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Survey highlights positive benefits of BIM for facilities management

15 August 2017

BUILDING INFORMATION Modelling (BIM) has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the facilities management industry, according to the results of a new survey published by The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).

The FM Awareness of Building Information Modelling survey, developed in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, aims to establish a benchmark of the current perceptions of the impact of BIM on the FM sector and the benefits and challenges it. The key findings of the survey were: 

  • •83% of respondents believe BIM will help support the delivery of facilities management, with the same number indicating it is already having an impact, or will do so, in the next five years;
  • 81% agree or strongly agree that BIM may offer companies that adopt and use it an advantage over those that do not. While, 83% agree or strongly agree that BIM has the potential to deliver significant added value to FM;
  • • Only 39.8% have some experience of being involved in a BIM project and just 20% have direct experience of writing or implementing an Asset Management Strategy;
  • 72% say the FM industry is not yet clear what BIM is and 67% disagree or strongly disagree that the FM industry is well prepared to deal with BIM projects, indicating more work needs to be done to ensure people are better informed about and more prepared for BIM projects; and
  • This aligns with the 91.3%t of respondents who agree or strongly agree that facilities managers would benefit from more familiarisation with BIM to be able to define the outputs in.

Some of the key benefits of BIM to FM highlighted by the research included helping strategic decision making about asset maintenance and management, Visualisation in terms of customer perception of their buildings and assets and for staff planning maintenance and health and safety issues.

BIFM’s research and information manager Peter Brogan said: “It is clear from the survey’s feedback that the majority of FM professionals both in the UK and internationally are aware of BIM and interestingly, a high percentage of people indicated they felt BIM might offer organisations a competitive advantage. However, the level of awareness and familiarisation varies widely across the FM industry, with approximately half of the respondents indicating that FM is not yet really sure what BIM is. 

“BIFM recognises this is an important requirement to do more to help support people who are starting on their BIM journey and want to get it up to speed. Although the wider benefits are generally acknowledged, they perhaps need to be made more transparent and better promoted to facilities managers, clients and investors in order that they understand why they should buy into, and equally as important, drive the BIM process by defining.”