The Power of Data
July 24, 2012
Construction technology advancements and implementations typically center around one overarching trend—data and how to get it into the hands of the correct stakeholders. Whether it is a discussion about BIM (building information modeling), project management, estimating, or ERP (enterprise-resource planning) most conversations about construction technology today boil down to data.
A good example of this is how data is exchanged and managed within the BIM process. BIM has commonly been used as a reference point for how information can be better shared among project stakeholders—involving everyone from contractors, subs, suppliers, and even owners. The big trend has been how to gather data from the model and share with owners for facilities management and ongoing maintenance.
A number of tech providers have recognized this trend and are developing solutions for construction teams to better manage—and share—the data. FM:Systems, www.fmsystems.com, Raleigh, N.C., has been on this journey for quite some time. Roughly two years ago, the company first announced integration with Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., Revit, in hopes of bridging the gap between BIM and FM (facilities management).
In continuing with this strategy, last week, the company announced the release of FM:BIM, which is the company’s new cloud-based system to capture and share data and documents via the Web. This product will allow architects, engineers, and contractors to distribute building information to the owner throughout the lifecycle of the building, while also freeing Revit users to focus on modeling as opposed to data entry.
The company says the product can help AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) firms differentiate in a competitive market and maintain ongoing relationships by using FM:BIM to manage renovations and retrofits. FM:Systems points to another interesting trend: the possibility of creating new revenue streams by providing data-commissioning services.
The software, in the end, meets a need for all the users involved—it gives the right information to the team members that need it.
As another example, last week, Gehry Technologies, www.gehrytechnologies.com, Los Angeles, Calif., announced a new solution for online BIM collaboration. With GTeam, a cloud-based file management and collaboration platform, architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, and building owners can share documents, files, and model data.
The company suggests owners and enterprise organization can even use the portal as a BIM data storage platform to consolidate and organize as-built documents of all existing and future buildings.
And these are just two examples of releases from last week alone. The trend toward capturing and sharing data—in all areas of a construction business—is quickly gaining momentum. As new tech providers come to market with advancing solutions, it will be interesting to watch how the construction industry adopts and creates strategies surrounding the new products.