woensdag 10 februari 2016

Building Ops

Overview of the Building Ops tool
It has been a long wait but, with the introduction of Autodesk Building Ops there is a tool that can be fitted into a workflow from Design, to Build, to Operate (PennState phase names).

Over the course of my career I have used several tools to capture building maintenance and they all fell short, where it came to having a connection to the design or build model. Building Ops fills this gap by directly accessing this model information.

Process to get information in Building Ops
Naturally I was curious to get some hands on experience with the capabilities of Building Ops. During the 2015 Christmas period I started an experiment using my own house.

  1. modeled in Revit
  2. exported to BIM 360 Glue (this can be skipped in with the 2016 Revit add-in, but I would recommend to keep using this workflow). 
  3. exported the equipment from BIM 360 Glue to BIM 360 Field.
  4. added bar-codes in BIM 360 Field (I will write about this in more detail later). Bar-codes are already nice and relevant when you are working in BIM 360 Field but, it becomes even better with Building Ops. With the bar-code a user can lookup a piece of equipment and log an issue. At the same time all the information available about that piece of equipment will be available both on an information level, such as schematics, purchace dates, etc. as well as a 3D view of the model.
  5. exported all information from BIM 360 Field to Building Ops. At the moment the export is only one way.

Building Ops currently has interfaces to access the Building Ops platform.

  • iOS
    The iOS platform is intended for mobile users.
  • Web
    The Web is the platform intended for the people that will be responsible for tasking and overseeing the service providers. This can also be handled from the iOS, however the larger screen will help here.

Building Ops is developed to cater to 3 main user groups.

  • tenants / occupants
    This group will be a group of mobile users logging the issues. A room being to hot, window being broken, AC leaking, lights not working, etc. Potentially this can also be used track things, such as chairs, desks, monitors, beds, that sit more on the facilities management side.
  • owners / operators
    This group will be the group that has an interest in understanding and controlling the issues and subsequent actions taken. This group will be involved in the setup of a building, the users, task types, signing service providers, etc. The web-based version will be the primary tool for this group.
  • service providers
    This group consist out of (frame) contractors, such as plumbers, ac maintenance, glas supplier, carpenter, that have been signed on to respond to tasks issued to them through the system. This group will use both the mobile platform as well as the web-based version.

Example #1
AC unit with bar-code
I currently live in the Middle East and AC units are really needed to make life bearable. At the same time the units will have a lot of issues during a year. Sometimes they will breakdown multiple times in one single week. The current process relies on calling the landlord and ask him to send someone over. Putting a bar-code on all the AC units will make it easier to log and track any issues with the units. This process is very intuitive for tenant, landlord and service provider. Additionally this data can be used for analytics as well. I intent to write more on that later.

Example #2
Being involved with building maintenance, I also was confronted with questions related to tracking of more mobile assets such as desk and chairs. Especially schools did not seem to have any records of what they had, while at the same time they were asked to present write off plans to governing bodies. Having a simple bar-code (like some of us will have on their laptops) stuck to these assets will make the difference of throwing things out or holding on to them for another couple of years. I don't envision a model that is continuously updated to have the right table in the right room, that just might prove to labor intensive.

What should be brought into Building Ops
After all of this the main question will be, how much information should be put into Building Ops. The catch here is that there is no easy one size fits all answer. In my opinion users should restrain a bit, look at which items are already causing issues on a regular basis and put those in. In other words what items will be directly actionable, such as toilets that get blocked, issues related to temperature. The opposite of this is to put items in that have long cycles, painting once every 5 years, replace heater between 15-30 years, recover bituminous roof 10-15 years.A rule of thumb, that I picked up working in the planned maintenance sector, is that 20% of the buildings assets will account for 80% of the maintenance cost.

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