The next stage of BIM

For many in the property industry, BIM is a fairly new process. For our team, more than four years into the adoption of the technology, we are taking it to the next level and reaping results for our clients and project teams.

Smarter BIM processes are streamlining the design and construction of buildings as you may already be aware, but we are also using BIM to make facilities management much more efficient and increase the capability of building management systems.

Today we share with you some of the smarter applications of BIM we are working on at ADG. We have divided our article into two areas:

• BIM in Design and;

• BIM in Facilities Management.


Co-ordinated architecture and engineering design

Sure, BIM has been used to detect clashes in architecture and engineering design for some time now, but our team have this year, taken collaboration so much further.

Tightly woven Architectural collaboration is becoming more and more possible as the trust for each other’s processes and practices builds across the industry.

In some project teams, we are working seamlessly with the Architects to remove duplication of effort around structural design.

On these projects, we are taking the Architects structural intent and working together without duplication to ensure that our model is the baseline for setout of the structure. Previously, time was spent by an architect designing a column, and an Engineer then had to track what had been changed by the Architect in each drawing, so the Engineer could redraw the column to update their diagrams… a direct duplication of effort. Not anymore.

Complete Architect/Engineering collaboration is no longer “the future”. It is here today for our team. There is now, only one column in the designs we do with these more evolved architectural firms, and the architecture and engineering design teams works off the same model to place it once, not twice.

In some cases these days, where the trust within the team is well formed, Architects are relying solely on our concrete model for setouts, no longer modeling any of the concrete setouts. It requires close collaboration and a high degree of mutual trust.

All of this effort is being used to save time, limit risk and quantify uncertainty for our clients, which everyone is looking for in this economic environment. The teams that are collaborating well on projects using this technology from design to construction are reaping the benefits.

Modelling to speed up QS pricing

The other benefit BIM has brought about is a rapid change in the process of pricing and repricing a building. At ADG we are using BIM to model our structures elementally, adding detailed information so that a Quantity Surveyor can extract all the information needed to price the building. But the really clever parts come in after pricing the first time, when all amendments made to the building design are readily tracked in the model extracted quickly for re-pricing electronically by the QS. It reduces a significant amount of manual effort by quantity surveyors again driving efficiency for our clients.


Facilities management models for day-to-day use

Many of today’s managed commercial and government buildings are looking to integrate models into their facilities management processes that make building management and maintenance easier. BIM models do this, and are rapidly becoming the tool of choice to check the locations of services when repairs and servicing are required. They are also a valuable live information resource when planning building upgrades and can be used to evaluate energy efficiency, carbon footprints and other building optimization benefits when combined with software.

We are preparing several models for facilities management clients, mapping the existing buildings services, structure and elemental design into an interactive model supported by documentation. Facility managers then guide the maintenance and improvement of their assets using real, live data.

Once a facility model is done, even simple upgrades like replacement of chillers can be tested for space, building access, connectivity and building impact before it arrives. We’ve seen many projects where walls have had to be removed to get an ill-planned chiller into a building. If planned correctly, large assets can be delivered in parts and assembled onsite to allow for building access where scales if externally constructed would not allow.

Making buildings smarter

Many asset owners are looking for ways to extract value from their asset, so we have been working with them to link large building models with smart building management and asset management software. Our models provide detailed context to the building management software and allow for much smarter decision making.

For instance, if room 21 in a large hotel or hospital has its air-conditioning is running at a higher capacity than the other rooms to chill the room to equivalent temperatures, a facility manager can get a solid insight into why through the model interrogating the issue before considering going to site.

They can pull up the model and data attached, check the room size is equivalent, the external factors impacting the room, such as windows, shade, window covering, sun path and highlight any issues in the asset that can be flagged and make decisions without or before inspection.

In this day and age, saving the time of a facilities manager, working offsite, traveling to site for an inspection is important and valuable.

The world of BIM is moving fast. At ADG we pride ourselves on building a BIM capability that delivers real results on our clients’ projects and invite you to explore how our BIM capability can work on your project.