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To BIM or not to BIM

To BIM or not to BIM

Thursday 06 october 2022

BIM, for Building Information Modeling, is a digitalization method for designing, building, managing and maintaining a building in a collaborative manner. BIM consists of offering a single, centralized, coherent and updated computer system for digital building modeling, replacing pre-existing representations, in paper or digital format, which were previously too dispersed and often incompatible with each other.

> Why a CMMS for property maintenance?

BIM is a subject that is now high on the agenda of Facility Managers, but which is still poorly understood and therefore still widely underused. Some believe that the process of implementing BIM data is too cumbersome, or that it requires knowledge of sophisticated and expensive CAD (Computer Aided Design) and 3D modeling software in order to use the information. Both of these ideas are no longer completely accurate today. We will detail below the advantages of the approach, the challenges to be overcome and, as this subject is particularly close to our hearts, we will see how to associate BIM with CMMS in order to optimize the operation-maintenance of buildings.


Building Information Modeling provides a rich 3D experience that includes digital simulations and rehearsals of all stages of the design, construction and operations process. BIM also encourages collaboration, enabling digital management and sharing of information by all those involved in construction and operation. The information contained in BIM enables more informed decision making, better visibility for all, facilitates communication during the project and, overall, ensures cost savings and better results. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of BIM:

  • Savings on building delivery: the ability to virtually build as many times as necessary to create the perfect model.
  • Realization of savings in building operations
  • Better control of budgets: through a very precise modeling, budgets are better controlled.
  • Improved efficiency: because all actors work collaboratively, errors, discrepancies and duplication are avoided.
  • Improvement of customer satisfaction: the customer receives a work that perfectly matches his expectations and needs.
  • Increasing safety: BIM enables studies on crowd behaviour and fire modelling to be carried out in order to optimize public safety standards.
  • Improved project predictability and early modification: Projects can be visualized at an early stage, via a 3D model, giving owners and operators a clear idea of the design intent and allowing them to modify the architecture to achieve the work they want.


While the benefits of BIM systems are numerous, there is still a certain level of difficulty associated with this innovation. Here is a brief summary of the challenges to be overcome in a BIM project:

  • Software investment cost: purchase and implementation
  • Lack of interest on the part of project stakeholders
  • Misappropriation of tools due to insufficient change management and training
  • Problem of standardization of tools that could lead to incompatibilities
  • Difficulty in "onboarding" all participants from building design to operations

However, these difficulties have diminished over the years. This is due, on the one hand, to lower software and infrastructure costs, and in particular the Cloud hardware architecture on which the most modern solutions are hosted, and, on the other hand, to the greater digital maturity of the players involved, facilitating the acceptance of innovation and these new-generation solutions.


The information stored in BIM includes schedules and drawings as well as asset data sheets such as cost, location, life expectancy, carbon impact, maintenance, spare parts, orders, replacements, serial number, warranty details, etc. 

There is thus a massive amount of data to be processed, and when it can be directly integrated into a CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) or CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) such as Yuman, the data poured directly into these software programs allows precise, rigorous and efficient monitoring of all maintenance operations and facilitates the transition between the construction phase and the building's operation phase. In the long term, the result is a reduction in the number of incidents, easier maintenance operations, and longer service life for equipment and infrastructure.

BIM enables Facility Managers to make informed decisions throughout the life cycle of facilities in areas such as organization and use of space, maintenance of equipment and assets, energy consumption and building profitability. 

The number of equipment and asset failures thanks to rapid diagnostics and forecasting of asset performance, especially when the building integrates IoT (Internet of Things). Maintenance managers and technicians can also have 3D visualization of technical assets, mock-ups, plans, locations, service history and specifications, and contract information prior to a maintenance visit, improving diagnostics, response times and reducing the number of interventions.

The extension of BIM to building operations is identified by the acronym BMM for Building Maintenance Management. Thus, the ability to connect this data using open standards significantly increases the number of statistics available for a fine analysis of a site's operations from both an operational and financial perspective. 

Although the recognition of BIM strategy in building management and industry initiatives in terms of standardization are growing in France and Europe, the implications of BIM in the operations phase are still relatively new. While there are many BIM implementations during the design, planning and construction phases, many authors point out that the specific use of BIM in the facility management sector is still very limited.

Some recent studies have proposed the use of BIM to integrate maintenance information, however, it should be noted that the information needed to implement BIM is not always available in an integrated and standardized digital model. Existing buildings are often faced with outdated information due to the failure to update as-built documentation, which presents a challenge to using a BIM strategy in this context.

Nevertheless, interoperability between BIM and current FM technologies remains a challenge focused on information and data transfer during building operation and maintenance.


For many countries, such as Great Britain, BIM is now an obligation for public sector projects, requiring all information, documentation, plans and data relating to projects and assets to be available in a structured and standardized digital format. For other countries, such as France, it is an incentive strategy that has been adopted, resulting in a voluntary commitment to comply with the BIM 2022 plan put in place as part of the digital transition. In any case, the use of this modeling is growing worldwide, making it an essential tool for an increasing number of Facility Managers and service providers. 


BIM is the appropriate technology for storing and retrieving data related to the construction, maintenance and management of existing buildings. This approach brings a considerable number of advantages such as data consistency, the assurance of having relevant modeling available throughout the life of the site, and the ability to benefit from integrated 3D views of all existing facilities, directly associated with the history of events. Each element of the model, be it the building envelope, an interior wall, a piece of furniture, a space, an equipment or a group of elements, has a unique identifier. The standard upstream coding of all these assets and the transfer of their identity card to CMMS tools considerably reduces the tasks associated with asset inventory. However, there is a small downside for older buildings, which, in order to be included in the model, require an effort to collect and record all their associated digital information during BIM implementation.


By the way, our ambition is to offer an unparalleled user experience. Check it out right away: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, the time it takes to create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon!


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