Facility & Maintenance Management

BIM Technology and Intelligent Buildings Concept – Integrating BIM with CAFM System

March 5, 2021

In recent years, we can observe how the newest technologies have greatly impacted the development path of CAFM Systems (Computer Aided Facility Management) and the whole Facility Management industry. Last two decades of the 21st century have proven to be groundbreaking for the digitization of real estate handling on every level; starting with investors, property managers and ending with technical services.

At the moment, property managers, facility managers, asset managers or technical managers from FM industry can’t imagine performing everyday tasks without the support of a dedicated computer facility management software, available not only on computer but also on mobile phone.

What is more, CAFM system users expect that apart from optimizing information flow and facilitating data collection, CAFM software will also tackle challenges that the development of new technologies brings, such as: BIM or intelligent building concept.

BIM Integration in Computer Aided Facility Management Systems

BIM (Building Information Model) is a concept that was born in the USA at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, however its quickest development falls on the previous decade of the 21st century.

BIM technology is information modelling, which allows continuous and instant access to most up-to-date data – from all design areas and all industries involved in the design process. By working on one model, companies involved in design, contracting and property management can sufficiently increase their effectiveness, improve mutual communication and lower costs significantly.

At the early stage of BIM technology development – its main benefactors were architects, designers and engineers. At the next stage BIMs have started to be used by investors and project managers.

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest, from Facility Management industry, in the benefits of integrating BIM technology with CAFM systems.

Integrating BIM with CAFM system

Values of BIM in CAFM Software

Basic value of BIM integration with CAFM system is the possibility of 3D building model visualization, directly in CAFM system (such an object can be rotated in any plane, presented from above or a particular room can be analyzed in a walking mode). Thanks to the visualization of not only the shape of the building but also devices that are in the building, we have the possibility to report problems directly. It will enhance technical maintenance process of the building by, among others, showing the exact location of malfunctions.

What is more, we also get access to chosen data of particular elements of the building (from BIM model), directly in CAFM system. Thanks to that, there is no need to use multiple industry-specific devices, which saves time and money and streamlines the process of information exchange.

In many cases, the interdisciplinarity of CAFM application and the possibility of its integration with other systems, is what gives it the advantage on the market. BIM technology implementation with CAFM systems (due to its complexity) is at its initial stage. However, even at this moment we can state that it will bring enormous benefits to the whole Facility Management industry.

CAFM System As a Component of Intelligent Buildings Technology

The history of intelligent building concept goes back to 1980s and it was initially referring to the implementation of modern buildings automation solutions and minimizing costs of buildings use. In the previous decade of the 21st century, due to technological revolution in Facility Management industry, intelligent building concept (and handling of such buildings) has vastly expanded its meaning.

Currently, CAFM applications have become a vital component of “Smart Building” technology, which greatly facilitates the management of automated buildings systems or Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS). For property managers or maintenance of buildings, a very important issue is the possibility of gathering data (e.g. meters reading) coming from various systems – CAFM applications are a place, which are some sort of specific data integrators.

It’s also important to notice that integrating loT sensors in CAFM systems, used now for several years, is also part of the “Smart Building” concept. loT (Internet of things) are simply appliances that can communicate automatically and exchange data (on the device – application line) in a completely wireless way.

Benefits of CAFM Systems Integration With IoT Sensors

The most widespread use for CAFM systems can be assigned to beacons and NFC tags, which allow e.g. reading parameters from technical devices, improving maintenance or tracking user’s locations using wireless communication with loT device.Using loT sensors in CAFM systems allowed to speed and automate a large number of processes and tasks related to the day-to-day operation of real estates.

Learn more and find out 12 ways how loT can revolutionize facility and maintenance management.

Introducing loT to Facility Management industry was kind of a milestone and new possibilities to use these devices in CAFM systems are constantly appearing.

In Conclusion

We can see, that intelligent buildings technology will keep evolving, however CAFM systems integrated with loT sensors, as exemplified by Singu FM, have already been built into its foundations permanently.  

Discover Singu FM – the ultimate facility and maintenance management system integrated with IoT, BIM, and other top technologies for the real estate. Talk to one of our experts and let’s see how Singu can help you and your business.

Written by:
Tomasz Bąk
PropTech Expert

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