Question:To determine state of the art of BIM-FM integration within infrastructure projects To identify the drivers and challenges of BIM for FM. To evaluate critically, models and frameworks relevant to support information flow.
Khosrowshahi and Arayici (2012) have stated that Building Information Modeling is largely recognized as one of the established design methodologies in the construction business. This has been highly adopted by several architects, engineers as well as contractors in different parts of the world. Therefore, it can be stated that the application of Building Information Modeling for infrastructure has been rapidly accelerating as the owners as well as the engineering service suppliers increasingly identify the reimbursement of 3D modeling using intellectual objects. It is required to mention here that Building Information Modeling is an information-rich as well as a model-centric process with the power to change the release of the project and add worth crosswise to the life cycle of the entire infrastructure assets (Volk, Stengel and Schultmann 2014). Therefore, this particular research work would shed light on developing guidelines for FM-BIM Integration infrastructural projects in the United Kingdom.
Background of the Research
Isikdag (2015) has said that Building Information Modeling is a shared data and knowledge platform for all the existing stakeholders involved in the entire process. Apart from that, this gives a basis for decision making during the whole lifecycle of a building to design, build, maintain, operate and demolish. It can be said that Building Information Modeling can take into account several dimensions of data to support processes for different stakeholders. It has been seen that in various parts, Building Information Modeling has been used as a central information as well as collaboration platform at the time of designing, engineering and constructing of any building might bring many benefits. Yalcinkaya and Singh (2014) have said that it tends to reduce the number of the data sources drastically and it results in less failure; increase the speed of delivery, improved productivity and collaboration and higher quality and lower costs. Therefore, the importance of Building Information Modeling has been gradually achieving importance and thus further research is required on this topic (Meng 2015).
It has not been proved yet that Building Information Modeling helps Facility Management professionals and thus they are required to prove the benefits of using Building Information Modeling. Facility Management is considered as one of the rigid processes and thus, BIFM team need to work in collaboration with the FM professionals to understand their goals to implement a system for the Facility Management.
Meng (2015) has said that the level of Building Information Modeling adoption, as well as the use in the infrastructure sector, is a few years behind the vertical construction. It has been found that almost half of the infrastructure organizations surveyed is at present using Building Information Modeling technologies as well as a process on some part of their infrastructure. UK government has stated that all the central government projects are required to follow BIM. However, the FM team and the professionals have not witnessed the benefits of using BIM. Therefore, they are in a dilemma whether to use it or not presently.
To investigate how early participation in Facility Management in projects can augment improved liberation of infrastructure for operations and continuation.
Research ObjectivesTo settle on the state of the art of BIM-FM combination within infrastructure projects. To identify the drivers and challenges of BIM for FM. To evaluate critically, models and frameworks relevant to support information flow.
Research QuestionsHow to ensure smooth information flow across different life cycle stages within the project What are critical barriers to facility information flow? What is best practice in BIM-FM integration?
Figure 1.1: Research Structure
The first part of the research work seems to be the base of the whole research work and thus, the researcher has tried to mention the key points in the entire task. Apart from that, the learner has tried to introduce the structure of the entire research work in this chapter, so that a brief idea of the whole research work can be gained through this.
In this part of the proposal, a brief description of FM-BIM integration will be discussed.
Figure 2.1: Conceptual Framework
(Source: Made by the Researcher)
BIM for infrastructure
BIM or Building Information Modeling is a very popular design methodology which is vastly used in building industry. Most of the engineers, architects and contractors use this software in their respected professional fields. The function of BIM for infrastructure is continuously growing as authors and engineering service providers are recognizing the benefits of 3D modeling using intelligent objects. BIM is known as an information-rich, model-centric process with the power to transform project delivery and all value across the lifecycle of infrastructure resources. BIM mainly facilitates business processes. It serves to increase clarity of project intent for all stakeholders, ensures data fidelity and continuity across the lifecycle of a project and helps an organization to gain a foundation for their business agility (Khosrowshahi and Arayici 2012).
