Bristol Business School: using BIM for facilities management
Taking BIM beyond design and using it for cost effective facilities management of an occupied university estate.
The recently completed Bristol Business School is not just a pretty building. Behind its facade hides a BIM model that we successfully integrated into University of the West of England’s (UWE) computer-aided facilities management system (CAFM) using the COBie data schema.
The sophisticated information model is now helping UWE not just to manage and report on its new facility efficiently, but to plan its maintenance more straightforwardly too.
For an owner-occupier with an enduring interest in the cost-effective operation of its assets, this looks like a compelling return on investment.
Right client, right time, right place
UWE is an experienced construction client. With a valuable, burgeoning estate, it is deeply motivated to take a long-term strategic view of its development and agile enough to link capital to operational expenditure. It is no surprise, therefore, that it was prepared to commission Stride Treglown to push the BIM Level 2 model past the post-completion stage and into facilities management (FM) territory.
Developing the client brief
We collaborated closely with UWE to develop their brief from the start. It was important to leaven our understanding of their vision for the future with the day-to-day realities of the estates team’s CAFM information needs. From that we distilled a Custom Data Delivery schedule that prioritised only the most critical information.
The brief set, we then collected exhaustive amounts of information from the supply chain with help from the main contractor, ISG, to ensure that there was nothing missing in the model.
25,000 lines of data later, each object in the BIM model was robustly linked to a system, product, space and zone.
COBie won, and nobly
Data becomes truly powerful when organised into knowledge. Very unusually for construction projects in the UK, we delivered the Bristol Business School project’s data in the COBie format. Collecting the data and then applying the format took dogged persistence but was the lynchpin to our success in integrating all the data into the UWE’s CAFM.
The resulting model gives them instant access to live data from across the estate, making the maintenance and operation of their assets more efficient for their hard-pressed FM team.
They can access specific characteristics about each component, such as its SFG20 maintenance codes, condition reports, health and safety ratings, fire ratings, and voltages, totalling a massive 41 lines of data fields per object. All product manufacturer data is also included, putting everything the FM team needs in one place. This radically simplifies and clarifies information management for the duration of the building’s life.
The future’s golden
The integrated asset model adds value in countless other ways. UWE is able to receive works requests, make statutory inspections, and carry out planned preventative maintenance more effectively, to tighter timescales and budgets. It will also help in any future refurbishments or extensions, all of which can be monitored in the same way. They anticipate saving between 20% and 40% on lifecycle costing.
UWE Bristol’s BIM Manager Mike Ford is impressed. He said:
“The asset data from the model is extremely valuable to UWE as an owner occupier and is the backbone to our facilities management processes.”
With the UK Government’s ongoing commitment to BIM, this project will put UWE in poll position to reap the Digital Built Britain policy’s considerable potential.