, informed decisions and efficiency are hallmarks of an integrated practice. By applying the same tools that your clients use to make informed project decisions, you can better make decisions—about your business.

At your fingertips, you can have information that is so clear that you can understand the effects of a design decision as it cascades through the environment. Designers of tomorrow will be able to access rich sets of real-time facilities data and will use rules-based systems to eliminate most of the repetitive work. Systems that link business decision-making directly to the design process will be the norm.

These systems exist, although they are not yet in widespread use. You can sign up to use them in your office today. These rules-based systems are rules-of-thumb on steroids. They can codify the knowledge about any subject. By defining how these bits of knowledge interact with each other, they are able to automate most of the fact-based assessments that drive planning.

Here is a simple example:

Extensive lists of everything that makes up a kindergarten classroom exist in many forms. These lists include every desk, chair, pad, toy, chalkboard, light fixture, and toilet. Architects have expertise in the project type. Educators have researched and tested countless approaches to kindergarten.

From this knowledge base, you can define the items that must come together to create a kindergarten classroom. You can create a basic parameters list.

Extensive data exists for the costs of materials and labor, by location codes for much of the world. The same is true for structural loads, accessibility requirements, life safety requirements, and most other codes. Statistics also exist about how many students, teachers, assistants, and parents relate to a given kindergarten classroom.

You can define the measures that control the size, shape and quantities for a kindergarten classroom. You can create metrics.

From these metrics and the parameters list, you can program an intelligent planning system. You can create a system to remove the mundane from the design process.

For example, you can create a system that “knows” that for each five-year-old student, you need x amount of carpet, y amount of general lighting, and z amount of furniture.

A rules-based system for planning kindergarten classrooms starts with a form to allow the user to input the numbers of students and proposed location. From these two inputs, the system computes the size of the space, and the quantities for all parameters that make up the space (floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, systems, equipment, and people). The system also computes all code issues and costs.

By adding intelligent objects that can understand the data created, the system creates a prototype model and places it in Google Earth. The model contains the parametric data for all items that make up the kindergarten classroom, both physical and operational.

This system exists, today.

Decision support

Rules-based systems are a path toward systems that you can use effectively to truly deliver complete BIM for your clients. The Onuma System™ (Onuma System) is online and available today.

The Onuma System is a Web-based application for building owners, designers, contractors, and product manufacturers to help them to manage the full life cycle cost of building ownership. From early planning and schematic design, to design development and automatic construction document output, Onuma System provides an intuitive user interface that allows you to create complex, shared BIM across a wide section of the industry.

Large-scale facility programs, individual projects and construction product implementations can all use the system. Enterprise clients such as the United States Coast Guard (USCG) use Onuma System to manage and maintain their facilities and infrastructure systems. They use it to link their facilities to their mission execution. The Coast Guard uses Onuma System for projects such as their Sector Command Center (SCC) schematic design development process. The result has been improved building life cycle management and better allocation of resources.

The world’s largest property manager, the General Services Administration (GSA), lists Onuma System in their BIM Guide as an approved tool that meets their criteria for an enterprise application to deliver BIM.

Product manufacturers use Onuma System to manage complex product data in a Web-enabled environment. Manufacturers such as Fypon use Onuma System to interact with customers on the Web to specify products and automatically generate shop drawings from the Onuma System database.

You can create complex models with the system, after minimal training. It is not limited to large organizations with training programs. Individuals can effectively use it.

Individual architects, educators and owners use Onuma System to plan schools, housing and offices. Onuma System users realize immediate benefits as they create BIMs that automatically connect with other data in distributed systems on the Internet.

Integrated systems, such as Onuma System, allow users to capture knowledge and better understand how this knowledge connects to the built environment value chain. The system gives the user the ability to analyze information in easy to understand parts, while keeping the information connected to the whole.

You can use the tools in Onuma System to integrate decision-making with an owner’s business processes. By connecting facility information (building condition, available space and physical attributes) with an owner’s budgeting, human relations and maintenance planning processes, you make decisions in context. No longer must you make a decision with inaccurate or incomplete data. You make decisions with facts and a clear understanding of relationships.

