Gee emphasized the importance BIM plays in building lifecycle management, "because the GSA is a facilities management operation." Maintaining accurate information from early planning through construction to operations and maintenance can be of great importance. Some information is more valuable than others. "MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) is a big thing – it is very closely tied to facility management, which is critical to GSA," Gee says.
An example of how accurate building information can reduce facility maintenance costs was offered involving Chicago's 40-story, 1.2-million-square-foot Kluczynski Federal Building, completed in 1974. Gee says, "We get ten to 20 calls a day from tenants who need service related to building operations. They are too hot; they are too cold; the door needs to be fixed."
The process was to go to the tenant, identify the problem and then get resources necessary to address the problem. "Each call could take between four hours and a couple of days," Gee says. "We learned there are 26 different lock sets for doors throughout the building. To fix a problem, you had to go up to the office and then down to the shop drawings room to find the lock set specifications. It could take all day to find the right item."
With an appropriately configured Building Information Model, Gee says it is possible to reduce facility management service calls regarding something like a broken lock in two hours. Applying this savings over the entire 35 million square feet of space managed by the GSA Region 5 will add up to dramatic savings.
Maximo is one of the key facility management software programs that receives data for facility management from the design and construction phases, according to Gee. However, he noted that a key GSA focus is on the Construction-Operation Building information exchange (COBie) to transfer data from BIM software to facilities management and Building Automation Systems/Computer Maintenance Management Systems software, including Maximo and any other software program. He also stated that GSA supports Open Standards.
"For the structural side, can your BIM data be reflected in calculations and be passed through to fabrication?" Gee asked as a means of describing preferred practices.
Another question established a clear preferred practice. Gee asked, "Are you using Revit, or practicing BIM?" Understanding how to use software, and understanding how that software changes your business practices are two very different things. But when you do understand both the software and the impact on business practices, clear benefits are achievable.