Chua C and Fadeyi MO (2020). The use of dynamo to automate the process needed to prepare building information modelling (BIM) models for facility management and operations. Built Environment Applied Research Sharing #01, ISSUU Digital Publishing Platform.
ÂŠ BEARS reserves the right to this applied research article 1
The use of dynamo to automate the process needed to prepare building information modelling (BIM) models for facility management and operations Camille Chua and Moshood Olawale Fadeyi,* Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services) Programme, Singapore Institute of Technology, 10, Dover Drive, Singapore 138683, Singapore *Corresponding authorâ€™s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABSTRACT Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process that allows multiple project stakeholders to collaborate from the planning and design stage to the construction of the building within a 3D model. In turn, the information can then be extended to be used for facility operations and management. However, the effective operational benefits inherent in BIM models are not usually realised at the facility management (FM) stage. There are two main circumstances to consider; inaccurate as-built BIM models received from the contractors and the lack of BIM skills by facility owners and managers to check BIM models received for accuracies, completeness, and any other problems. Additionally, they are also unsure about how to transform the 3D as-built BIM models to 6D BIM FM models, which will be more suitable for operational use. Thus, the BIM models are usually left untouched, unused, and neglected throughout the buildingâ€™s operations stages. This, in turn, wastes the efforts placed into the creation of as-built BIM models in the first place. There is a need to provide a solution to these problems to improve productivity in the FM sector. A solution that could potentially help address the concerns was developed. The potential benefits inherent in the developed solution was tested. There was a noticeable reduction in the time taken in identifying errors and inaccuracy in as-built models, and transforming as-built 3D models to 6D FM models. This study is important because it provides the knowledge needed to streamline and improve productivity in the facility management sector.
Keywords: Facility management, Building Information modelling, Computational BIM, Productivity
1. INTRODUCTION Without an accurate as-built BIM model, the development of 6D BIM models for facility management (FM) and operations will be futile (Lin et al. 2018). For example, if a technician referred to a BIM model on the Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) in which the location of the chiller is incorrect, the technician will spend time looking at the wrong place for the equipment, thereby increasing in the response time. IWMS or Computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) are platforms that integrate multiple business processes with its resources and information, which will be shared across many stakeholders. However, owners and their facility managers are usually not equipped with the skills or knowledge to check the as-built BIM models received from the contractors. If they are unable to validate the models received, they will not be sure of its quality. It is not safe to use a BIM model without assurance on its accuracy and quality because if operations staff were to rely on it unknowingly, it would result in unwanted implications. For example, if the information of an asset is missing in the as-built BIM model, and it was only found out many years later, accurate information about that equipment would be difficult to obtain. Trying to retrieve the information from stacks of hardcopy documents may not be feasible, as well. This was a common problem faced by many facility owners and managers. After facility owners receive their as-built BIM models from contractors, it is usually left untouched or checked for appropriateness and completeness. Only through an assessment of the BIM models later would they found out the problems in the models. Common problems found in as-built BIM models are inaccurate building systems information, interferences or clashes, missing or extra building system components, incorrect colour coding of systems, the wrong level of details, and no proper connection of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Correcting these problems, albeit necessary, before BIM models can be used for facility management and operations have time and financial implications for facility owners. The consequences can be reduced or avoided if the problems are identified before project closeout as contractors are still obliged to make the necessary corrections. Subsequently, the heavy 3D as-built BIM model will have to be transformed into a 6D lightweight BIM FM model by removing irrelevant information. A 6D BIM FM model will
BEARS #01 help to reduce the amount of manual data entry required to transfer the information into any facility management platform, which not only saves time but also reduce any human error. It is also said to have possibly up to 80%-time savings for operation and maintenance works (Naghshbandi, 2017). However, owners and facilities managers are not necessarily trained to edit the BIM model to convert the heavy 3D as-built BIM model to a lightweight 6D BIM model for FM operation purposes. The lack of such skills will impede the process of integrating BIM models into IWMS, other Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and any other use of the BIM models. This also results in the BIM models not being able to be put to good use despite the amount of effort put into the creation of the BIM models from design to construction phase. This study aims to streamline the process of converting 3D as-built BIM models to 6D models for effective and productive facility management and operations. The first objective of this study is to examine the effectiveness of the developed solution in providing a higher accuracy of BIM models for operation purposes. The number of problems and tasks completed within a limited time will be used as measures for determining the effectiveness. If the solution can detect a more significant amount of issues than the current traditional method, higher accuracy of the BIM models will be achieved. If the solution can complete more tasks correctly, higher accuracy of the BIM model can be achieved. The second objective is to examine the efficiency of the solution in streamlining the work processes needed to prepare BIM models for facility management and operation purposes. If the solution can reduce the time taken to check the asbuilt BIM models for problems than the traditional method, the process will be considered more efficient. If the solution can reduce the time taken to transform the as-built BIM model to a 6D BIM FM model than the traditional method, the process will be considered more efficient.
