Building information modeling (BIM) is a helpful tool that can be used in more ways than one. According to the 2016 Hospital Construction Survey, 48 percent of facility managers use BIM in project management during renovation and construction. Thirty-eight percent say it comes in handy for capital planning, while 34 percent use it for facility operations.

Although BIM gets the least amount of use for daily facility operations, experts say it has powerful potential to improve day-to-day building management.

Charles E. Mies, LEED AP, business development manager for architecture, engineering and construction solutions at Autodesk Inc. and Mark Mergenschroer, BIM application specialist for Bernhard TME, point out three facility management areas prime for BIM use: space management, asset management and infection control. While the first two have seen success from early adopters, the potential to use BIM as an infection control tool is still being explored.

As these new avenues for BIM mature, its proven use in building and construction will continue to grow.

Grandview Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala., used the technology to reboot a long-stalled project. The hospital’s construction team took structural documents of the project to create a 3-D structural model.

BIM also can be a great cost and time saver. Offiicials from the New Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, D.C., say using BIM plus Lean design methods helped to shave weeks from its construction schedule.

With results of the 2017 Hospital Construction Survey coming out in February, it will be interesting to see if more facility managers are jumping aboard the BIM train.

View survey results