New forum aims to align built environment data standards

New forum data standards

A new forum of industry bodies aims to improve the way data including BIM is used to manage maintenance costs, carbon, and building and facilities management.

BIM models can provide 80% of the data needed to create robust maintenance programmes. But most surveyors are not using it and it is lost at handover, warns the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

BESA is a member of the forum alongside the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the National Building Specification and others.

The forum will also encourage data sharing and address the temptation at design stage to cut upfront expenditure without regard for higher lifetime maintenance costs. It is working to align digital tools used throughout the industry.

Lack of maintenance data

Frustration at lack of quality maintenance data is widespread, says BESA chief executive David Frise. He said: “More than 80% of the total cost of ownership of any built asset is in ongoing operation and maintenance. But many clients find it almost impossible to get a clear handle on how much they should be spending and on what.”

He added: “Many building owners and occupiers tell us they are sick and tired of not having access to complete cost and asset specific data about how their buildings need to be designed and built in a way that will optimise how they are run and maintained.

“They now desperately need to cut running costs, whilst make sure their buildings are safe and compliant, and get on with delivering their net-zero carbon reduction targets.”

The UK market for building maintenance is worth more than £60bn a year, according to estimates. BESA is concerned that a “significant” proportion of this is not being targeted at reducing carbon and running costs. Or safety and efficiency.

Aligning maintenance software

At its national conference on Thursday BESA will show how its maintenance software SFG20 can align with the RICS New Rules of Measurement (NRM) for building works. And the BIM Construction Classification (Uniclass) developed by NBS, plus CIBSE’s Guide M best practice guidance for management and maintenance of engineering services.

BESA argues that aligning these tools can ensure the necessary information from projects once built is handed over to enable fully costed plans for lifecycle, operation and maintenance. Currently, too much data is lost and preparing these plans is little more than “guesswork”, it adds.

While Uniclass is embedded in the BIM process, BESA says industry data bodies agree there is a problem at project handover. This leads to much of the design information not being used in surveys to set maintenance schedules and upload data into CAFM systems.

The forum’s creation follows the government’s push to improve data use across its portfolio of properties to improve performance, lower costs, and reduce carbon. This is being carried out as part of its Building Better Buildings programme via the Government Property Function (GPF).

Don’t miss out on BIM and digital construction news: sign up to receive the BIMplus newsletter.

Story for BIM+? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News