2. DEVELOPMENT OF SOLUTION The solution involved the development of a programme to automate the work processes needed to prepare the BIM model for facility management and operations use. The first component involved the automation of the work processes required to check the quality of the as-built BIM models. This is an important step to ensure the quality and integrity of the model that will be used for facility management and operation purposes subsequently. Additionally, mistakes that can be found quickly and accurately during the period of taking over from the contractors will still be the contractorâ€™s responsibility to fix. It is essential to eradicate errors and ensure the
BEARS #01 delivery of BIM models with integrity that meets the requirements of the client. The second component is to automate the work processes needed to transform the 3D dense as-built BIM model to an operationally ready 6D lightweight BIM FM model. This is another important step to prepare the BIM model for facility management and operation purposes. A heavyweight, complicated model with information more than required can easily mislead users. Moreover, as the amount of unnecessary information and details increases, more time will be taken to retrieve needed information among the rest of the details. Also, facility owners and managers may not necessarily be equipped with the skills to make changes to the model on the BIM authoring tool. Through automation, a lot of the work required can be simplified and made less complicated for the facility owners and managers. If the solution can help to increase the amount of work completed correctly, higher accuracy can be attained. The second component will also help to meet this study's second objective of increasing the efficiency of work processes because automation can reduce the time needed to complete the same amount of work. It is envisaged that both components will help simplify work processes in preparing the BIM models for operation purposes. By making the work processes simpler for the users, it will help to reduce the time required and increase the quality of the overall work done as they can spend time more productively. After much research on possible solutions as well as looking into currently available applications, it was decided to use Dynamo for Revit to develop the solution. A visual programming software was chosen over developing and writing written scripts due to the lack of a strong programming background. We also decided against other possible solutions such as Solibri for checking of models because Dynamo is an in-built software in Revit (Commonly used BIM Authoring Tool), which reduces the need for additional software and conversion of file types to cater to another software. Since it is already in-built into Revit, it also reduces the need to obtain another software. All in all, using Dynamo is a more convenient and costefficient solution on top of the multiple levels of functionality and benefits it already provides. It would be challenging to develop an Application Programming Interface (API) that can interact with Revit without the help of an expert for integration if other solutions were chosen. Dynamo is an application that helps users to create programmes also known as scripts, to solve 5
BEARS #01 certain problems in Revit. It is an in-built tool included in all versions of Autodesk Revit software. It replaces the typical way of writing codes to create programmes for architects, designers, and engineers, who are more visually oriented or users who are not very knowledgeable with the programming language, using graphic elements known as nodes. Each node will perform a specific task and â€œwiresâ€? are used to connect all the modes to form the programme. Additionally, customized packages of nodes written by online users can be used to create more complicated programs. If the nodes are insufficient, it is also possible to write a script for the node for the required function. This solution very versatile for many uses. Some of the uses or benefits of Dynamo includes automation of repetitive tasks, creating access to the data as well as doing a computational simulation to simulate different designs. 2.1
List of Functions
Based on the two main components for the designed solution, as explained above, a list of functions for each of the components would be explained. Each component will be made up of multiple functions to complete the different necessary tasks to meet the needs and objectives for each component. The lists are non-exhaustive, and what is listed below are the critical functions that are required to meet the objectives and the basic needs for facility management and operation purposes. Each of the chosen function will be developed using Dynamo and will go through tests to determine its effectiveness in meeting the objectives. The chosen functionâ€™s script design will also be discussed below. In this component, the functions were split into two main disciplines. Due to the difference in the parameters, similar functions were split into the two lists despite the programme design and methodology is the same. See Table 1 for details. In this component, the functions for the Architectural and MEP BIM models share the same list of functions. The purpose of this component is for facility owners and managers to prepare their BIM models and create a lightweight and more efficient BIM model for facility management and operation use. See Table 2 for details. 2.2
Prototype: Dynamo Scripts
The final scripts written for the selected functions are explained in this section. For each of the 6