Importance of BIM
The traditional process of working cannot convene the pounding need for newly transformed infrastructure amid today's economic realities. Companies in infrastructure industry quickly understood that old method by which projects were delivered and assets were managed must undergo a fundamental change to meet critical objectives. It was decided that the gap between investment demand and limited access to capital must be closed to improve productivity and transparency. Because of aging infrastructure and severe urban growth, companies of UK were putting their money and time to offer more creativity for their work to close the funding gap (Eadie et al. 2013). Therefore, Building Information Modeling or BIM was introduced to enhance productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness by transforming processes like business planning, designing, building and managing goods. BIM can close the funding gap by reducing cost and increasing potential sources of funding with more predictable ROI. With the help of BIM, infrastructure companies in UK are hoping to upgrade the infrastructure marketplace within in next 20 years (Volk, Stengel and Schultmann 2014).
Figure 2.2: Infrastructure marketplace within next 20 years
(Source: Maradza, Whyte and Larsen 2014)
BMI in UK infrastructure industry and Facility Management
Driven by policies of UK Government and desperate economic circumstances, the construction industry in UK is slowly but steadily adopting building information modeling. After BMI level 3 document is released, the government of UK continues to drive forward their digital construction agenda, "Digital Build Britain" which was started in February. However, one the area of infrastructure in UK has struggled to cope up with the demands of BIM, which is facilities management or FM. It is suggested that FM teams will be provided a complete knowledge on the BMI model during construction and use of the model to overhaul the efficiency of their management operations. The project life cycle will move forward with time and the same model will be handed back to design teams when the project will demand to be refurbished (Maradza, Whyte and Larsen 2013).
However, Capita, like many companies has argued that post-construction knowledge transfer process in not as effective as other companies are hoping. UK Government has already announced and released their BIM mandate that states all the infrastructure companies must adapt level two BIM processes in all central government projects by 2016. After this mandate, most of the companies are reestablishing their company structure to welcome BIM in their system. However, the FM market having different priorities and ways of working has not engaged in the drive for BIM in the same way (Isikdag 2015).
It is difficult to expect that clients and facilities management teams will invest in the necessary software, processes or expertise to accommodate BIM models. Especially for small organizations, it is not possible to restructure their whole system. Besides, most of the facilities management teams do not use any specialist software at all. Therefore, it is expected that they will hardly invest in niche design and modeling software like BIM (Kelly et al. 2013).
Possibilities of BMI in facilities management
Facility management professionals must use building information modeling processes to realize the full potential of the software for delivering value and cost savings over a building’s lifetime. The First FM leader’s Forum was build to bring leaders of the FM teams in one place and to help them to discuss issues on BIM and facilities management (Kassem et al. 2015).
The primary objective of BIM is to create and maintain facilities that are more efficient having lower carbon emission, lower run costs and more effective and safer places to work and live. The facilities management teams and professionals must allow themselves to understand the BIM technology and its full potential. BIM is transforming their processes to meet the demands of FM. They will have to meet the following things to raise FM profile across the construction industry (Yalcinkaya and Singh 2014)
The demonstrating value will be the primary target of BIM which will allow the FM teams to deliver their jobs more efficiently. BMI will clearly elaborate the meaning of lifetime value of buildings. It will also help the facilities management team to figure out the fact that it includes operational as well as constructional costs (Meng 2015). Another goal of the BIM is to involve the facilities managers at specification stages where they would be in a position to work with a designer on creating digital plans to work (Yalcinkaya and Singh 2014). BIM professionals will have to transform the software in such a way that it can help the facilities management teams to develop their work standard, systems of classification and datasets.
Challenges of facilities management in BIM
The current cultural approach of FM industry in UK is the main problem which is creating obstacles while adopting new processes and technologies. Being rigid in its approach, FM industry will not adopt any new technology like BIM unless its benefits are proven clearly (Yalcinkaya and Singh 2014).
Interoperability between the technologies of BIM and FM is another issue in the handover of information and data to operation stage. For example, buildings where FM legacy system is all set to perform for next one or two decades, facility managers of that building will not use BIM unless the transfer of BIM data is automated and the value of BIM is demonstrated.
Last but not the least, the biggest challenge of using BMI is the absence of proper contractual and legal framework for implementation. However, it is suggested that in near future legal and liability requirements in the building industry will introduce the contract between the two parties which will be conducted via written and two-dimensional graphical form. The primary legal risk of implementing BIM in FM is to determine the ownership of the BIM data and to protect the data through copyright and other laws (Maradza, Whyte and Larsen 2014).
