I’m excited to start a new series of blog posts called Lifecycle BIM Perspectives! 

In addition to my occasional musings on Lifecycle BIM technology, processes and value, as FM:Systems engages with more and more AEC firms and their owner clients, I will interview a key participant in the project about their thoughts on BIM for the building lifecycle.

My first interview is with Mark Mergenschroer, BIM Innovation Services Manager for TME, Inc.  Mark is working on a new construction project for a major correctional facility and actively preparing BIM data to streamline handover and jumpstart facility management.

How is BIM revolutionizing the design and construction industry?

Building Information Modeling is making the AEC community communicate better. Communication, as we all know, had been a thorn in the side of our industry for years. BIM now brings everyone to the table, with everyone hopefully being on the same page. Information is such a key to design and construction, why shouldn’t we share the information to give our clients a better deliverable?

How is a Lifecycle BIM method different?

With Lifecycle BIM, we will have the correct data in a central location, rather than spread out across multiple servers. Having a central database of information will reduce the number of errors, omissions and duplicate information. This will also lead to a better understanding of the systems within the building as we should have the facility management involved in the BIM process. Understanding how a building operates and functions early in the project is key to Lifecycle Management.

Will FM:BIM make a difference in your business? How?

FM:BIM will make an impact by looking at the Lifecycle of a project from concept. Have the database for the entire project team, including building owners, readily available with help with some of the issues we see today. Having the correct information in one central area is such a key to having great building information. FM:BIM will be a key in the future of the Lifecycle Facility Management.

What were the challenges you faced with Lifecycle BIM on a project? What were the successes? Lessons learned?

Our biggest challenge has been consistent data collection and making sure that all parties involved are working for the same goal. We have found that several people want certain aspects when it comes to the lifecycle of a building and some people think certain information is not useful when others think the information is very useful. 

The successes…

Being able to bring many people to one consistent platform, with all of the data looking the same for each user. Being able to consolidate all of the information in one database, with one log-in, is what our clients are considering success.

The value of using our Design/construction deliverable to capture the Lifecycle information. Rather than letting the data be pushed to the side and forgotten, we can now use the database to give the client a wealth of knowledge for the facilities.

Lesson learned….

I needed more knowledge about process, understanding the data collection process is what I came away with. You can collect all kinds of data, but it does you no good if the client will not use that data.

Be prepared early in the process. Give them useable kickoff documentation that is on their level and that they understand is also a key lesson.

Education of the client to the process before the Needs Analysis is done. The client needs to know and understand the process before we really determine what Lifecycle needs they will want to track.

If I could do my first Lifecycle BIM project over again, I would streamline the beginning of the process. More work needs to be done before the needs analysis, so that the client understands what is about to happen and they can come to the table with well thought out decisions at the analysis, rather than taking up time because they don’t understand the process.