Month: May 2015

An Introduction to FM and where BIM fits in

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thinkBIM continues the Summer Series focusing on an Introduction to FM and where BIM fits into construction business processes.

We will hear from Mark Whittaker,Business Development Manager, Integral UK Limited & Deputy Chair, BIFM North Region.

Mark will provide an introduction/overview of the various strands of FM.

  • What the FM industry actually does and so what data it needs
  • The different types of FM – PPM, Hard FM, Soft FM and Total FM solutions – and what this all means
  • Why having access to the right data helps with performance based contracts
We will also hear from Martin Ward, Portfolio Services Director at Styles & Wood Group. Martin will talk about:
  • How the FM industry uses data and where they currently get it from
  • What data is important to the FM industry
  • How does the FM industry want to receive data – Excel, COBie, some other format?
A wish list of what design and construction teams really ought to give you rather than what you currently receive!



Nobody puts BIM in the corner – thoughts from last night’s #tbim2015

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thinkBIM returned last night with the first event of our summer series, a twilight seminar on BIM to FM and how we can utilise BIM to manage the full life cycle of the buildings we create & operate. A full house of attendees assembled at Old Broadcasting House in Leeds to hear two case studies of BIM FM early adoption; Arup Associates & their refurbishment of two Leeds Beckett University buildings & BAM Construct who reflected on lessons from their Wharfedale Hospital project, including a demo of the BIM 360 field.

As always the twitter stream was buzzing thanks to our social media savvy audience. Their insights & highlights, including images, observations and Patrick Swayze – yes you read that right – are detailed in our event storify below. We will be posting the slides from the event shortly so do keep checking back on our blog for that.

In the meantime, please pencil 3rd June in your diary for the second event in our operation & maintenance summer series. At this event we will be continuing our facilities management theme, providing a more complex introduction to work of FM professionals & how BIM can maximise operational excellence going forward.

thinkBIM featured on the #BIMtwitter50

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Last month Construction Manager and BIM+ set out to identify the most influential, interesting and informative BIM tweeters worldwide and we are thrilled to see that so many of our ambassadors & supporters made the top 50 list, not to mention our own modest placing at number 42.

The search for the UK’s most influential tweeters was conducted using nominations via the #BIMTwitter50 hashtag combined with social media scores from Klout with assistance from  social media in construction expert Paul Wilkinson @EEPaul .

ThinkBIM Chair Duncan Reed @djhreed67 & two other members of our steering group , Rob Jackson  @bondbryanBIM, Tom Oulton @itsBIMupNorth all made the top 10 with at least 30 other individuals in the list having been previously involved in thinkBIM network events. Topping the list was  BIM Task Group‘s David Philp @ThePhilpster with former thinkBIM chair Stephen Hamil from NBS @StephenHamilNBS coming in 2nd.

Whilst not an exact representation of influence, the #BIMtwitter50 does accurately reflect those individuals & organisations with the most active voices in the online BIM community and who are involved in leading the  discussions & debates as we move towards the deadline for government’s Level 2 BIM mandate. Consequently we are extremely proud to have been included & feel that being part of such an active network of BIM advocates adds real value to what we do at thinkBIM.

Duncan says “It’s gratifying to see that the thinkBIM network is sufficiently well-respected that it has been recognised in the top 50 as a trusted source for BIM information. There are still many issues for the industry to resolve in adopting BIM and we look forward to continuing to deliver our award winning events around those key themes

Thanks to everyone who nominated us. The full list can be viewed at the following link

Manufacturer’s Roundtable – Take-Aways

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17056367051_2e806c4d00_oThe latest series at thinkBIM gave product manufacturers a platform to be heard – and to be questioned.

The discussion that followed has been up there with the most passionate of any thinkBIM series I have attended.

The good news for manufacturers is – we’re making progress.

More designers and more contractors are wanting to learn about our BIM content and process. All keen to see how this could benefit their business and how we could work with them in future.

So, when thinkBIM asked me to host roundtables at the #GreenBIM half-day event I jumped at the chance.

The topic I chose related to manufacturer BIM content and a recent post I wrote on the subject: Why Do Specifiers Ignore Your BIM Content?

The sessions provided further insight into the perception and use of manufacturer content. Groups from both sessions agreed on the following five take-aways:

There is no one-size-fits-all answer

Manufacturers need to appreciate differing attitudes and cultures within the design industry to help them deliver the best BIM solution.

Advice: Talk to your specifiers before investing.

When it comes to manufacturer BIM content – be useful

Don’t hinder projects with objects that have massive file sizes or information that isn’t relevant.

Advice: Kye Rooney – BIM Apprentice at East Riding of Yorkshire Council – made a super point: “Don’t go crazy with the 3D!”

Don’t ignore the visualisation aspect of BIM

Clients can now virtually experience a building before construction. As Alex Bill of Laing O’Rourke mentioned in the first session – visuals are now used by contractors to help win bids.

Advice: Having BIM objects could see your products used in visuals. Also consider the possibility of using BIM objects to create your own visuals for marketing purposes.

How do the costs compare to traditional product photography?

What data should manufacturers provide?

When it comes to Level of Information (LOI), what specific data does Facilities Management (FM) need? Manufacturers can provide COBie data, but does this meet FM and client requirements?

Suggestion: The client or FM should drive this. It would be good to have a manufacturer / FM discussion about the data at a future thinkBIM event.

Getting the data values correct

It was clear from discussions about my Guide to BIM Object Data that manufacturers need more help in this area.

Some manufacturers are providing data but not always relevant data, and not always to the correct values. The group agreed that manufacturers need to address this if the data is to be of use further on in the construction process.

Suggestion: Su Butcher suggested a good starting point would be to get the Guide to BIM Object Data into the mainstream, possibly via the BIM4M2 group (BIM for Manufacturers and Manufacturing).


Thanks to all who contributed during these sessions. I look forward to continuing the conversation at future thinkBIM events.

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