BIM (building information modeling) is a good tool for clash detection, early project planning, and ongoing collaboration. But as the value of BIM is seen throughout the construction industry, users are finding the data can provide benefits beyond just construction.

This trend—which some have coined as the sixth dimension of BIM—aims at taking the data from construction and sharing it with FM (facilities management) to provide owners with critical information that can be used during operations and maintenance of a facility. Technology providers recognize this trend and have developed integration points within solutions to help extend BIM to FM.

One of the most recent examples comes from FM:Systems, www.fmsystems.com, Raleigh, N.C. This week, the technology provider announced enhancements in its BIM Integration Component of FM:Interact. With the capabilities, facility managers will be able to capture information directly from Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., Revit models, which will help manage portfolios.

The new integration capabilities look to connect design, construction, and FM, helping to enable the lifecycle of BIM from concept through completion, which has been a bit of a challenge in the past. The system also ensures critical building data isn’t lost, which is one of the biggest benefit of the integration.

Marty Chobot, vice president, FM:Systems, says the company’s goal is to build products to remove barriers for sharing information and help facility professionals plan maintenance before they even take occupancy of a building.

FM:Systems isn’t the only technology provider looking at ways in which to connect BIM to FM. The construction industry as a whole has recognized this trend and taken action. One example is COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange), www.wbdg.org/resources/cobie.php, which identifies content that needs to be exchanged at each phase of the project.

Want a more in-depth look at how BIM can be used long after the construction phase is completed, and the role construction companies need to play in data exchange? Make sure to check out the forthcoming May/June issue of Constructech magazine, which includes a feature that dives into how model data can be made available to owners.