For owners/operators seeking the holy grail digital twin, you must first create the AIM. AIM is the acronym “Asset Information Model”. You might be asking, “Wasn’t the dream of BIM to be that?” Of course BIM, Building Information Modeling, does inherently hold information at any point in its lifecycle. Unfortunately, the source of asset data is often default values or something downloaded from the internet to save time. The challenge is to specify data input and reporting in a meaningful way for AEC without disrupting cost or schedule.
The PMI team has been empowering building stakeholders to advocate for themselves on two digital fronts. The first is managing their AEC supply chains to deliver the quality of 3D data to fit the needs of facilities management. The second empowerment is a path to convert all the other structures in the enterprise that are past the design and construction lifecycles. It’s notable that both of these types of transformation share a common foundation. That foundation is predictable data that is interoperable. Asset data at all stages of the building lifecycle have commonality. The ideal BIM requirements focus on what those common aspects are and also understand what enterprises have unique needs for operating a building. PMI has termed our process to define those requirements as Enterprise Facilities Integration (EFI). Once a guideline for integration is established, owners can begin to see a digital transformation that is interoperable and at a foundation for higher levels of multi-use values.
What is “good data” and why is it important to target how it will be used? Defining the end goals (target usage) is key to understanding the data specifications for asset information models (AIM) at a foundational level. Something to consider is that good data can add a variety of ROI and it doesn’t need to be BIM if you don’t plan on re-engineering.
3D Virtual Tours – Data Integration Example
As a complement to implementing Laser Scanning and Scan to BIM efforts, PMI recently started providing data integrated Matterport as a complement to high-end scanning and Revit modeling. These Matterport virtual tours can allow our clients to have “virtual” visibility of a site throughout the building lifecycle. The spatial data can be integrated with information and linked to other data. I see the same potential for the “Virtual Tour” level of technology in terms of integration. While not as accurate as a point cloud, it can be a useful tool for record information. In the example below the embedded data is serving space planning as you hover over a workstation. It could just as easily be integrated with links to booking software in an agile workspace or equipment data and maintenance information.
Record Revit model – Data Integration Example
The 3D model lifecycle can consider Facilities Management from its early inception. The example below is a project PMI is modeling with TMC Drafting Services for John Deere and has little existing data. One thing that was acquired from the terrestrial scanning was the ability to read the equipment tags/QR codes captured in the scan. These tags could have initially come from a mechanical engineer as a mark for the purpose of scheduling. However, the potential for interoperability in the life of the plant becomes possible because good data establishes relationships and database connectivity. What would it take for a large enterprise to establish one consistent piece of information (Primary key) for all forms of information on any given asset? I truly don’t know, but establishing a standard for BIM to PDF cut sheet names might make nailing a record model a whole lot easier.
Hold PMI to a standard when we commission your data. In fact, hold all your consultants to that same standard. We can help you develop that standard as we are with TMC/John Deere and other clients. My team is acutely aware of the whitewashing of the term digital twin. However, we know the proof is in the data and the potential for interoperability. Don’t even get me started on the perception of the “LOD” levels and how it equates to the usefulness of models in the hands of building owners. That is too often qualified by visual detail and the type of consultant or contractor turning over a model. “LOI” is what really matters for owners. “Level of Information” can be its highest value in the most basic LOD100 model or even the virtual tour example above. In fact for the owner and FM managers who don’t deploy the highest end workstations, having something light and data-rich would serve a higher value.
A great starting place to see where your current BIM data is at on an LOI scale is to open the MEP model and try to export just the equipment to COBIE. How clean does it look? What is COBie? That is a topic for another blog.
Enterprise Facility Integration (EFI) is a method my teammates and I at PMI have developed to help client’s phase into BIM to FM maturity so that value milestones are defined. Anyone who has held positions in BIM Management or as a VDC Project Manager in the last twenty years understands that corporations adopt BIM incrementally. Adopting BIM practices strategically results in incremental returns. The PMI AEC+O team has developed our process using experience we have gained through managing Architects, Engineers and Construction (AEC) teams migration with BIM tools and data. Using our knowledge, we have created a phased approach to data maturity and a foundation for Digital Twin and Industry 4.0 use cases. These can be used by owners and operators seeking BIM to FM and Digital Factory value. Two helpful tools PMI uses as we phase value for operations and facilities management BIM use cases are the data maturity wedge (Digital Twin flavor) and BIM value hierarchy.