BEARS #01 scripts, each step is grouped into boxes of green or orange. The box highlighted in orange refers to a step that the user will require to input data for the programme to run. 2.2.1 Part 1: Check as-built BIM Models In Figure 1, the Dynamo script was developed to check the architectural BIM modelâ€™s room boundaries. There are four main steps required to fulfill this function. In the first step, the nodes placed are used to attain all the rooms in the BIM model and subsequently filter out the rooms with an undefined area. For the rooms with problems in the BIM model, Revit will not be able to define the area of the room correctly, and hence when the room is equaled to 0, the programme will be able to filter out all the rooms with problems. Then, the rooms were categorised into two lists; rooms with problems and rooms without problems. In the second step, the nodes are placed to attain the corresponding information of the rooms, which are essential to identify the correct room. The required information includes name, number, and element ID of the room. By attaining the element ID, any user can search this ID in Revit, and the element will automatically be prompted. The third step is to export all the information attained into a report by using Microsoft Excel. Lastly, before running the programme, the fourth step is to key in the location that the excel file shall be saved. An example of the exported Excel report is shown in Table 3a, which would match the number of problems in the Revit Schedule, as shown in Table 3b. Without this function, users would have to check for the issues manually by creating a room schedule in Revit to look for the issues before extracting the element ID of each room with problems to create the report and give to the contractors to rectify the problems. Figure 2 shows the Dynamo script written to check the information fields of the MEP BIM model. The purpose is to check all the required fields for each mechanical equipment that has been filled up. This script can be duplicated for any other equipment in the model. The script is made up of four main steps to complete. In the first step, the programme runs to retrieve the mechanical equipment in the BIM model. In the second step, for each parameter, Mark (also Equipment Label), Comments (also Local Motor Control Panel), Brand, Equipment Model and Capacity, the programme will filter out all the entire list of equipment and check each of the corresponding fields that do not have any information input and filter them into a list by
BEARS #01 extracting each equipment’s unique element ID. In the third step, the programme will export the information gathered into an Excel sheet report. The last step is a step for the user to input the location that the excel sheet shall be saved. An example of the exported Excel sheet report is shown in Table 4a. Without this programme, users would have to manually look for the missing fields by creating equipment schedules to check each equipment’s information fields for the different parameters before extracting the element ID for each equipment with missing information to create a report. Table 4b shows an example of the missing fields in the Revit MEP schedule. Table 1: List of functions for solution's 1st component Function
Check Room Boundaries
The purpose of this function is to ensure that all rooms are enclosed properly by checking its room boundaries. This function will identify any rooms that have the errors; Not Placed, Not Enclosed and Redundant Rooms as defined by Revit. Inaccurate room boundaries will result to complementing information such as the room areas to be inaccurate.
Check Room Names
The purpose of this function is to check that all rooms have been named and numbered in accordance to a standard naming convention that was defined and decided with the facility owners. This is important to help identify the assets’ location, space and management of tenants during the operation stages.
Check for Duplicated Room Numberings
The purpose of this function is to check for any duplication of room numberings. Unlike room names, room numbers cannot have duplicates as they serve as a unique form of identification of a space that may have the same name as other spaces. For example, there can be two toilets on the same floor where the name of the space will be toilet, but the room numbers will serve as the unique ID to identify the specific toilet.
Check for Critical Interferences
The purpose of this function is to check for any major interferences to ensure the integrity of the model as per onsite conditions.
Check for Extra or Missing Critical Equipment
The purpose of this function is to check for any extra equipment that does not exist in the building, e.g. accidental placement of the same asset twice, or missing equipment that was not developed in the BIM model. This will affect the integrity of the BIM model and will mislead the users with wrong information.
Check Information Fields
The purpose of this function is to check that all the required information for an equipment have been filled up by the contractors. The information would have been pre-determined in the Asset Information Requirements (AIR) at the beginning of a project that must be delivered by the contractor. Information about an asset is critical for the efficiency and effectiveness of the day to day work for facilities management. Having accurate and sufficient information at hand for facility managers helps them to make informed and better decisions for the building which includes the maintenance processes. It is very important to attain this information from the beginning from the original manufacturers, vendors etc. This is because, over a period of time, it can get harder to attain the required information after the building starts its operations. For example, it will become almost impossible to attain the specific equipment serial number of a fan coil unit that is insulated and placed up high in the false ceiling in the building. Moreover, wear and tear as time goes by can also cause equipment plates to be worn off or scratched which results to the information becoming illiterate. All in all, the information of the equipment is deemed as one of the most important information to have for facility management especially for critical assets. *Critical assets can refer to assets that are critical to the performance of the buildings or any high value assets where replacement is costly and may have implications to other business processes.
