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Integrating BIM with CMMS

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  • Question from a reader, Matthew Judge:

    Does anyone have any plans to integrate BIM with their CMMS? If so, what is your strategy and process for integration and type of CMMS?

    Original post.

  • While not everyone will agree with me, the integration of BIM's information into a CMMS tool and workflow is premature.  BIM offers opportunities to capture data much more cohesively with new construction, but since ~80% of current projects these days are renovations, information is scarce or very difficult to obtain.  Also, the

    current fees I've seen can escalate with the addition of BIM requirements.  Rather than ask about plans to integrate, it would be worthwhile to scrutinize effort-benefits.  This is especially true since CMMS packages can require 70% rewrites and customization to an owner's requirements.  Nothing is turnkey these days.

  • CMMS Computerized maintenance management system..

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  • Yes. Integration of CMMS with BIM is planned and initial steps being taken to prepare. Consideration is given to the cost though the benefit in terms of life-cycle appears to justify based on just a few parameters 1) continuous improvment in methods and means for facility management requires up to date and accurate information. This is true for space planning, additions & renovations, maintenance all the way through decommissioning. 2) considering implementation of BIM in just a relatively short period of time it is probably pound foolish not to prepare for additional data integration such as M&V, load shedding, lighting, increasing potable water costs [the next comodity], more strict regulations, etc. 3) utillization of tools such as COBie and other information exchanges permit for smoother transition of data from construction to CMMS 4) ATC/BAS/SCADA system drivers which trigger CMMS tickets also identifies location, space and equipment with relative information from O&M, warranty, etc, from BIM which facilitates better response from workforce - whether internal or external and provides for transitions from one vendor to another or new employees who may not be as familiar with large geographic or campus systems.

  • Excellent question! I’ve provided some thoughts below that seek to align with the three areas you are asking about and build upon the responses above.

    Strategy to Integrate CMMS and BIM

    • At the highest level, CMMS and BIM integration requires an understanding of what is being integrated: the model and/or the information. (Remember: BIM stands for building information model – often times architects, engineers and contractors focus on the model).

    • I somewhat agree with Doug, but suggest that CMMS BIM integration is at the early stages, and some FM teams are making excellent progress (check out the new BIM for Facility Managers book just published (www.amazon.com/BIM-Facility-Managers-IFMA/dp/1118382811 )– it includes some case studies of real examples).

    Integration Process

    • As Doug suggests, the integration is about work flow. One of the largest reasons why the information is difficult to obtain is that what is desired for use by facility managers is not clearly defined. However, this is a challenge that can be overcome.

    • Although it may come with an “extra cost” up front to collect this data – if your goal is to have a CMMS that is populated with data to support maintenance management decisions, the initial cost will more than pay for itself in time savings after the data is uploaded. I could not agree more with Gregory’s item #1 about data and accurate information.

    • I will also echo support for COBie, the construction operations building information exchange, standard. The use of this standard can help to minimize manual data entry during the CMMS data population effort and can also help to determine what data to populate into the CMMS.

    • The true value of using open information exchanges, such as COBie, is the long term benefit of integration of the CMMS with BAS, CAFM, GIS and other FM systems – this is perhaps the most visionary part of BIM for FM.

    Type of CMMS

    • If information is the focus, I would recommend a COBie capable CMMS, see the 2013 COBie Challenge for Facility Management results: buildingsmartalliance.org/.../march2013cobiechallenge However, when selecting a software product, it is important to remember that knowing what data will be populated into the CMMS, how the data will be collected and who will provide it.

    I hope this helps – I also recently authored an article for Building Operating Management that is scheduled for publication, I think, in May, on FM data and COBie and am currently working on another for Maintenance Solutions with Birgitta Foster on CMMS and COBie. If you have further questions, I’d be glad to talk with you – there are so many facets to this topic – but the industry needs innovators such as yourself asking these challenging questions.

  • Integrating BIM into Facilities Management tools, a visual and interactive environment is added to the workflow. For example, an air handler unit can now have warranty information, links to operation and maintenance manuals, and links to real-time data such as air flow and temperature, wiring diagrams and spare parts lists. In addition, model element location information can now be linked with CMMS and CAFM systems. This allows facilities management teams the ability to have the necessary information in a more tangible form at their fingertips creating efficiencies in their day to day task.

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