The ability to make early, informed decisions is one of the major benefits of BIM. Yet, without information sharing and access to data, this benefit never really materializes.

Onuma System

Onuma System links knowledge across not only one organization but across an entire industry. These links are not apparent at first. Normally these data sources are not interconnected. However, the system is able to exploit information to get the facts and then to serve them up in a form that you can understand and use. As the data sources build, Onuma System becomes more intelligent. This intelligence allows you to integrate your process with the real world.

The system builds knowledge with every project.

First Onuma System supported USCG projects.

The data and linkages were then adjusted for GSA BIM Guide requirements.

The system has further evolved to support GiS to BIM links to integrate with Google Earth and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards.

This was an unprecedented feat to develop an open Web service architecture to exchange BIM and GiS data.

The worlds of geographers and architects are converging. Building “blobs” on maps now contain the complete code for everything about the building. They are no longer a geometric shape on a piece of paper. They are BIM. Everything is georeferenced. This convergence has enormous implications for our future as designers and planners of the built environment.

Onuma System is a Web-based bridge to allow data sharing between both worlds. With this bridge, BIMs can become part of geospatial applications. They can then share information and integrate that information in context. The Web Feature Service (WFS) of Onuma System uses the linked BIM and GiS data for emergency preparedness and other infrastructure assessment needs. This ability to share and use data across both the building and GiS industries is a model for where integrated practice will go.

Automated design

You have the ability to integrate BIM and GiS today, using systems such as Onuma System. Some of the opportunities it offers include:

Create a customized system for automating many design processes. Using parameters in a powerful database linked to visual images, you can rapidly assess multiple solutions to complex design problems. Link your institutional knowledge in a Web-service database to support automated design. Capture the knowledge that makes you special.

The combination of automated design with a dashboard view of integrated data allows you to interact and make decisions in real time. A simple, intuitive interface allows you to adjust to changing processes without the need for endless software technical support.

The USCG uses automated design to expedite mission support. Their Sector Command Centers have proven that it is possible to tie design directly to business objectives. These projects use automated processes to generate BIM at the building, space and furniture level from programming requirements input by the user. All while connected to business needs and mission requirements.

Integrated procurement and supply

Create furniture, equipment, and materials in an object database and link them to almost any inventory and procurement program. Existing manufacturer data is also imported and used in the same manner. Suppliers then use this centralized data to allow the automatic shop-drawing generation and other functions. Manufacturers such as Fypon use Onuma System for this purpose, today.

Automated construction site

The ability of Onuma System to support open standards and link to distributed systems through Web services allows multiple solutions for intelligent and automated construction sites.

Intelligent facility operations

Predict when and where to expend resources to best support mission requirements using facility condition information and mission dependency measures.
Lifecycle management and information integration*

By capturing knowledge and storing it in Onuma System, you retain corporate knowledge. You provide new staff with dependable historical data that would otherwise be lost as experienced staff retire or move to other opportunities.

An intuitive user interface allows your staff to teach themselves how to use the system. As they interact with the tools, the system adapts assisting in life cycle data management. This is one of the highest forms of information integration.

Embrace the long view

Operations & Maintenance

The processes to this point produces highly detailed and complete digital models that can be used for long-term operations, running simulations, and planning for the project’s life.

Budget restraints often force owners to focus on one project at a time. Deferred maintenance is a never-ending problem. These owners face a dilemma of where to apply limited funds. They often use architects’ services to design a specific renovation or new project, period. It is rare for these owners to undertake a comprehensive program that fixes everything at once. You will usually be faced with a specific need that might have any number of follow-up needs.

If the owner has implemented a BIM process, you can interface to “plug-in” discrete projects. If not, BIM offers a number of possibilities for positioning these clients to move their facilities to BIM.