Building a data standard for your highest value
PMI – Data Maturity Matrix
The data maturity wedge was introduced in the UK BIM standard as a key component in a path to iBIM (collaborative interoperable data). It has seen many flavors in different standards, articles, and slide talking points. The wedge is a common expression of an organization’s building data maturity. It represents enterprise record data and all available AEC supply chains. The four levels of information exchange represent data interoperability or lack of opportunities to standardized and exchange information between stakeholders in building life-cycles.
The PMI version of the wedge considers phase four as the integration to Digital Twin and Industry 4.0. The key reason is that all levels of data should consider the highest usage goals. What this means is that when a standard is considered for example, organizing asset documents, being indexed into level four becomes a value. The same can be said for all intermediate forms of data from Revit to CMMS. The unique difference from what the PMI maturity wedge is that it’s not just a high level BIM/VDC viewpoint. The PMI wedge is a search for interoperability beyond the AEC life-cycle. Finding common data value across AEC+O eliminates the biggest problem with digital building/plant floor life-cycles. A large percentage of design and construction data becomes throw-away rather than serve operations. As each form of building or plant floor data becomes interoperable to level four, (the foundation of data usage) the value hierarchy becomes a catalyst for return on investment.
BIM Value Hierarchy
Data Value Hierarchy
PMI’s BIM Value Hierarchy looks very similar to Mazlow’s for a reason. In the same sense a person can’t self-fulfill their needs without a foundation, Digital Twin/Industry 4.0 can’t return value without a foundation. That value needs to be informed by building the foundation from the bottom using standards.
When PMI first starts partnering with a client, one of our first goals is to define the standards base on the usage needs to be fulfilled. In this case our Hierarchy focuses on a high level of value. Since usage and value are at the top of the pyramid, each collection of data, from basic to rich, needs to be interoperable and integrated. There are at least five layers of integration we feel need consideration:
Digital Twin/Industry 4.0 usage – forecasting, big data analysis, etc.
A consideration for the visual of a fully shaded in pyramid is that would represent a completion of all levels. For a large enterprise, this takes many years in the commissioning of data alone. A phased approach means finding a way to leverage return along the migration of data.
Building a foundation
PMI Early EFI Value
Interoperable data can enable so many more value propositions than just big data forecasting. This is the reason EFI is able to phase return on investment. The iBIM goal, for example, from the UK standard, is a milestone of rich data collection that comes from construction and renovation projects. Integrated design workflows in facility construction have proven “SMARTER, CHEAPER, FASTER…” for owners, Architects, and Construction managers. The same can be said for digital factory. However, those value propositions often end in throw-away record data. That might be because they lack the higher value interoperability that facilities management (FM) and operations requires. Another possibility is that without people in stakeholder positions the data goes un-managed and becomes obsolete. A well-planned early phase should milestone for these possibilities and migrate people and data to implementation.
PMI will continue to digitize everything in our path as it has done for more than twenty five years. However, over the past several years we have made it a goal to not deliver throw-away data. The way we do that is to ask about a higher longer term value of interoperability. My team and I are also seeking to partner with our clients so that our foundational digital modeling services also deliver sustainable data. Over the last two years we have looked to consult on all barriers that prevent functional teams from operating and maintaining the data we deliver. This is why we have developed partnerships and services to compliment 3D data capture services. Here are a few we provide.
Site and Building Reality capture at all scales of precision
Certified Training solutions in the cloud and on-site
In today’s post, we are going to dive deep into what it means to have a “clean” model and share some of the principles that guide PMI when completing models for our customers. Whether you are working in traditional CAD or a full digital twin BIM a clean model will function well on your project, minimizing the time taken to rework data as the project progresses.
Why a Clean Model?
A Model is clean if it can be understood easily – by everyone on the team. With understandability comes readability, changeability, extensibility, and maintainability. All the things needed to keep a project going over a long time without accumulating up a large amount of technical debt.