The modern workplace is driven by technology and the ability to connect a dispersed, hybrid workforce. To be successful, building owners and facility managers need to be able to make data-driven decisions quickly that drive building efficiency while delivering on workplace experience.
As technology continues to improve in ways that better connects building owners and operators with critical data, 7 industry trends are further pushing the need to utilize tools to bridge the building lifecycle gap.
1. Knowledge gaps and labor shortages in the FM industry
According to a report from ARC, by 2026, nearly 40% of facility management professionals will retire. This will leave many FM positions to fill and an even larger knowledge gap. Due to misconceptions and an overall lack of information about the field of facilities management, younger professionals aren’t keen to fill the void. As facilities management evolves and technology is more readily adopted and utilized, the perception of the role is likely to change.
In the meantime, building owners need a way to collect the existing knowledge of their workforce before facility managers leave and take critical information with them, which would avoid further widening the building lifecycle gap. This ensures that whoever comes along to fill the role won’t be starting from scratch.
2. Poor existing data handover processes at the end of construction
The handover process at the end of construction projects is often insufficient in providing the information required for a smooth startup. Building owners either receive no information, or they receive piles of physical documents that make capturing necessary information difficult and time consuming.
Bridging the lifecycle gap between construction and operations is key to ensuring startup activities are more efficient. Implementing an effective system that digitizes the document management process during construction handover can ensure data that might otherwise get lost is captured and hours of manual entry of paper documentation is eliminated.
3. Time-consuming building startup activities
Due to poor handover processes, operations teams are often required to re-inventory a building before operations can begin. This adds a lot of additional costs for a building owner who is trying to get their building up and running and generating value quickly.
4. Out of date or lost construction documents
If a building owner does get all the documentation at the end of a project, there’s no way to guarantee that will stay up to date without capturing that data digitally. If there’s maintenance performed on an asset, or if an asset is replaced, hard copies become obsolete.
By incorporating a system that captures those installs and services throughout the design process, the need to backtrack and spend time and money tracking down assets is eliminated. Furthermore, it allows facility managers to take a more proactive approach to maintenance.
5. Growing use of 3D models and wayfinding simulations
A trend that is growing is the use of 3D models. This helps in a few different areas specific to facilities management. 3D models can be used to do fire evacuation simulations for development of safety protocols, which also ensures a building is operating under compliance.
3D modeling can also be utilized for wayfinding both from an occupant standpoint when trying to locate people and rooms, and on the FM side when dispatching technicians to perform maintenance somewhere in the building.
By understanding the layout of a given area before dispatching a technician, there’s a basic understanding of the tools required for the job. For example, if a tech knows he’s going to need a ladder to perform maintenance in a given area, he’ll arrive prepared, rather than having to leave to retrieve a ladder and add to billable hours for the job.
6. Building owners looking to get more value out of contractors
In a 2021 Verdantix survey, 48% of firms said getting more value from their existing facility management contracts would be their highest priority over the next 12 months.
BIM can deliver insights into the historical cost of maintenance activities to better allocate budgets for contractors, as well as ensure facility managers are only paying for services and time that are necessary to get the job done.
Additionally, this allows for the development of proactive maintenance plans that keep overall costs at a minimum, while reducing workplace disruptions.
7. Demand to optimize asset lifecycle management and maintenance to reduce costs
Overall, there’s a trending need to capture better data more effectively. A view of a complete inventory means better application of best practices regarding assets. Removing cumbersome paper-based handover practices and implementing a technology-driven approach significantly limits the risk of data loss from conception to finalization to continued operations over the course of the lifecycle of a building. Utilizing a BIM and the comprehensive insights it delivers will prove to be an invaluable resource as we continue to see facility professionals retire and professionals new to the field take their place.