BIM in FM allocation is still considered as an emerging field in UK. The government is forcing the infrastructure companies to adopt BIM for each and every central government projects to save the overall cost. However, the understanding of the challenges and value-adding potential of BIM is FM is essential at this early stage. Therefore, it was important to conduct this research to find out difficulties and values of BIM in facilities management.
After gaining specific knowledge from theories and research works, in this chapter, the researcher has tried to make a suitable research methodology to carry on the entire research work. The raised problems in the introductory chapter have been tried to deal carefully and thus proper research methodology is required to follow. The case study of Northumbria University has been taken into consideration and the research methodology has been conducted upon that.
Selection of Research Paradigm (Positivism)
Interpretivism and positivism are two types of research philosophies and based on the requirement of the research work; these research theories are used. Positivism research philosophy facilitates in preparing critical and rational examination on the on the theme of the research work depending on the appropriate facts and confirmations. On the contrary, interpretivism gives stress on the application of human awareness to examine the investigate problems (Ahram 2011). Therefore, it can be said that positivism research philosophy has been proved to be appropriate for this research work.
Selection of Research Approach (Deductive)
The deductive approach has been shown to be advantageous in several research works, as it concentrates on gaining proper knowledge and use top to bottom approach. On the contrary, the inductive approach seems to be advantageous in those cases, where new theories are required to establish as per the accordance of the research topic (Al 2013). Therefore, after discussing the nature and characteristics of these two research approaches, the deductive approach has been selected here to carry on the research work (Alvesson and Sandberg 2013).
Selection of Research Purpose (Analytical)
Brown and Stowers (2013) has explanatory research purpose helps in creating proper co-ordination between two research variables. On the other hand, exploratory research work gives importance on gathering background information on the research subject since the objectives of the research work is not yet intended properly. Cameron (2009) has opined that analytical research purpose gives importance to preparing for the test association between the dependent and the independent research variables of the research topic. Therefore, analytical research purpose has been appropriate for this research work and thus it has been selected.
Selection of Research Strategy (Case Study)
This particular research study has been conducted on Northumbria University’s city campus that is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. This entire university is made up of 32 non-residential buildings and was started in the year 2010. The commission of the university appointed five developers in order to produce building information models that concentrate on enhancing the performance of the space management. Therefore to gain in depth knowledge, the researcher has conducted an interview with 5 members of the estate department of Northumbria University. Chandra and Sharma (2013) has stated that one researcher can choose the research strategies depending on the suitable research purpose and surveys and interviews, case study analysis and experiments are used in the research work to gain knowledge. Survey has been proved to be beneficial for those research works were gathering data from a huge population is important for the research work. On the other hand, surveys are important as well, as this helps the research work to get knowledge from that populace who are unswervingly connected with the research troubles. In this research work, the case study analysis has been done for the convenience of the research work.
Assortment of Sampling Methods and Sample Size
In regards to gain qualitative information, the investigator has conducted an interview with 6 BIM professionals and 4 FM professionals along with 5 members of the estate department of Northumbria University, as they are directly linked with the situation.
Research Collection: Secondary Sources
In thiscase study, both primary and secondary sources have been taken into consideration for gathering data and it has been mentioned here. The information received through interview has helped to gain ample information to know about the research topic.
Reviewing the existing literature along with the relevant theories and models, the researcher has gained relevant information regarding the research topics and this has helped the researcher to carry on the entire study (Eaton 2013). This research work is based on case study analysis and thus, the researcher has gathered data from the case study. Therefore, it can be stated the the research work is secondary research work and the entire research has been done based on that. The detailed study of the case study is thus one of the major sources of achieving information related to the research topics to the researcher.
After gathering data through case study, the researcher will compare the data with the already existing theories, models and research works in order to find out the differences. Leedy and Ormrod (2013) have stated that, in case of data analysis, the researcher is required to provide further recommendations based on the demand of the situation.
It is fairly essential to pursue the regulations drawn up by the Data Protection Act 1998 and be certain that none of the respondents are enforced to partake in the investigating procedure. Any contestant can take out his/her contribution as per their expediency (Leedy and Ormrod 2013). The investigator also does not utilize the information for any other reason somewhat than the educational work. The investigator is conscious of the detail that both the investigation reports and conference inquiries are prominent (Klassen et al. 2012). All the information is confidential and without the consent of the interviewee, the researcher is not allowed to disclose the data anywhere.
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