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FM bodies unite to support BIM

Published 10th May, 2013 by Neil Nixon

FM bodies unite to support BIM

Leading institutes, trade associations and professional bodies representing the built environment have joined together to form the BIM4FM group, supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit. The BIM4FM group will provide an avenue for industry to input into the ongoing development of BIM and Government Soft Landing work being developed through the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit and BIM Task Group.

To signal its launch, the group is promoting a survey to establish what FMs, owners and occupiers need from Building Information Modelling (BIM), establishing the level of awareness across the industry and the barriers which need to be overcome.

Geoff Prudence, chairman of the recently formed BIM4FM group, said: “Although BIM has long been discussed at the construction end of the supply chain, it has only recently and repeatedly started to raise its profile with those operating and using buildings. As construction becomes more familiar with the concept of whole lifecycle costing, end users are increasingly being asked to input into the construction process at an early stage. Therefore, we feel there is a need to understand the current perception and awareness of BIM from those using and managing buildings. The survey, which will be promoted across all of our respective organisations, is just one of the ways in which we intend to achieve this.”

Working in collaboration, the purpose of the BIM4FM group is to champion facilities management's involvement within BIM and Government Soft Landings (GSL) projects.

The group has set itself some initial tasks which include:

• Defining what BIM means to FM.
• Identifying the benefits of BIM and GSL to FM and for owners and occupiers.
• Raising awareness of BIM and GSL from a strategic and operational (FM) perspective.
• Producing guidance/communication and documentation for FMs as outputs where appropriate.

Prudence continued: “This is the first time that all of the institutes, professional bodies and associations representing facilities managers, occupiers, owners and building services have come together to work on a single issue. Our group is delighted to be paving the way for future collaborative working across our industry. However, it also highlights the importance of BIM as a future technology to our respective organisations, and the speed at which it is being embedded across the built environment.”

The BIM4FM group would like to ensure that the industry works together to support and educate facilities managers, owners and occupiers, as well as developing stronger relationships with other members of the built environment supply chain.

The BIM4FM group intends to announce its results during summer 2013.