BIM to FIM the Easy Button

Is there really an easy button when it comes to FIM? Here is a quick look at the frontier of BIM to FIM integration, we talk to the benefits and some ways to go about the integration. The vast majority of structures built today are created with some facet of BIM, encouraging the integration of BIM into Facilities Management (FM) tools.

Through BIM, we can now lift data such as spaces, equipment data, and room finishes from conception through the lifecycle of the structure. Integrating BIM with Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) solutions can streamline space planning, procurement, preventative/preemptive maintenance, work order creation and more. Also, upon completion of a project, information typically gathered by a team sent into the field can now be gathered from the model instead, offering significant time savings.

By integrating BIM into Facilities Management tools, a visual and interactive environment is added to the workflow. For example, an air handler unit can now have warranty information, links to operation and maintenance manuals, and links to real-time data such as air flow and temperature, wiring diagrams and spare parts lists. In addition, model element location information can now be linked with CMMS and CAFM systems. This allows facilities management teams the ability to have the necessary information in a more tangible form at their fingertips creating efficiencies in their day to day task.

Soon a facilities manager won’t even need to know how to navigate a model. Through the use of bar codes, real time location systems and portable devices such as iPads, the manager will simply have to scan codes located within the rooms of the building and the model-view will automatically orientate itself to match where the iPad is being pointed. This can be taken a step further by accessing different layers of the model, essentially creating an interactive “x-ray” portal into walls.

Many exciting technology tools are on the horizon that will make communicating information on your project much more intuitive, productive and efficient. To maximize the benefits of BIM, make sure all project stakeholders are involved early in the process. Bear in mind, there is no magic BIM to FM “easy” button. Many emerging technology systems are still in their infancy. As a result, your team should work to have the software conform to your process. Because of the rapid pace at which these software tools are developing, it is prudent to look at BIM technology in a mere twelve to eighteen month window instead of assuming you will obtain an all-encompassing solution.


  1. I had to remove two comments offering software I do not endorse. This is a place for discussion not to shill for your software solution. Please continue to comment and offer ideas, problems, workflows and others items while not endorsing specific software. If you are a software vendor send an email to I will review your product with the other contributors and if we feel you offer something unique we may place a post about your offering. However this is a place of discourse and discussion not sales I hope everyone understands if you have any questions please contact me at the above email.

  2. Anonymous

    It is hard for me to look only 12-18 months out when the tools are not there yet… That's my downfall.. I am greedy for the next set of tools before they have even been fully thought out.
    I mentioned my thoughts on LinkedIn a few days ago about a database that controls the cad package you are working in… a bim database that can be used for design, construction and FM that evolves at the different stages… but starts in SD and becomes the model. Platform independent so anyone can do BIM… add to, and take information from, the database.

  3. Anonymous

    Real time location systems, this is your RFID but it should be supplemented for users who are only using smart phones and just want the information and could care less what the model shows. I think the author makes a good point and would like to hear what others have to say and their experiences.

  4. Anonymous

    Bar codes? Quaint. 😉 RFID

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