FM leaders forum perspectives on BIM

Discussion paper

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01 August 2018

Discussion paper


FM has yet to get to grips with BIM and realise its full potential. There are many reasons for this. One is that FM is not part of the initial design team and so can’t provide input to architects and contractors. FM has yet to fulfil the fully-fledged, mission critical role it should be playing in the management of building information modelling (BIM) projects, too often not part of initial design teams and thus not positioned to provide input to architects and contractors. 

A major issue is that data is not shared effectively, which is partly a communication issue (too much jargon, not enough Plain English) but also software packages not “talking to each other”. Together, these problems prevent the project team members from working in harmony. Equally, there are not enough BIM aware clients who appreciate what BIM can do for building life-cycle costs. Instead, most clients focus on capex and see BIM as an additional cost. This thinking applies for buildings that are already operating but also for new buildings, which have many stakeholders financing the construction but who are not concerned with life-cycle costs. 

To overcome this problem, FM needs to make a strong business case for implementing BIM. Case studies of successful projects, such as the new UBS headquarters in London, will help FM raise its game and sell BIM’s benefits much harder to clients. 

The Internet of Things will gradually drive BIM’s assimilation into the FM sector, and FM will play a greater role in a building’s initial design – as long as it can demonstrate deep knowledge of the design and construction process. IWFM and FMs need to communicate the benefits of BIM and Soft Landings and how soft landings would have a financial benefit if engaged with in the long term. IWFM as a body is not just talking about this problem but is drawing up an action plan to provide solutions.




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