Managing project data for the entire project lifecycle
AEC firms often go through the painstaking process of annotating 3D models with asset information for operations and maintenance. Revit and other CAD/BIM authoring tools are great at their primary purpose; BIM software for designers and builders to model in 3D, streamline documentation and empower multidisciplinary teams in a unified project environment. However, when it comes to data entry, are design models the correct and best place to manage and quality control data that go beyond design and construction workflows?
The challenge isn’t the tool, but the nature of the building lifecycle. Facility maintenance data is created throughout the entire project lifecycle by various stakeholders, and in different formats; design/engineering models and specifications, submittals for material procurement and installation during construction, testing, balancing, and commissioning reports closer to handover. These stages overlap, changes are made, and several stakeholders are involved in the approval workflows. This poses a challenge; many decisions are made throughout the overlapping process, making it an enormous task to keep track of asset information. It is critical to ensure that information such as asset, space, system nomenclature, classification, and location is consistent, clear, and tracked in the models. However, asset management information, that is often supplied by AEC firms, such as manufacturer, serial numbers, warranty dates, vendor contacts, and O&M manuals often end up in spreadsheets or in some cases the Revit model itself, adding to an already tedious process of data entry and change management.
Enter Autodesk Tandem, a cloud-based application for the entire facility lifecycle – from design, construction, commissioning, and into facility management and beyond. Instead of trying to include asset information in Revit and tediously managing changes, AEC firms and vendors can tag the assets in Tandem in a straightforward way. Tandem allows users to specify an asset information model in the form of a facility template with custom classifications and parameters – meaning you can easily add links to warranties, manufacturers’ websites, add install dates, and other information. More importantly, it empowers the owner-operator and facility manager with flexibility and control over data-driven workflows in a 3D environment, enabling them to work more independently without necessarily relying on BIM specialists.
For example, COBie (Construction-Operations Building Information Exchange) is a widely popular data standard that espouses interoperability. The use of design tools and Excel made the process of delivering COBie cumbersome. With Tandem, there is flexibility and repeatability in how a user can specify, capture, and validate data.
So, what is facility maintenance data? In the world of the digital twin, facility maintenance data is dependent on the specific outcome desired by each individual owner and operator. While a baseline for most might be O&M manuals, warranties, installation dates, and other information required for asset management and preventive maintenance, others will need more advanced information and input for performance modeling of a facility. Tandem acts as a data repository for not only the BIM geometry but all associated facility data. The geometry that comes from BIM, is just a small aspect of the contextual information that builds a digital twin for facility monitoring.
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