Using BIM takes property care to “a much higher level”

The New Zealand-based property consultancy Prendos has touted BIM as a great boon to property care in a recent article published to its official site.

Property care is primarily concerned with maximising the physical life of existing buildings, a goal which Malcolm Thomas of Prendos says BIM can help achieve.


“The need to predict events in the future life of a property – rather than simply wait for them to happen – was a key driver in the development of property asset information systems,” he says. “The widespread adoption of BIM now provides the opportunity for building owners to take property care to a much higher level.”


A water leak in a high rise building could be stopped by personnel consulting the 3D virtual model of the building, he says. Staff could also “assess the likely extent of consequential damage to hidden components and plan how repairs and replacements might be executed.”


The article highlights how building information modelling, a relatively new technology, can radically enhance age-old practices such as facilities management and property care.


“Linking BIM with geographical information systems, building management systems and other technologies offers exciting prospects for building surveyors,” asserts Thomas, though he concedes that the costs as they current stand could be prohibitive for smaller firms.


“The majority of building managers with smaller and less valuable portfolios may have to wait 3 to 5 years before BIM is scaled down and becomes established for all medium sized projects,” he predicted.


Rounding off his article with a contextual example, Thomas cites a project in the UK, the redevelopment of the Manchester Centre Library in 2013, as an example of BIM ensuring the long-term efficiency of a building.


“The biggest single gain,” he says, “was the coordination of components using clash detection software, combined with a virtual build function, which meant mistakes were identified before work commenced on site.  The use of BIM increased the attention given to the selection of components at the earliest stage in the design process. The project manager observed that BIM provided the perfect opportunity for components to be assessed on all the usual criteria, but particularly on their durability in use.”


Prendos was first established in 1988, and is a pioneer in “leaky building surveys”. It is New Zealand’s largest employer of building surveyors.


Thomas’s article can be read in its entirety here.


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