From BIM to Facility Management (CAFM)? It's easier than you think!

"Costs associated with the design and construction of buildings are quite small compared to the operation and maintenance costs throughout a building’s lifespan. This is where you can find great opportunities for reducing operating costs", says Christoffer Rygh Fladby, who works with BIM and CAFM in GRAPHISOFT Norge.

He is supported by the Technical Manager of the company, Frode Saltkjelvik, who points out that as much as 80 percent of the buildings that will need facility management for the next 40 years have already been built.

"There is a lot of talk about BIM models in connection with new buildings. We want focus on the value created by developing BIM models of existing buildings."

There are many benefits: The property manager wanting to rent out commercial premises, the caretaker renovating and ordering materials, or the procurer ordering cleaning services. A majority of people still use outdated drawings or have to measure the area again – every single time. By having the area properly measured you can save a lot.

"So how do you get started?"

It doesn’t need to be very complicated

GRAPHISOFT Norway has a lot of knowledge from the construction and real estate industry and has collaborated with contractors, architects, engineers, landscape architects and builders since ARCHICAD was launched on the Norwegian market in 1993. Now they want people to know that it does not have to be complicated to get started with BIM modelling.

"Some may find it a little daunting to read about magnificent new buildings that are being designed and completed in BIM with a complete digital twin", says Saltkjelvik. "It’s amazing that this technology exists, but many find that it is distant from their day-to-day work lives. Most builders, managers and landlords have other challenges and needs, and for many, the most important first step is to get started with digitizing outdated building plans from old DWGs and PDFs."

Square footage is everything

"Most people ask if it is expensive to get started", Fladby explains.

"We want to show that the savings can be great, even early in the process using slim BIM models. Here in GRAPHISOFT, we say that area is everything", says Fladby. "A complete overview of the available square footage is the main reason to get started with BIM. It is the starting point when buildings and properties are traded or leased. Overview of costs and expenses will be estimated by available area. But BIM models can give you so mutch more even on a low level, like wall area, ceilings, windows and doors etc."

Once the models are made, it is easy to reap the rewards. Some use 3D models to be able to visualize the building for potential tenants. Using BIM it is easy to design new, alternative solutions to meet the tenants wishes and needs.

Another example of extra profit would be that ARCHICAD makes it easy for the landlord and builder to update the fire and escape routes when upgrading a building. The BIM model is also used when applying to the local governments for needed permission. Using models, one will also be able to carry out regular building inspections and make sure that the requirements for universal design of ICT are met.

BIM – step by step

"Start with the drawing basis you have", says Saltkjelvik. He believes it is important that the work of modeling in BIM is in proportion to the gain you are left with in the end.

The drag and drop function in ARCHICAD makes it possible to easily create models using the drawings you already have, explains Saltkjelvik. He emphasizes that it should be easy to get started with BIM, and advocates to start one step at a time. The BIM model can be improved and expanded upon as needed.

ARCHICAD is compatible with over 40 file formats. This allows the program to handle most substrates. Built-in tools and functions allow the program to effectively create digital models of existing buildings.

The model can be used for continuous rule check and check that the requirements for universal design are met in softwares like Solibri.

Easy to use

ARCHICAD adapted for design of building structures in Norway and therefore easy to use. The same regards localized versions for other countries like Finland and Sweden etc. After taking a 3-day course you will be ready to get started.

"We always have an initital conversation with our customers to map out their needs", says Fladby and points out that there are varying degrees of requirements based on the complexity needed. It is also not unusual for this to change along the way.

He encourages anyone who has questions about how to get started with BIM to contact GRAPHISOFT.

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About Eline Navrestad

Eline Navrestad is a journalist from Norway.
  • Norway