BIM for facilities operations for real

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In this post I am going to discuss the top reasons why the Autodesk A360 Large Model Viewer is a game changer for our FM:Systems customers who are adopting a Business Information Modeling (BIM) based approach to building operations.

A360 Large Model ViewerWe’ve been integrating bi-directionally between our FM:Interact Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) and Revit models since 2010 and have been on the forefront of Lifecycle BIM since then. For the most part, building owners who are going to utilize Revit models for day-to-day facilities operations primarily relied upon 2D plan views generated from the model for all aspects of managing their facilities including space and occupancy planning, assets and maintenance management etc.  Traditionally plan views have provided a tremendous amount of information to facilities teams, especially intelligent plans, where users can query a drawing and get direct feedback on space and assets on the plan. We’ve been asked over the past two years when we were going to start providing richer 3D views of facilities as part of our tools. Revit models provide the promise of not only 3D models and rich data but up until recently it was difficult to imagine a technology that took advantage of these additions while keeping the interface clean, fast, accessible and easy to use.  This is a requirement for facilities teams who are considering moving from a traditional 2D process to 3D.

The Autodesk A360 Large Model Viewer has given us the graphics engine we were waiting for that will enable our customers to take greater advantage of their Revit models for operations. Here are some of the top reasons why the time is right now and why we are now making this fantastic viewer available to FM:Interact customers who are beginning to use Revit models in their implementations of our software.


Revit models can be large. They can contain a tremendous level of rich object data that goes far beyond what is possibly in a traditional 2D CAD environment. Facility team members either at their desks or in the field need rapid access to data both graphical and tabular and waiting for excessive load times of drawings or models just isn’t going to work for building professionals who work in dynamic facilities environments who need to handle tremendous workloads. The A360 Model Viewer is incredibly fast and streams the models to the browser real-time in a way that I’ve never seen even with large multi-discipline models.


3D Model Viewers have been around for years. For our customers the rich building data that resides within each of the objects in a Revit model is more important than the actual 3D geometry. A360 not only streams the entire building model quickly to the browser, it also includes the data associated with the building elements in a way that end users can easily select building components in the browser interface and see information about the item they are selecting that is not only in the model but also potentially within the FM:Interact database itself if it has been mapped.

Ease of use

The majority of the end users on facility teams are not BIM experts nor do they need to be. Access to the model and the ability to navigate, select and control what is being viewed has to be simple and intuitive and needs to support either simple mouse navigation or finger gestures when used in a mobile interface. The A360 viewer interface is elegant and simple to navigate, is easy to use and has easy to understand menus to help anyone who needs to access the model in their daily facilities workflows. This can be done with minimal training and a little practice and even the most tech challenged users will be working with Revit models in no time.


Facility team members are more mobile than ever. Being able to access, interact with and report on facilities data through a variety of web-based interfaces is a necessity. The A360 viewer which is integrated with FM:Interact works with most common Web browsers and also supports viewing and interacting with the model directly in FM:Mobile on Apple iOS or Android devices.

We are extremely excited about our new integration with the A360 viewer. We’ll be introducing support for this viewing technology officially in the upcoming release of FM:Interact 8.4 and can’t wait to see it in the hands of our customers who are adopting the use of Revit models for their facilities.

If you would like to discuss system requirements and introductory pricing or to find out how you can add this capability to your FM:Interact implementation please reach out to your FM:Systems regional manager.

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