BIM2FM: How digital building management works

Making effective use of BIM data in facility management

Building information modelling makes it easier to plan and construct buildings, as well as operate them. But only under the right conditions. Christian Gavesi, project manager at bbv, explains in an interview which hurdles arise when using BIM data in facility management – and how Insel Gruppe AG is tackling them today.

04.09.2023Text: bbv0 Comments

Mr Gavesi, building information modelling (BIM) involves the digital collection and modelling of all the relevant data of a structure. What advantages does that have for the life cycle of a building?

Thanks to BIM, everyone involved in the construction of a building have access to all the building’s data – up to date and in a central location. This makes coordination between builders, architects and planners significantly easier: planning errors and deficiencies are recognised quickly, and quantity surveys and cost calculations can be directly carried out in the digital model and are visible for everyone. But this ‘digital twin’ also has clear advantages later on in the life cycle of the building – for instance in facility management.

So BIM also makes it easier to operate a building?

Absolutely, because you don’t need any other form of data collection for facility management thanks to BIM. All data necessary for commissioning can be taken from the BIM model and migrated to your own system, for example to software for computer-aided facility management (CAFM). This enables you to plan the entirety of building operations in advance. On the other hand, the building data and 3D models are available for additions and conversions later on. Thanks to BIM, exchanging information is more direct, faster and smarter in all life phases of a building.

This offers an enormous opportunity for hospitals and clinics in particular, which are under increasing cost pressure today.

Providing medical care to patients is heavily dependent upon the cost-efficiency of a hospital. Technology, infrastructure, maintenance and energy costs are critical factors in the smooth operation of a hospital, in addition to patient care, fire safety and increased hygiene requirements. Data gathered as part of BIM provides the utmost transparency regarding the building as well, thereby making facility management easier –  keyword BIM2FM. But only under the right conditions.

What are these conditions?

One major challenge for facility management is obtaining that data which is actually relevant for operating the building. A ventilation system alone can include more than several million different attributes in a BIM model. It doesn’t make sense to move all of this information to your facility management software. In addition, you have to ensure the quality of the data: planning data is often structured differently and may have to first be properly prepared to be used in a management tool. The business thus has to be able to independently gain sovereignty over the data that is important to it and to ensure its quality.

The Berne-based Insel Gruppe AG was facing precisely these challenges in the operation of its new headquarters BB12, and bbv developed ServiceHub for this purpose. How does this solution facilitate the migration of BIM data to a facility management system?

ServiceHub is a data hub that enables the iterative, partially automated exchange of data between various source systems and the FM system of the Insel Gruppe hospital (Inselspital). In doing so, the solution offers different configuration options to determine the granularity of the data transmitted for your own needs. Which data do you need, and which not? Which information can be bundled and simplified? The settings in ServiceHub determine the scope and level of detail of the data to be delivered.

How is data quality ensured?

ServiceHub contains a quality control centre which visually represents the entire data preparation process – from obligatory fields through to specific catalogue values. This quickly makes clear which data from the source system has already been correctly collected in the target system, and which has not. For example, if you try to import catalogue values from the BIM system which are not stored in the facility management system, this data is marked in colour. So the data is checked in the quality control centre, adapted if necessary and then migrated to the FM software.

Which users is the solution designed for?

Our vision from the very beginning was to develop a data migration platform which people in the business can use, without in-depth IT knowledge, to prepare BIM data and make it usable for facility management – and keep it available for planners and architects for later building projects. And we accomplished this in the form of ServiceHub. To my knowledge, there has never been a solution like this before. Normally, IT specialists are heavily involved in the ordering, preparation and migration of building data. With solutions like ServiceHub, the business independently handles this entire process and can prepare the data in accordance with its needs. This saves time, and the data is prepared and migrated by specialists and in accordance with their wishes.

So this approach is essential for future BIM2FM projects?

Absolutely. Without data hubs like ServiceHub, it is practically impossible for a business to manage, control and import the sheer amount of BIM data for its own facility management purposes. This ability to procure data in the depth necessary for building operations independently and without significant IT expertise is the innovative aspect of ServiceHub.

The expert

Christian Gavesi

Christian Gavesi is a senior project manager at bbv. He has many years of experience in the lateral management of project organisation, in particular in healthcare, telecommunications, public transport and in the insurance sector. He accompanies interdisciplinary projects and provides customers with comprehensive support on their journey to a premium software solution.

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