BIFM incorporates building information modeling (BIM) into FM Professional Standards

by Brianna Crandall — February 17, 2017 — The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), the U.K.-based professional body for facilities management that supports and represents over 17,000 members around the world, has incorporated building information modeling (BIM) into the FM Professional Standards to reflect the growing impact it has on the working practices of facilities management (FM) professionals.

The latest addition follows a BIFM survey [See FMLink article, “BIFM Sustainability Survey shows shifting environment of FM”], conducted in late summer 2016 in conjunction with U.K. Construction Week, which revealed that 85 percent of respondents support opportunities to fully integrate FM throughout the building project life cycle.

The majority of those who took the survey also agreed that BIM can help support the ongoing delivery of facilities management beyond initial construction, suggesting that the sector understands the value that BIM technology adds to construction projects.

Launched in 2014, and forming a global competence model for the industry, the FM Professional Standards clearly define the key functions performed by FMs, the main components of each functional area, and the competences required to be a proficient professional when carrying out those functions. The competences are defined for each level in an FM’s career and can be used to benchmark skills, knowledge and competence for those working at all levels in the FM profession.

Since being introduced, the FM Professional Standards now underpin BIFM’s training, qualifications and professional development activities, and have been adopted by leading employers such as Carillion and Sodexo. The update to include BIM recognizes the need to meet the requirements of FMs as the industry adapts to the challenges and opportunities that it will bring to the profession.

BIFM acting chief executive Linda Hausmanis stated:

As an Institute committed to excellence in facilities management, this latest addition to the FM Professional Standards is crucial in acknowledging the ever-evolving FM landscape. BIFM has long recognized the importance of BIM to the working practices of our members and we have made great strides in positioning FM as a key player in the progression of BIM and the whole construction project life cycle.

Our first FM Leaders’ Forum recognized our role as custodians of future building information, and since then we’ve been advocating BIM in FM projects and have published our own BIFM Operational Readiness Guide, with a Good Practice Guide to The FM Role in BIM Projects due to be published later this month.

It’s therefore fitting we now have BIM within the Property Portfolio Management functional area of the FM Professional Standards, which have been endorsed by leading employers in the sector, to ensure FM maximizes and protects the value of property assets and ensure all new building projects and refurbishments are fit for purpose.

FM professionals, employers and learners can download the FM Professional Standards from the BIFM Web site.

The organization notes that there is still time to contribute to a new piece of BIFM research to measure the level of understanding of BIM within the FM sector. The survey, developed in partnership with Liverpool John Moore University and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, aims to establish a benchmark of the current perceptions of the impact of BIM on the FM sector and the benefits and challenges it presents. The survey is open until 28 February 2017 and is available online.