The big picture

KEY DATA
However, more data does not necessarily equate to better results – and can potentially lead to information overload. Our focus is on maintainable assets and providing the key data that is required, rather than throwing in every single piece of available information. This helps to create a robust legacy for clients and building operators, with a high-quality dataset that is easy to manage once the building is handed over.

Having an optimised dataset in one, easily accessible location makes it possible to maintain a body of accurate, up-to-date information about building performance that in turn results in reduced and smarter spending. Clients are kept well informed and up to date on their physical assets, enabling more efficient management and maintenance. The focus can shift to preventive rather than reactive maintenance, for example, cutting costs and improving the working environment for staff.

There are also environmental benefits. The availability of remote information reduces the need for site visits to inspect or replace items, contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions. Careful monitoring of buildings means they can be run much more efficiently, cutting energy use.

Overall, our hope is that the menu and toolkit will serve as a valuable starting point for FM professionals, explaining the value of digital construction and its practical application. It is time for the sector to fully embrace the potential this technology has to offer.

DIGITAL CONSTRUCTION IN ACTION

The Co-op Academy, a secondary school in north Manchester, required a new extension to connect the main school block with the existing sports hall. The £16.4 million project comprised classroom facilities, community theatres, drama studios and changing facilities.

Adjoining blocks to the building had not been completed to BIM level 2 (3), which meant the O&M manuals handed over to the client did not accurately reflect the building. This resulted in problems for the facilities management team. For the new extension, government funding required use of BIM level 2 to ensure a good record of all information and asset data.

To overcome the issue of incomplete asset information, the Springboard platform was introduced. Springboard is a live document data-driven platform which is updated throughout the construction process, producing comprehensive O&M manuals and asset information.

According to Alan G Moth, Facilities Manager at the academy, the use of e-documents has greatly benefited his team by streamlining the process of searching the O&Ms for information. It also enabled his team to plan equipment maintenance in advance of the handover. “The quality of the new manuals is fantastic,” he says. “All of the information about contractors is readily available, alongside references to what they installed, maintenance advice and replacement advice. The speed at which the information can be extracted is head and shoulders quicker than the existing manuals for the old academy build.”

The Springboard platform incorporated a structured validation process that is fully traceable, with progress always visible. When combined with the 3D model, queries are easily investigated and asset information provided quickly and easily. This significantly reduces the time spent looking through physical documents.

“The 3D model is equally beneficial,” says Moth, “not only telling you where to find the items you are looking for, but also how to identify them. I would say that it’s like a satellite navigation system for the new extension, complete with an address and information about what lives there, and details for a provider should it need to be replaced.”

REFERENCE NOTES

(1) https://construction.morgansindall.com/news/digital-construction-toolkit-launch-–-operation-first

(2) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/210099/bis-13-955-construction-2025-industrial-strategy.pdf

(3) www.thenbs.com/knowledge/bim-levels-explained

About Sarah OBeirne

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