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What is Backfill BIM?

What is Backfill BIM?
21 October 2022

BIM-led projects are becoming more commonplace, but what about buildings that aren’t BIM-enabled? Backfill BIM could be a potential solution.

Matt Samways, Managing Director at AIMIS Solutions explains how digital building management will soon become a non-negotiable and how this relates to the FM industry’s struggle to keep apace with technology.

Matt is a BIM professional, with real-world experience in architecture, contracting and consulting spanning over 15 years. His strategic expertise has helped client organisations and their supply chains implement greater efficiencies and a more fluid and profitable business model.



Picture: a photograph of Matt Samways. Image Credit: AIMIS


How to Implement BIM Retrospectively


In 2022, BIM should be more coherent in the real estate industry than it currently is. BIM is gradually being adopted on new construction projects but what about buildings in use that aren’t BIM enabled?

Consultants like AIMIS are providing a “Backfill BIM” service to building owners and asset managers who want to learn how to apply BIM to buildings that have already sped past “go”, and to benefit from the power of facilities data.

As the FM industry struggles to keep up with developing information management technology, the manual tasks of collating information are only creating more issues, and you can argue that many businesses are stuck in the past, unable to evolve and meet the demands of clients, tenants and local authorities.

Implementing BIM retrospectively may seem daunting, but soon most businesses will need to transfer to digital management to maintain their position and compete with others by improving their data transparency.

The benefits of applying BIM to operational buildings is immeasurable in the maintenance and development of a building, as well as the management of utilities and carbon footprint. Furthermore, it helps to minimise risks, improving communications and collaborations and decreases likelihood of major defects in a building.


Aiding the Golden Thread


For future-proofed management of a building, the golden thread of information is passed to the client to ensure that the building objectives are being met and so that it can be used to its full potential. Compared with a stack of boxes in the corner of a storage room, neatly filed away in alphabetic or chronological order or however else you’re currently managing your data, efficiency and output simply won’t come close to the standard of a digital BIM system.

How much time are you wasting shuffling through papers to prove that a certain permit was obtained during the construction process? How are you going to find out what colour paint was used on the third floor in corridor B to get another tin ordered quickly? If you want to develop, refurbish or demolish a building, an unnecessary amount of time will be wasted finding the original documentation that you may need. Even if your O&M manual is in a ‘digital format’ like a searchable PDF, it’s still guaranteed to be incomplete and won’t offer proactive outputs.

With BIM introduced, your information is at your fingertips, and you’ll benefit from reporting and management data rather than having a static resource alone.

Implementing “Backfill BIM” will change the way real estate progresses and looks forward towards the new transparent standards we now have to work to. It will empower businesses to embrace digital change and allow easy access to all this information whenever it’s needed and for any purpose.

We believe that BIM should be at the heart of all asset management and we aim to smooth the process of digitalising your business, taking your ability to utilise operational information to the next level.

Picture: a photograph of a computer screen with a technical drawing showing, a person can be seen typing on a computer keyboard in the background. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Matt Samways | Published 21 October 2022


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