three people working in a warehouse facility using 7D BIM

BIM 7D: Facilities Management

Paul TiceVirtual Design and Construction Leave a Comment

BIM has been a useful tool in generating clash detection reports and 3D modeling for years. Only recently has BIM been recognized as a tool that can assist with the entire building lifecycle.

BIM 7D is one of the dimensions of modeling that can take your project to the next level. It’s key in developing an operational and facility management plan.

What is BIM 7D and how can it help facility managers and building owners save money in operational costs and reduce their carbon footprint?

Read on to find out as we tell you what you need to know about BIM 7D.

What is BIM 7D?

BIM 7D is the operational dimension in building modeling. It builds on the 3D (planning and design), 4D (simulation), 5D (cost), and 6D (energy performance) modeling dimensions.

This emerged as a valuable tool in facilities management because you have the ongoing operations and maintenance of a facility, which includes historical data, performance analytics, and maintenance schedules.

Why Use It?

What’s the big deal about BIM 7D? It turns out that there’s a lot that it can do for facility operations.

The cost of operating a building over 30 years can be as much as four times as much as it cost to build it. You can influence 80% of the maintenance and replacement costs in the first 20% of the design process.

The cost savings for the building owners, plus the environmental impact would be huge.

What if you gave yourself and your team the ability to see the whole life costs of the building early in the design process?

That’s what BIM 7D has the potential to offer your project. It goes well beyond the basic 3D modeling standard to give you the long-term vision of a project.

BIM 7D resolves many of the challenges encountered in facility management. Facility managers will find that BIM 7D is a game changer for the industry.

Let’s take a look at some of the issues and challenges BIM 7D can solve.

Access to Accurate As-Built Information

Facility managers, how hard is it to obtain accurate information about a building’s components, systems, and equipment? You already know what a persistent struggle this can be.

BIM 7D meets this challenge head-on. Facilities management is simplified because managers get a comprehensive digital representation of the as-built environment. You’ll have access to detailed information on materials, specifications, and maintenance schedules.

You get access to the insights and information you need to make informed decisions. This empowers them to streamline operations, minimize downtime, and execute maintenance activities with precision.

Maintenance Planning and Asset Management

The main function of facilities management is to plan and execute maintenance activities. That’s hard to do if managers don’t know essential things like which components were used to build, when they need to be replaced, and how much it will cost.

BIM 7D comes to the rescue by incorporating asset management data into the BIM model. This integration enables stakeholders to track the entire lifecycle of individual components, anticipate maintenance requirements, and optimize maintenance schedules accordingly.

Facility managers can finally take a proactive approach instead of a putting out fires approach and repairing things when they become a major issue. In the end, managers and owners will see cost savings, the extended life of building assets, and more efficient workflows.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Speaking of efficiency, energy efficiency, and sustainability are major challenges in facilities management. It’s a priority because there’s a business case along with a broader benefit for the greater good. Sustainability practices in facilities management lead to a smaller carbon footprint, higher talent retention rates, and a 60% increase in operational profits.

With BIM 7D, you can address this challenge by creating energy consumption simulations in the design process. You and other stakeholders can analyze environmental impacts and assess renewable energy options.

For example, you can test solar panels and then decide if another renewable energy source is better for the building.

It’s not only the renewable energy options that get tested. You can find the ideal materials and systems to minimize the carbon footprint and reduce overall costs.

Space Utilization and Optimization

Space utilization doesn’t have to wait until the building gets completed. You can tackle that issue early on with a digital representation of the building.

You can see the entire layout and identify occupancy patterns and underutilized areas. With this information, you can make better decisions to optimize space allocation.

Everyone benefits because users will have a much better experience, owners will save money, and facility managers will have an easier job thanks to improved efficiencies.

Improved Collaboration and Communication

Construction project managers, architects, and engineers rarely understand the needs of facility managers. Rather than trying to explain, everyone can look at the same BIM model and collaborate on making important decisions.

A BIM platform gives everyone access to real-time data and mitigates errors and delays.

Compliance With Regulations and Standards

It’s possible to have access to permits, certifications, and important documents in the digital model. Audits and regulatory inspections become less stressful because you are fully confident that you comply with all building codes and maintenance safety standards.

BIM 7D integrates the regulatory and compliance requirements right into the digital model. That ensures you can easily manage day-to-day operations.

No matter what challenges you face in facilities management, you can leverage the capabilities of BIM 7D and overcome them. You can elevate your efficiency, collaboration, and compliance while reaping the rewards of optimized asset management, streamlined maintenance planning, and sustainable practices.

Emerging Technologies and BIM 7D

Technology is changing the construction and facility management industries quickly and there are a few emerging technologies and trends that are ready to reshape the future.

These advancements hold great potential in enhancing the capabilities and impact of BIM 7D for facility managers.

You’ve probably heard a lot about artificial intelligence over the last year. Yes, it impacts your work and BIM 7D. The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning is still being explored, but the benefits are already clear.

BIM 7D models integrate with computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software so you have access to as-built data and collect data during the facility’s lifecycle.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensors and cameras placed throughout the building collect data on everything from HVAC systems to occupancy patterns.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can process vast amounts of data quickly, which gives you information fast.

They collect a ton of data, which gets fed into BIM 7D models. Algorithms will take a vast amount of data and look for patterns. You can automate reports and have more time to focus on other things like strategic decision-making.

For example, you can get real-time data on a facility’s temperature, occupancy, air quality, and equipment performance.

These technologies also spot things like space underutilization and safety and security issues.  In other words, the future of BIM 7D in facilities management is promising. These advancements will only gain traction and accelerate soon.

Respond to Challenges in Facilities Management With BIM 7D

How can we manage space and assets over the building lifecycle? How can we get ahead of maintenance and planning? How can we make the building as energy efficient as possible?

These are some of the questions that BIM 7D helps facility managers address. There are plenty of opportunities for this technology to give you better facilities management outcomes.

Are you ready to embrace the benefits of BIM 7D? Contact us today to find out how we can implement it before you start your next project.


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