Check for Duplicated Equipment Labels
Check for Compliance to Colour Code for MEP Systems
Check for Critical Interferences
The purpose of this function is to ensure that there are no duplicated equipment labels allowing easier identification of the assets. Most importantly, all information about a specific equipment is tagged by the equipment label. For example, it would be difficult to match and tag the correct information to the correct equipment when the BIM models are to be integrated to an IWMS for facility management purposes. The purpose of this function is to check if the different systems in the MEP BIM models are complying with the colour code as stated by the Singapore Building Construction Authority (BCA) â€œCode of Practice for BIM esubmission MEP.â€? The purpose of this function is to check for any major interferences to ensure the integrity of the model as per onsite conditions. As compared to the Architectural discipline BIM model, the MEP disciplines tend to have a higher chance of clashes due to large number of pipes, ducts and equipment constraint within the same space. Thus, it is important to check for clashes in these and against the different disciplines to ensure the integrity of the models.
BEARS #01 Table 2: List of functions for solution's 2nd component S/N Function Architectural & MEP Disciplines
Update Information into BIM Models
The purpose of this function is for users to update new information into their BIM models such as information that were only obtained after the completion of construction stages. An example could be the information of the new tenants. This function consists of 2 parts; extracting information and importing information back to the BIM model. Extract Information to Excel The first part is to allow users to extract the existing information from the BIM models into a commonly used format, excel, for the users to make adjustments or for any other uses. Import Information from Excel to BIM Models The second part is to allow users to update the BIM models with the updated information from the excel sheet.
Removal of Unwanted Items
The purpose of this function is to remove any unnecessary and unwanted items in the BIM model that is irrelevant to the operation stage. Keeping unwanted items will cause the BIM models to be huge, heavy and lag. Additionally, it reduces the efficiency of navigating the file and finding the required information. Below is a list of items commonly not needed in the BIM FM Models:
Non-Critical Assets; E.g. Furniture as defined by Facility Owners Construction Drawing Sheets, Schedules, Views etc. Reference lines, Planes, Scope Boxes etc.
The purpose of this function is to further lighten the BIM models and reduce the file size. This function consists of 2 parts; Purging and compacting. 3
Lighten the BIM Models
Purge Files to Remove Unwanted Items The first part is to remove any unused components that were previously loaded into the BIM models that would take up space. Compact Files to Reduce File Size The second part is to compact and overwrite the larger file size.
Figure 1: Dynamo Script for checking room boundaries Table 3a: Example of exported excel report for checking of room boundaries (Left). Table 3b: Example of room schedule in the Revit showing problems (Right) Problems Without Problems Element ID Room Name Room Number Element ID 3060380 Corridor 20-CR-02 3060307 3085010 Room 20-CR-03 3060358 3085024 20-CR-06 3060365 3060368 3060371 3060374
Room Name Office Office Office Office Office
Room Number 20-OF-06 20-OF-01 20-OF-02 20-OF-03 20-OF-04 20-OF-05
Figure 2: Dynamo Script to check BIM models' information fields Table 4a: Example of exported excel sheet report of missing information Element ID of Missing Equipment Label: Element ID of Missing LMCP: Element ID of Missing Brand: Element ID of Missing Equipment Model: Element ID of Missing Capacity: 3935502 7861570 7861570 7861570 7861570 7861613 7861613 7861613 7861613 7865203 7865203 7865203 7865203 7865218 7865218 7865218 7865218 7866616 7866616 7866616 7866616 7881170 7881107 7881107 7881138 7881138
BEARS #01 Table 4b: Missing information in Revit MEP schedule
The Dynamo script developed to check for any duplicated equipment labels in the BIM model is shown in Figure 3. There are four main steps for this function to be carried out. The programme would first retrieve all the mechanical equipment available in the BIM model. This script can be duplicated to do the same for any other equipment. In the second step, the programme runs to find all the duplicated mechanical equipment labels by using the parameter â€œMark.