UCL Academy

A bright future for building information modeling

Building Information Modelling (BIM) may now be well established in design and construction, but how do you continue to get value from the wealth of data it creates?

BAM has been trialling the use of BIM for Facilities Management (FM): with benefits that could last throughout a building’s life cycle.

Project details

  • Customer: Camden Council

  • Main contractor: BAM Construct

  • FM service contractor: BAM FM

  • Modellers: BAM Design

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Taking the long view

The first full-scale trial is at the UCL Academy school in Camden. BAM, which also built the Academy, is running it under a long-term public-private partnership (PPP) contract.

As part of the construction, we developed a detailed BIM model. The first stage of the pilot involved pulling data from that model into BAM’s computer-aided facilities management system.

It soon became clear that only the main asset data was needed to support basic and planned maintenance, and for asset management. The rest could be left in the BIM model.

A wealth of useful data on the move

Having ironed out problems of different coding and naming conventions, BAM has been using the data in its day-to-day maintenance of the school.

Caretakers and engineers all have iPads that synchronise with the Autodesk BIM 360 Field software and FSI’s Concept Evolution Go. On 16% of jobs, caretakers can tackle extra issues because of the information they have on their device.

Engineers typically save around 25 minutes per task, as they can arrive with the right tools and contextual information about the installations. And they no longer waste hours searching through outdated, paper O&M manuals.

This is arguably the first live implementation of 6D BIM: where the three physical dimensions of length, height and width are combined with the time scheduling, costs and lifecycle maintenance dimensions of the building. 

With the UK government looking to cut the cost of running and maintaining public buildings – one of the driving forces behind the Soft Landings initiative – this trial looks set to prove the real potential of BIM for FM.