Creating potential BIM services for building owners

As a Revit professional you may have wondered why the models you have worked so hard to develop for your clients don’t have a longer shelf-life once your project is completed. Building owners are rapidly embracing BIM as a standard part of the AEC workflow and are now beginning to explore how BIM can help them improve the effectiveness of their facilities operations throughout the building lifecycle. This presents an incredibly rich opportunity for you to extend your services to building owners. You can rapidly realize this opportunity by working closely with owners who have realized the benefits of BIM but who are unsure of which step to take next as well as clients who have an active BIM program but may be under-resourced and can benefit from our deep expertise.

Extending your Revit expertise to building operations is also an excellent way to strengthen long term relationships with building owners and create new services for your firm. The first question you may ask is how can we get started? There are certainly many ways for AEC professionals to start exploring a lifecycle BIM service that they can provide to building owners that goes beyond the design, engineering and construction process of new building. I recommend that you answer the following questions to help you identify specific building owners who might make a good partner to help you explore this potential new offering.

1. Has the owner embraced a BIM process for design and construction?

Building owners who have used a BIM process for design and construction will be familiar with the benefits and represent an excellent opportunity. Together you can build an effective lifecycle approach and you can leverage your Revit expertise and show them how to extend the life of their models to facility operations.

2. Does the owner have a BIM implementation plan that includes operations?

Implementing a BIM plan works best when invoked at the very beginning of a project; however, it’s never too late! The best plans not only take into account how the process will be utilized but also includes the requirements for what a building owner needs to get out of the model later when the building is operational. This includes important considerations such as being able to better predict and plan for expected lifecycle maintenance costs and environmental performance of potentially an entire portfolio of facilities.

3. Does the owner have BIM deliverable guidelines?

BIM deliverable guidelines are truly the key to ensuring that post construction models reflect an owner’s data requirement. The guidelines not only offer access to appropriate attribution but also detail to what level the model needs to be developed to meet the building owner’s needs so that it will be successful for day to day facilities operations.

4. Does the owner have in-house BIM expertise?

If the building owner already employs Revit resources in-house, your role may not include maintaining the lifecycle model; however, this does not mean that there aren’t opportunities for your services. If you performed a key function during design and construction, your intimate knowledge of the model and construction process could provide valuable information that may be lost without your insight.