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The better way to engage small clients with BIM

Smart buildings and more information about the advantages of BIM could boost the usage of this methodology among the clients

BIM Implementation Asset Management
Published: 13/06/2017

According to the latest NBS survey about BIM usage, only a tiny 25% of the clients currently using this new methodology are actively committed to it. The absence of demand from the clients is the reason why a lot of suppliers haven't jumped into BIM yet. Despite a few government mandates, for example the UK for 2016, the market hasn't exploded as the government was expecting, nor its implementation seems to keep going further. 

On the other hand, the clients don't demand BIM because maybe they don't know what are the advantages for them, and the suppliers and contractors are looking for an extra paid for using it. The commercial arrangements for BIM are still evolving, and there's still to be seen if that will include a payment for the suppliers to reduce their own risks by using BIM. Now the main focus is on the clients. How can BIM reach new potential clients?

The client awakening is turning slow and still far away from the advantages that using BIM can provide for the life asset data. The Internet of Things, on the other hand, is growing faster and tries to reach a built environment, so-called "smart buildings". There is a huge interest in BIM usage to attract tenants to smarter buildings, capable of managing their assets through digital applications that work within the data flow from the systems in the buildings. 


Therefore, smart buildings seem the perfect road for clients because of their easy way to apply it. In a few years, we can be talking about an enhanced facility management, with a better building performance and space usage makes sense from a smart building perspective. We can be facing a rapidly advance in this area, not only in the new buildings but in the existing ones as well. Anyway, these constructions must be aware of their construction and geometry product information to become something else than a building management systems. For the optimization of the management and maintenance of a workplace, the asset information model (AIM) needs to become part of the database.

Because of that, is necessary to consider all the client's information requirements at the briefing stage to be successful achieving both a complementary smart building system and a workable AIM. EcoDomus raises as a common data environment for building life-cycles where integrate all the AIM data flows, the building management system and the ERP (enterprise resource planning) to be able to access the analytics about the work of the facility. 

The client must be aware of the huge costs of this whole-life aspect of their investment. The capital spent has been the main focus of the key performance indicators, meanwhile, other managers will inherit the asset and turn it into the best of it during its useful life. There has been an excision in the barriers between capital and operational expenditure, both in private and public sector. Public clients are being encouraged to think about how costly it is to ignore up front expenditure. We can only hope the new smart buildings attract more clients into asking for BIM. There's still a lot to work to be done regarding this subject, especially from the advisers, that must warn their clients to be more active using BIM, trying to make it more accessible and easy to them. 


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