Strategic Asset Management Solution (SAMS): BIM, CMMS and CAFM

Asset Management

Strategic Asset Management Solution
Public Buildings Service National Capital Region

The General Services Administration (GSA) is a leader in Building Information Model (BIM) design technology. The benefits of BIM, however, extend through the entire lifecycle of a facility — design, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance (O&M), and disposal. BIM provides a starting point, but integrating BIM 3-D/4-D (3- dimensional/4-dimensional) drawings and information into the technology systems used to operate buildings and manage portfolios is critical to strategic asset management.

These technology systems include Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) systems to manage the building operations, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to manage buildings over a portfolio and, of course, standard accounting and financial systems. Integration is not solely a technology problem but there are no products that successfully deliver cradle-tograve strategic asset management. In August 2004, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NlST) (in the Department of Commerce) published ‘Cost Analysis of Inadequate Interoperability in the U.S. Capital Facilities Industry’ (publication ‘NIST GCR 04-867’).

NlST calculated that the lack of interoperability cost the facilities industry $15.8 billion per year. The study concluded that BIMs connected to facilities management systems would provide more effective management of facilities across all life-cycle phases. GSA’s Public Buildings Service’s National Capital Region (NCR), with its emphasis on innovation and strategic asset management, took on the challenge of moving BIM beyond design and construction and into strategic asset management. NCR’s Strategic Asset Management Solution (SAMS) provides the framework, technology, standards, methodologies and procedures for creating interoperability across disparate technology systems used throughout the life-cycle of a building. Starting with accurate, standard BIMs in the design phase and consistently updating and changing the information model through construction, operations and maintenance, renovation projects, assignment changes, and modernizations will result in efficiencies and costs savings.

As an example, consider a piece of equipment that has a generic specification at design. During construction, the contractor provides a specific piece of equipment (associated with make, model, serial number, warranty, preventive maintenance, replacement parts, etc.). The BIM will be updated with this information in a format that can be used by the CMMS used to operate and maintain the building.

The piece of equipment along with all other building equipment will become a building inventory of assets and the CMMS is updated with this information. An O&M scope can be created based on an accurate inventory. Preventive maintenance will automatically be scheduled. If the equipment doesn’t perform as expected, warranty information can be extracted from the BIM as well. In an emergency, that piece of equipment can be identified through a GIS with an exact location and information on whether it is working. During a renovation, that piece of equipment is replaced with new equipment, and the changes flow through the BIM into the CMMS — preventive maintenance begins on the new equipment and ceases for the retired equipment.

Accomplishing even this simplistic scenario requires a great deal of work setting up standards, naming conventions, technical interoperability, business processes and procedures. This is the important foundation work that NCR’S SAMS has accomplished.

Terry Forline
Branch Chief
Business Solutions
Public Buildings Service
National Capital Region
U.S. General Services

This is a Federal best practice submitted to the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Real Property Management for competition in the GSA Innovative/Best Practices Achievement Award.