â€? The programme would filter the entire list of equipment labels to find the non-unique items (in other words, duplicated names) and retrieve the element ID of the equipment. In the third step, the programme would gather all the information required and export them into an Excel sheet report. The last step, step 4, is for users to input the location to save the Excel sheet report. An example of the extracted Excel Report of the list of equipment that has duplicate is shown in Table 5a. The first column represents the list of unique equipment labels found. For any equipment labels that are duplicated, it will be shown in the second column onwards. Without this programme, users would have to conduct visual checks on every equipment to look for any duplicated in names as shown in Table 5b. 2.2.2. Part 2: Transform as-built BIM models to BIM FM Models The purpose of this function is to be able to update new information into the BIM models easily by being able to extract existing information from the BIM models for reference and editing before importing the new set of information back into the BIM model. Without this programme, users would first have to manually create an equipment schedule, select the required parameters, and export the schedule as a text file before converting it to an Excel sheet. Then, to update the information back to the BIM models, users would have to go to each equipment and manually key in information cell by cell the new information. 13
Figure 3: Dynamo Script for checking duplicated equipment labels Table 5a: Example of exported excel report for duplicated equipment labels (Left); Table 5b: Missing information from MEP Schedule (Right) Equipment Element ID Element ID of Duplicated Equipment Labels AHU-21-01 2991808 3729818 CHWP-21-01 3516748 CWP-21-01 3517065 CWP-21-02 3517127 HWP-21-01 3517528 CH-21-01 3741993 CH-21-02 3742374 HP-21-01 3935502 EAF-21-01 6415301 HWP-21-05 7639227 7876093 VAV-20-01 7861570 VAV-20-03 7861613 VAV-20-04 7865203 VAV-20-02 7865218 7866616 HWP-21-02 7881107 HWP-21-03 7881138 HWP-21-04 7881170
BEARS #01 The Dynamo script for exporting information to Excel is shown in Figure 4. An example of extracting existing information about the rooms in the architectural BIM model was used. In this part, the four main steps in the script will run to extract the existing information from the BIM models into an Excel Sheet Report for editing. In the first step, the programme will retrieve all the rooms in the BIM model. In the second step, the programme will extract all the information of each room by selecting the parameters to extract. In this case, the parameters to extract include the Element ID, level, name, number, area, name of tenant, and occupancy rate. In the third step, the programme will gather all the information retrieved and extract them into an Excel sheet report. The last step is for users to input the location of where the Excel file should be saved. Table 6 is an example of the extracted Excel report with all the information required. The Dynamo script for importing information to the BIM model is shown in Figure 5. For example, the Excel sheet, as shown in Table 7, is updated with new information that shall be imported back into the BIM model. The name of the tenants and occupancy rate column in the Excel have been updated. In the script, there are three main steps for the programme to import the information back to the BIM model. In the first step, the user is required to select the Excel file containing the updated information to be imported into the BIM model. In the second step, the programme will read the information from the Excel file into a format for the BIM model to understand and Excel sheet into different columns of information. In the last step, the programme will overwrite the existing information by matching the different columns of information to the respective parameters. The programme will identify the information of each room through the element ID. Table 6: Example of extracted excel report for room information Element ID 3060307 3060358 3060365 3060368 3060371 3060374 3060380 3060394 3083026
Level Name Number STOREY 20 Collaboration Office 20-OF-06 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-01 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-02 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-03 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-04 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-05 STOREY 20 Corridor 20-CR-02 STOREY 20 Management Office 20-MO-01 STOREY 21 Plant Room 21-PR-01
Area Name of Tenant Occupancy Rate 150.8732516 Nil Nil 40.2193357 Nil Nil 40.30419244 Nil Nil 41.72202394 Nil Nil 41.01310819 Nil Nil 41.01310819 Nil Nil 47.18403125 Nil Nil 25.83801766 Nil Nil 78.21850707 Nil Nil
Figure 4: Dynamo Script to export information from BIM models into excel report
BEARS #01 Table 7: Example of excel sheet to be imported back into BIM model Element ID 3060307 3060358 3060365 3060368 3060371 3060374 3060380 3060394 3083026
Level Name Number STOREY 20 Collaboration Office 20-OF-06 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-01 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-02 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-03 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-04 STOREY 20 Office 20-OF-05 STOREY 20 Corridor 20-CR-02 STOREY 20 Management Office 20-MO-01 STOREY 21 Plant Room 21-PR-01
Area Name of Tenant Occupancy Rate 150.8732516 Shared Space 30 Pax 40.2193357 Untenanted 15 Pax 40.30419244 Untenanted 15 Pax 41.72202394 Untenanted 15 Pax 41.01310819 Untenanted 15 Pax 41.01310819 Untenanted 15 Pax 47.18403125 Non-Tenanted Space No Occupancy Rate known 25.83801766 Non-Tenanted Space 10 Pax 78.21850707 Non-Tenanted Space No Occupancy Rate known
