When all of the commissioning information is
entered, each design model splits, with a facility model
containing asset locations and data delivered to the
owner, before the facility even opens. That model is
integrated into our asset management data hub system
and integrates all of our new equipment right into our
asset management system. The design team retains the
original model that continues to be updated through the
final finish stages of construction. This record model is
delivered to the owner shortly after the facility opens.
All of our preventive maintenance programs are already
in place and everything integrated before the doors
open and the first guest checks in.
BIM is not a flawless process, where data magically
flows like water, nourishing all. Within the AEC
industry, it is still a disruptive process that represents
a significant change from traditional approaches. Many
designers and contractors, of all scopes and scales, are
still unfamiliar and even anxious about BIM. Adoption
can be difficult for facility managers as well, with new
asset management programs and processes. There are a
number of lessons we have learned at Denver through
the development of this program.
The first thing that must be understood in developing
a BIM program is to “begin with the end in mind,”
rule number two of Stephen Covey’s rules for highly
successful people. A successful BIM program begins
and ends with asset management. If you don’t have an
asset management program, or don’t integrate your BIM
program with your asset management program, then
your BIM efforts ultimately are going to be incomplete.
The greatest cost of a facility and, therefore, the greatest
potential for savings and gains in efficiency, lies in
the management and maintenance of that facility and
With that end in mind, the first step in establishing
a BIM program is to bring in knowledgeable people to
develop and manage the program. Hiring experienced
consultants is a great way to bring in substantial
experience very quickly. Even more critical is to staff
lasting positions within
your organization. Taking on
internal staff early will allow
your organization to maintain
through program development
and demonstrate to all parties
that your BIM program is truly
part of your organization. A
blend of experienced internal
personnel, such as legacy
CAD, GIS or asset management
staff, combined with new staff members skilled in
BIM processes and unencumbered with attachments
to existing processes, can provide a rich blend of
experience and insight for an internal BIM team.
Next, you need to understand your assets. What
assets will you track? Will the end users be strictly
maintenance staff? Will your GIS system be integrated?
With FAA’s new eGIS requirements, not to integrate
the BIM and GIS systems would seem like a missed
opportunity. What about your tenant management
What information will you track about each type of
asset? If you simply ask stakeholders, “What information
do you need?” there’s a good chance that the response
you’ll receive is “Everything.” When this happens, ask
for clarification and specifics. Often, once they get
down to the details, stakeholders may realize that while
there is a lot of information they might like to have,
they won’t necessarily need it or use it on any practical
basis. Share those lists with other stakeholders and
Set realistic goals, based on need and maximized
value for your facility. If every department in your
aviation organization is eager to use your BIM data
and tools, that’s great news. However, coordinating
the simultaneous integration of half a dozen or more
systems can lead to a logistical nightmare. Rolling out
a few key programs initially, and then incorporating
others, may be a more manageable approach.
Set methods for measuring your success and establish
baselines for your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Change orders, requests for information and adherence
to project deadlines are all good for a capital project.
Time from facility startup to full asset population
is another key indicator. Overtime rates, equipment
downtime, and staff utilization are great maintenance
KPIs to track as well.
Develop plain language standards that support, and
don’t distract from or obfuscate, your overall goals.
Then back those up with technical standards that are
IMAGE COURTESY OF DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND HNTB ;L1 ceiling composite