BAM FM: “The BIM genie is out of the bottle – there’s absolutely no going back”

Kath Fontana

A leading Facilities Manager at one of the UK‘s top firms has discussed how FMs should respond to the rapid rise in Building Information Modelling adoption.

Kath Fontana of BAM FM is currently a guest writer on the official website to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and she believes that “the public sector’s increasing focus on BIM shows that the operational stages of a project will only become more important”. With that the public sector will expect FMs to be ready, and Kath gives her peers valuable advice on how to handle the demand.

Fontana first addresses public sector momentum, stating that it cannot be ignored: “The recent Digital Built Britain report is clear about how the government wants to move BIM after 2016. This includes creating new commercial models that link design/build/operate contracts, and developing commercial mechanisms requiring FM to deliver against BIM standards.

“Public sector requirements are going to be increasingly robust for FM. We can’t ignore this momentum and we need to respond well to this public sector challenge.”

Kath also notes how the private sector are also keen to see BIM implemented on their projects, especially ones of a new, speculative nature. She elaborated: “The private sector is very keen on BIM, especially for new speculative developments. BIM is seen as cutting edge and high-specification premium buildings expect to have a model as part of the handover package.

“Facilities managers working with premium developers are starting to be asked to handle BIM and digital FM.”

Kath also lists 10 key points that facilities managers should know about BIM, enabling them to make the best of the process.

1. BIM is just as much about digital FM as it is about virtual construction.
2. BIM is bringing transparency of asset data and so it is bound to change how FM is procured and managed.
3. It’s absolutely not about more work, it’s about smarter working.
4. It applies to all public and private sectors and all types of property, from housing to hospitals, and will be incredibly useful for all buildings, not just new build.
5. Project size does not matter. As more buildings of all sizes have models, BIM will be the standard way to do things.
6. It’s not about technology, it’s about process and collaboration. Facilities managers do not need to be experts in CAD technology or 3D modelling.
7. New commercial models are coming and FM should help shape these.
8. A focus on post-occupancy evaluation will mean FM needs to support the collection, interpretation and analysis of this data.
9. Facilities managers need new skills and capabilities to engage with BIM, work with post-occupancy evaluations, get involved with the design teams, etc.
10. The BIM genie is out of the bottle – there’s absolutely no going back.

The article, which also sees Fontana discuss FM and BIM maturity and the benefits of BIM, can be found here. We highly recommend reading this highly informative post!

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