Is your construction data fit for the lifecycle of the project? This is a question more and more construction companies are asking themselves these days. Whether it is associated with managing the various stages of a project, or linking the data with systems to help manage the lifecycle of the finished project, the talk of “lifecycle” has never been hotter in construction.

Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., is focusing on the lifecycle in a somewhat unique manner these days. Across the pond, as they say, in the United Kingdom, BAM FM, which is the facilities management arm of BAM Construct UK, www.bam.co.uk, Hertfordshire, U.K., is looking to prove a model that applies the ideas associated with BIM (building information modeling) to every component of a building’s lifecycle.

Billed as a research and development project, the idea is based around the notion of bringing BIM into the way facilities are managed after a building is completed. Anticipated results include buildings with fewer faults and lower operating costs, says BAM, which also has the software and data systems in place that prove data associated with BIM can be transferred automatically into facilities management software.

The project is at UCL Academy, London, and includes Autodesk products Revit and BIM 360 Field (formerly Vela Systems). The process of pulling information from 3D BIM models into a building’s facilities management workflow systems is designed to improve the way owners manage their assets.

A brief example for how BAM is using BIM 360 Field is for a project with Rolls-Royce to build an advanced blade casting facility at Rotherham’s Advanced Manufacturing Park. Autodesk calls the factory one of the most advanced blade casting facilities in the world and is set to feature groundbreaking manufacturing techniques.

The BAM field workers have been using iPads onsite where they leverage the BIM model and convert all of their paperwork onto the device. Autodesk says BAM has experienced an increase in productivity using BIM 360 Field in that it cuts down on the amount of paperwork field workers need to complete. In all, it enables that realtime reporting for the team. It is just one example of how the mobile technology can be incorporated into this idea of managing data for the lifecycle.

BAM believes this is a unique case in putting to test theories around how 3D data that is developed throughout the various stages of a construction project can be accurately incorporated into the process of managing the facility for the long term.

According to Autodesk, its COBie Extraction tool plays a strong role in this process in that it enables BAM to mine BIM data and provide handover information that meets a mandate put in place by the U.K. government with the intention to require collaborative 3D BIM on its projects by 2016. This mandate would require all project and asset information, as well as documentation and datasets to be provided in electronic form.

Autodesk acknowledges that BAM’s project will go beyond COBie to provide as-built data supplemented with commissioning information collected in the field. This is where the BIM 360 Field products play a role, providing a complete data record that can be used for facilities management.

While talk of using data to manage projects better throughout the lifecycle has been prevalent in construction for years, projects such as this are demonstrating how companies are putting theories into practice. Don’t miss the Sept/Oct issue of Constructech where we dig deeper into how to best leverage your data in order to manage the lifecycle of a project more efficiently.