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How to use BIM Data to Drive Preventative Maintenance


Many Facilities Maintenance and Operations (FMO) teams are turning to BIM to drive the development of their preventative maintenance plans.

This is nothing new and yet, what is new, is the timing. It’s amazing how many organizations wait until handover to receive their facility information. The information may be digital – hurrah! – or more likely, it is in series of paper binders that create a further delay in actively using the information.

There’s a good chance that this includes your organization. If so, here’s the good news…

A structured BIM process, that includes the FMO team from the outset, can capture and deliver the BIM data throughout the design and construction phases.

Imagine if you understood what the maintenance requirements for the facility were before handover.

In this post, I’ll discuss why you should be involved in the BIM requirements from the beginning of the project and how to collect and collate the information, throughout the project.

Why is BIM data so important for FMO teams?

When paper drawings and binders were the way projects worked, it was expected that there would be a delay in having asset data in an accessible format. But that is no longer the way that teams are gathering their information.

Thanks to a wave of technological advancements, asset data is being collected, collated, and audited over the course of the project, enabling organizations to understand their assets earlier than before and develop maintenance plans as the facility is being constructed.

For example, as a generator model element is placed in the design model, certain information becomes defined, that is facility, level, room. As the design progresses additional information is added to that generator. On moving into construction, the trades installing the specific generator will upload information, such as make, model, warranty and manufactures information to a cloud collection server.

How do you use BIM data to create preventative maintenance plans?

The answer is knowing what you need from the outset. FMO teams should have a seat at the table, at the very beginning, as the BIM requirements are laid out. This early engagement allows the FMO team to clearly define what information is needed to effectively run the facility and holds the projects teams accountable for collecting it.

Armed with this valuable information, FMO teams can:

  • Create preventative maintenance plans in advance of handover. With an asset list of what needs to be managed generated early on, there is a clear understanding of what needs to be maintained. Staff can be trained and assigned to complete maintenance. Schedules can be optimized so that the team can be proactive rather than reactive.
  • Manage costs associated with repairs. If an asset fails, the team has a clear understanding of whether it is under warranty and how to repair it without invalidating the warranty.
  • Access asset data with ease. As asset data is transferred digitally, it can be quickly and easily accessed. Unearthing manuals, instructions, and warranties from banks of paper become a thing of the past.

Last but not least, robust, FMO-required BIM data, allows teams to undertake quality control, slicing and dicing their information, gathered from shop drawing approval onward, and build their preventative maintenance plans to understand in depth what they will be required to manage, so that at hand over, it can be moved seamlessly into any software solution.

The time is now

Many organizations are looking to BIM to help consolidate the facility information in a single location. By including the information needs of the FMO team from the beginning and collecting the data throughout the project, FMO teams can proactively build out their maintenance plans, save money on repairs and warranties, and use their data from building handover onwards.

Have you leveraged BIM to drive results in your organization? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

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