Tag Archives: Asset Information Modelling

BIM is for life, not just the build phase

BIM for the long haul: Think maintenance and growth

BIM in operation
Parametric Planting: Aged and Grown in CS ArtisanRV

We know that operating at BIM in operation at Level 2 has proven efficiencies during design and construction.

In the UK, BIM has played a significant part in delivering recorded savings of 20% in the capital costs of construction.   But what happens beyond the build? The emphasis is shifting firmly to the operational phase and the finished landscape’s maintenance.  This is, after all,  where the majority of expenditure will occur over the landscape’s lifetime.

From BIM to AIM

In “BIMese”, this takes us from the Building Information Model (BIM) often depicted via the Bew Richards ‘wedge’ – the triangular bit of the dialogue below taken from PAS 1192-3 (www.bsigroup.com) – to the Asset Information Model (AIM) – the trapezoid shape to the right of the triangle below.


In essence, this transition is about taking the information rich model created during the design and build phases into a resource for managing the asset while in use – this is probably more easily depicted by this guy with a hedge trimmer!


The landscape passage of time

For landscape, this transition is of fundamental importance and indeed should speak directly to the very DNA of landscape professionals where design intent wholly relies on the passage of time and adhering to the correct operations and maintenance procedures to be succeed.


Much is written about the multitude of possible BIM dimensions but can any of the other design professions truly say they always consider the dimension of time as much as those engaged with landscape? Creating sophisticated modelling tools that enable landscape professionals to collaborate with BIM processes is an obvious prerequisite but so too is the need for softworks model elements to change over time.

Some of the first projects I was involved with included shelterbelt, screening and woodland planting that have only achieved their original design intent 20+ years after initial planting…

The BIM Handover

Historically the transition from design intent to reality on the ground has been via an O&M manual and associated plans. More often than this information is created largely from scratch at handover and very infrequently without the collaboration of those responsible for maintaining the asset.

So how do we achieve the transition from a building information model (BIM) to an asset information model (AIM)? This subject is covered primarily by PAS 1192-3:2014 but the relationship between the capital and operational phase needs to involve all members of the supply chain and is informed by Government Soft Landings (GSL).

GSL is about establishing an information focus to help to achieve the following:

  • Targets: Running cost, capital cost, environment and functionality
  • Comparison: Predicted performance against targets
  • Simplicity: Operating instructions
  • Early warnings: Problems
  • Metered: Data on the performance
  • Access:  To all digital data about our asset
  • Transfer: Sharing data from construction to operation, cost-effectively
  • Sharing: Service provider having all required operational data
  • Measures: Actual measured performance of our asset
  • Fine tuning:  The actual performance
  • Recording: The actual performance
  • Feedback: To the design and construction team.

Sharing Data: COBie

It is essential that the information repository (BIM) that has grown thoughout the capital phase finds its way into the system adopted by facilities managers (FMs) for that particular project.   As yet, there is no standard asset maintenance system in operation, which is where COBie comes in…

COBie provides a non-proprietary data format for structured BIM info that can be read by a variety of maintenance systems.

BIM uses advanced computer systems to build 3D models of infrastructure.  It embodies large amounts of information about its design, operation and current condition.  This stored information is needed in the operational phase, too.   At the planning stage it enables designers, owners and users to work together to produce the best possible designs.  They can test them and modify them on screen before they are built.  This way, they iron out design flaws, reducing errors and cutting down snagging in the construction phase.   The engineers, contractors and suppliers can integrate these now finely-tuned elements into their operational plans.  Real-time information about available services, life expectancy and maintenance with accurate assessments of the condition of assets.

Beyond the build

So, it’s more than BIM.  It’s BIM to AIM to a fully collaborative Level 3 information exchange throughout the entire lifespan of a landscape.  Level 3 is picking up the successes where BIM Level 2 left off.

Over to you, BIM3.

BIM Level3

Read more:  Smart Landscape: BIM and Big Data