Today most owners do not have an integrated system in place. They have not implemented BIM. Usually the owner is wrestling with issues of conversion costs and development of standards. The owner may understand the potential benefits, but legacy restraints keep him or her from getting there.

In most cases, you will find that the best solution is to develop a master model with simple placeholder prototypes. You can then place your project in the master model and develop it using a bim solution. Then, as the owner develops additional projects, the framework is in place to grow the master model.

You will have successfully completed your project using the technology and created a path for the owner to build a BIM solution over time. This allows your project to move through design and construction into operations and maintenance. You leave the owner with a BIM framework that is sustainable and economical. They may not know how to use it, but it is a first step. It creates an opportunity for you to work with them to begin the transition.

When owners learn they can directly use your models to connect to their capital budgeting and facility operations processes, the framework that you created becomes valuable. At that point, the architect that can plug into their new master model becomes more valuable. In fact, it may make you indispensable.

Facility Management Model (FMM)

The FMM becomes the archive for all facility information. You add data in the normal course of business allowing the model to grow over time. By including Web-based Facilities Management and long-term management of information, you are able to support owners though the entire facility life cycle.

Traditionally, planning, design, construction, and facility management are separate tasks in the life cycle of a building. From the perspective of the owner, separating these tasks resulted in additional costs and inefficiencies. Elimination of waste and inefficiency such as this is one of the most beneficial parts of BIM.

With BIM, you extract most building information from the model. With this information, you can automatically handle a much larger portfolio. Facility management support becomes a natural outgrowth of design and construction phase models.

FMM tools are available, but not in widespread use. You can use models at any level to populate these systems. You can use any model from the CVM to the Construction Model to populate facilities management tools. The FMM systems spin off management support data and become property management tools. These tools allow you to synchronize a model with the facility management database via the desktop or a Web server.

The data contained in your models allows the owner to analyze and monitor their facilities using tools such as Business Intelligence’s Crystal Reports.

Integrating facility management forces you to take a long view, in order to maximize the benefits to owners.

Existing facilities

We have already built up much of our world. In most areas, you have to work with existing facilities. Existing structures and owner legacy systems are the norm. Is there an ‘easy’ way to start, in this environment? Is it possible to start a bim project with an existing building, economically?

Let’s look at several scenarios:

Existing conditions

Some architects and owners have looked at their existing facilities and abandoned all hope of changing to BIM. The cost of creating existing conditions models has been their excuse for not implementing BIM. The reality is much different. With a bim solution, existing facility models are economical.

Here is what you will find when you dig into using bim for existing facility owners:

Multi-facility owner—take a phased-in approach to developing as-built models for these owners. It is possible to create prototypes for a large number of facilities located throughout the world, very rapidly. These prototypes can hold whatever legacy information exists (areas, coordinates, program data, and planning rules).

Prototypes established this way become ideal candidates for rules-based systems. They can be upgraded to include geometry and detailed facility data. Ideally, every project undertaken once you create the first prototypes will use a BIM approach. As you renovate or replace facilities, the prototypes will become more and more precise. Over time, the owner will have built a real BIM system.

Renovation projects—these projects come in all shapes and sizes. No matter how renovations are developed, they all include some level of field review, diagnostics, and existing conditions documentation.

If you do much of this work, you have learned to take archived as-builts with skepticism. They are usually inaccurate. They are often uncoordinated and are usually not up to date. Often they represent several unconnected renovation projects that require you to piece them together.

Because of this, you usually field check, verify measurements, and create base plans from scratch—even if the owner provides you with electronic as-built documents.

You can design your BIM process to stop this mess. The bim as-builts that you create for the renovation project becomes the ideal first prototype. It, for the last time, aggregates the flat as-builts, acts as a library for owner information and creates a starting point for further design.
Millions of square feet of this type of model have proven that they are economical within standard fee and time limitations.

Multi-building installations—projects within multiple building complexes can touch nearly any building or use type that you can imagine. They can be renovations or new. They can involve infrastructure, or not. They operate as a microcosm—a world of their own. In this environment, the capital improvement plan is king.

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