So much has been written about BIM, that it’s become increasingly hard for clients to separate fact from fiction, and to drill down and reveal the real tangible benefits this methodology brings to the datacentre ‘design, build and operate community’. What is certain is that BIM is changing hearts and minds, and challenging the traditional Design and Build approach by positioning technology as an intrinsic requirement and catalyst for positive change across the built environment sector.
BIM is an amazing leap forward in our ability to work more collaboratively and efficiently, but the value of this data asset does not cease at project handover. At this stage, we present our datacentre client with a richly detailed, digital asset register encompassing every aspect of the building. But what happens next? Relevant data is exported and combined with proprietary facilities management (FM) systems to ensure the effective operation and maintenance of the datacentre. However, if there is no feedback mechanism to update the BIM model, when essential and routine maintenance is carried out, the digital asset becomes less representative and relevant with every light bulb and CRAC unit replaced.
So we find that many now understand that its significance only increases over the lifecycle of a datacentre. Clients may change FM providers multiple times, with each supplier using different management systems. Traditional siloed approaches and contractual behaviours must evolve to recognise the importance of integrated delivery teams that act as one delivery engine for the client. BIM is the vehicle to both enable and drive this process forward.
More than ever before, it is absolutely essential that the supply chain and professional teams embrace collaborative working to agree on a common goal that offers best value and quality to the client. Education is of course the key here, and that’s why ISG invests significant time and resource bringing our clients and supply chain partners along with us on the BIM journey. We are all on a journey, continually learning about this incredibly powerful technology, and this is a highly dynamic space, where we’re only scratching the surface of what is possible. The most important principle for clients to hold sacred is, ignore the relevancy of your BIM model at your peril.
Matthew Roche is the managing director of Technology Solutions, a digital consultancy service from ISG.
This article first appeared in Inside Networks magazine, August 2016