10 July 2014
BIM Academy has launched a service for FM providers and other clients to incorporate BIM into the way they manage assets and conduct FM.
The academic centre and consultancy at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne will offer expertise covering BIM for Asset and Facilities Management (BAFM) to support clients in their transition from traditional facility handover and management procedures to a process that ensures the effective use of digital information and 3D models to deliver greater value to businesses.
The consultancy offer has been set up after "18 months of intensive research, combined with practical experience on a range of projects including Sydney Opera House", says BIM Academy.
Its work for Sydney Opera House helped the academy formalise the implementation of the BAFM process on a variety of projects, and continues to support these organisations.
BIM Academy's BAFM client portfolio consists of both new-build projects and working for clients to ensure that their requirements for operating the building were met during the design-and-build process. This included work done on the redevelopment of Greenwich Peninsula and Newcastle University.
Graham Kelly, BIM development manager at BIM Academy, told FM World that the take-up of BIM was at an "immature" stage in FM, partly because of the breadth of the sector.
He said: "When you get to FM, you have new build, existing buildings, heritage buildings and advanced asset management systems."
This can make it problematic to incorporate BIM into systems, he says: "But we've got that breadth of knowledge we have academic expertise and the practical side, as well as being close to the BIM government task force group."
Kath Fontana, managing director at BAM FM, told FM World: "Anything that supports the broader understanding of the BIM process within the FM community is to be welcomed.
"However, as always, there is no substitute for hands-on FM experience and building knowledge, so I'd expect FMs to work very closely with consultants to support their clients in making sure the information within the BIM is fit for purpose in operations.
She added: "Over time, as BIM becomes the norm, I'm sure that the management of digital information (for both new build and existing estates) will become part of the facilities managers' core skill set."