The script to delete the unwanted items from the as-built BIM model is shown in Figure 6. The script consists of two main steps that do not require any actions by the user. The programme would first delete the non-critical assets, e.g., furniture, by selecting components unwanted in the first step. This step can be easily duplicated to delete any other unwanted items in the BIM model, as well. Then, the programme will delete all unwanted items that were used for construction purposes or drafting purposes, which include scope boxes, reference lines, reference planes, CAD links, elevation views, section views, drawing sheets, and schedules. Without this programme, the user would have to manually select the items in the BIM model to delete off the unwanted items which usually results to careless mistakes by leaving one or two items behind or accidentally deleting an item that was not meant to be deleted. The Dynamo script for purging and compacting files is shown in Figure 7. The script consists of two main steps where usersâ€™ actions are not required. In the first step, the programme would first purge the BIM model to remove all the unused items. Then in the second step, the programme would automatically compact the file size and overwrite the existing file to save the smaller sized file as the existing file. Without this programme, users would have to manually purge the files a few times to completely remove the unused items, as shown in Figure 8. However, in many cases, the file is not entirely purged to 0 due to carelessness. In the programme developed, the system would automatically run to purge until the figure reaches 0, leaving no errors before continuing to the second step. For the second step, users would usually have to manually compact and overwrite the file, as shown in Figure 9, whereas our programme would automatically do that for the user.
Figure 5: Dynamo Script to import information from Excel to BIM model 18
Figure 6: Dynamo Script to delete unwanted items off the BIM Model
Figure 7: Dynamo Script to purge and compact file
Figure 8: Example of steps to manually complete purging of file 20
Figure 9: Example of steps to manually compact and overwrite the File
3. METHODOLOGY FOR TESTING SOLUTION EFFECTIVENESS Tests were conducted to validate the outcomes for the implementation of the proposed solution. Two similar tests were conducted to validate the two components of the proposed solution – checking of models and transformation of models. Certain functions are duplicated for different disciplines; tests for the functions will only be conducted on one discipline. This is because the conditions of the test, the written code for that function, and the expected results will be the same. For example, the method of checking for interferences in the Architectural and MEP discipline is the same. Hence, a script and test were done only for the MEP discipline. Another example is the checking of room names for any duplicates will be the same as checking for any duplicates for equipment ID on the MEP discipline. The purpose of the first test was to find all the problems in the given as-built BIM model by conducting checks based on a list of tasks given. The purpose of the second test was to prepare the BIM model for operations uses by transforming the given as-built BIM model into a BIM FM model based on the given tasks. Each participant was given a set of instructions manual explaining the different tasks and scope of work required of them for each task and test specifically. Refer to Figure 10 “a” to “c” for the test instructions to the subjects.
Figure 10a: Test instructions for checking as-built BIM models 22
Figure 10b: Test instructions for transforming as-built BIM models to BIM FM 6D models 23
Figure 10c: Test instructions for updating new information for each room, removing unnecessary items, and purging and compacting files. 24
BEARS #01 The first objective for the two tests was to validate if a higher accuracy rate can be achieved by comparing the number of tasks participants can complete correctly with and without the proposed solution. The second objective was to validate if higher efficiency can be achieved by comparing the time taken to complete the tasks with and without the proposed solution. Each participant made two attempts for each test. On the first attempt, the participants used the traditional manual method to complete the required tasks. On the second attempt, the participant used the proposed solution to complete the tasks. Before the test, a short briefing was given to participants to ensure they know the expectations of the test and what they have to do. Using the mock-up as-built BIM model given, the participants tried to complete as many of the tasks as possible. For the first test, the participants tried to find all the problems planted into the as-built BIM model. The participants were given an excel sheet to record the problems identified for each task. For the second test, participants were required to complete as many of the tasks as possible for the transformation of the as-built 3D model to a BIM FM 6D model. A maximum of 20 minutes for each test. Figure 11 shows the BIM models used for the study. The size of the BIM models adopted is very small to serve the experimental purpose. The scale of building projects is much larger.
