BIM and CAFM - complementary worlds
CAFM is established, now BIM is about to follow. This is a good development, because now the entire life cycle of buildings can be recorded both structurally and by the operation. If the systems can be integrated then.
Who leads, who follows?
The question of which system should be the leading is, in my view, clear CAFM to answer. For most of its existence, a building is used, operated and managed. To accompany this is the original task of the CAFM.
In return, BIM provides a variety of relevant data to flank the operation, and it makes sense for CAFM to consider some aspects from the outset, including BIM data CAFM system can be transferred.
Immodest: 5D instead of 3D. Or equal to 6D?
For many, BIM means a three-dimensional model of the building, including its installations, from supply lines to technical installations to doors and windows. This is in principle sufficient for the construction process, but is often already supplemented by two additional dimensions today.
The construction process is planned in steps that follow a specific time dictate and is budgeted. These factors are incorporated in modern BIM planning and extend the 3D to a 5D model. This brings us close to the needs of a CAFM system that requires yet another dimension: the operational data.
So what's relevant to your business?
Operational data includes all those requirements that are essential in the context of maintenance and servicing. These include maintenance plans and documents as well as contracts that may be closed before the building is put into operation, for example with cleaning companies, in order to have the basic cleaning done under one roof.
It is also important to tag and document every technical installation that is later assigned to the Facility Manager's task area. This facilitates later maintenance measures because the operating site can already be localized and virtually inspected in advance on the 3D plan so that, for example, tools can be put together exactly or a ladder provided, if this is visibly necessary.
Integration or coupling?
A highly topical discussion is whether and how CAFM and BIM systems integrated or can be coupled. Whether integration makes sense, I would like to doubt. The tasks of the systems are ultimately too different and an integrative system would unnecessarily complex, so that recommends another method: so-called data drops.
Data Drops is a point-in-time transfer of data from the BIM to the CAFM system. Some of the necessary interfaces are already available on the market, but they could also be programmed depending on the requirements.
Currently, data drops are already used to define milestones for data deliveries in the BIM and to actively control the data completeness in the CAFM system. In principle, this procedure can also be extended to other areas and would automatically lead to the transfer of only those data from the BIM to the CAFM system, which are also needed here for daily work.
Incidentally, a more detailed discussion of the topic can be found in a specialist article in the current issue of the journal Der Facility Manager. If you like, check out March 2017 issue. Or just write me an email.
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