BIM for Building Management

Posted on May 20, 2011


Recently I spoke with a friend who works for a national group purchasing organization (GPO). He was picking my brain on new procurement opportunities his GPO could offer his member hospitals.

As our talk evolved toward building maintenance and management, he asked if I was familiar with a particular software for hospital owners to manage their building. It was so foreign I cannot remember the name of it.  I told him I was not familiar with it, and noted I did not advise clients on software to run their facilities; that is their choice, usually based on facility standard and familiarity.  However, I noted what I felt would be worthy of his research:  Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Coming from the procurement side, he was not familiar much with BIM, and definitely not in the building management capacity. I informed him BIM was a design and construction tool, but quickly becoming the chassis around which hospitals will manage their facilities and systems.

Its strength is that it contains all accurate information from the design side. An accurate BIM model would have the correctly scaled proprietary (brand & model) HVAC units, ductwork, piping and electrical runs, as well as other system equipment and capacities. The BIM model consolidates what was once a complicated mess of coordination drawings, diagrams, shop drawings, addenda / revisions, and as-builts.

BIM is only growing in applicability and importance. For those unfamiliar with BIM in a building management, do look into this effort and its applicability to your facility.