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Moving from BIM to FIM

By Cathy Hutchison

Rex Miller of Mindshift advises that the big untapped opportunity by architects is in moving from Building Information Modeling (BIM) to Facility Information Modeling (FIM). “The future of the AEC industry is not just to build the building and go to the next project, but to create an ongoing relationship with the client through a building’s lifecycle. In the commercial world, being able to talk about facility utilization is the price for entry. “

While BIM has created a revolution in our industry, there is largely untapped potential in leveraging the technology to focus on how the building will perform across all the years it is in use. “To do this requires planning up front.” Miller elaborates, “You have to design with smart objects so that you can take the project into lifecycle. Interoperability of the model becomes really key.”

Miller—who leads the future-focused consortium Mindshift—points out that there is continuing innovation in this area. Firms like InScope Energy have developed tools that allow clients to dashboard energy usage and improve the performance of a building through real time reporting on usage. These dashboards also allow systems to be controlled remotely (so that you can turn off systems when things have been left on.)

Idibri is just beginning to touch the surface of this in our work. For some projects, we are specifying power panels that can provide real-time usage and control via a web interface that allows our customers to monitor usage and to turn systems off remotely. In addition to power monitoring, we are providing temperature, humidity, and in some cases water sensors that can alert personnel when sensitive equipment might be in danger of failing due to power outage, lack of cooling or a water intrusion.

As interoperability becomes the standard, more things become possible for owners. And as educated clients ask for more, our industry has no option but to deliver.

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