Figure 11: BIM models used for the study. The facilitator for analysis recorded the time for each task and attempt. Answers were recorded in the excel sheet, and completed BIM models for the second test were “marked” by the facilitator to determine the number of completed tasks for analysis. After the collection of the data, the results were analysed using:
Time Difference for each participants’ results 25
Percentage of time savings
Measure of location, mean, and median for all the participants’ results
The difference in the mean and median to determine if there are very extreme variation in the results
The same method of analysis was used to evaluate the level of accuracy attained before and after the implementation of the solution. 3.1
Tasks for Test 1
For the first test, participants did the following with the as-built BIM model they were given.
Check that all room’s boundaries in the architectural BIM model are enclosed with no “Not Enclose,” “Redundant”, and “Not Placed” rooms as defined by Revit.
Check if the MEP equipment have been named and its information have been filled up in the MEP BIM model
Check that all equipment has a unique equipment label
Tasks for Test 2
For the second test, the aim was to clean up the as-built BIM model to create a BIM FM 6D model. The following tasks were performed.
To update new information into the BIM model
To remove unwanted items including o Sheets/Schedules o Views/ Sections/ Scope Boxes o Non-critical assets such as furniture
To purge the files off unused components
Reduce the file size by compacting the file
Six main factors were considered to lower any influences of uncertainty in the results. The selected factors for this project were summarized and explained in the table below.
Table 8: Environmental factors for the tests S/N
Description Equipment used for the tests: The same computer, mouse and mousepad were given to the participants to complete the tasks. The purpose is to ensure that the specifications and performance of the computer is consistent to not affect the time needed. Measurement Equipment: The same mobile phone was used to record the time taken for the participants to complete the tasks given
A facilitator conducted the test and took charge in providing the initial instructions, record the time taken and ensure fairness of the test. The test was conducted in a space that meets the factors below. Thermal Comfort: o The space was air conditioned at a temperature deemed comfortable by the participant since different individuals will consider different temperature and humidity to be suitable for them. Indoor Air Quality: o The space was deemed to have comfortable air change levels to prevent stuffiness. Participants were asked whether they are comfortable or not with the space before commencing the actual test. Lighting: o The space was deemed to have enough lighting for the participants. The screen was placed away from any glare (such as from windows). The computer’s screen brightness was also adjusted to fit to the participants comfort level before the start of the test. Noise: o The space where the tests were conducted was an enclosed space with considerably low noise levels for the participant to focus on the task. Stress: o The space had considerably low amount of distractions such as low human traffic. High human traffic may cause stress to the participant. To garner support from the participants to spend time for the test, the convenience of the participants was prioritized. Individual meetups at spaces that meet the requirements were used to cater to the convenience of the participants. In order to ensure that the test among all the participants were fair, the conditions were strictly adhered to. The environmental conditions would be controlled to reduce any possibilities of anxiousness and stress from external factors.
Test Taker Factors
Factors affecting the participants’ condition of the mind may also indirectly affect the reliability of the results. For example, a stressed-out participant with a severe lack of sleep may not produce the same results as compared to when he is in a better state of mind. Thus, a reminder was also given to the participants to ensure that they should have enough sleep the night before the test. All participants were healthy during the tests.
The method used by all the participant was consistent. The method was guided by the instructions given to the subject – See Figure 10.
Five participants with proficiency in the BIM authouring tool and facility management industry took part in the study. It is important to ensure all the participants of the test have a similar level of proficiency to ensure that the results attained will be of equal footing. A small size is appropriate for this study because subjects have a similar level of proficiency. This is referred to as homogenous sampling (Bornstein et al., 2013).
4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1
Test 1: Checking of the as-built BIM models
This section provides results of the time taken to complete and accuracy of completed tasks in checking as-built BIM models with and without the proposed solution. 4.1.1 Time Taken for Tasks Table 9 shows the time taken for each participant to complete the tasks in Test 1 with and without the proposed solution. It was observed that all five participants were able to complete the required tasks faster with the use of the proposed solution. This would mean that they were able to use a shorter amount of time to complete the same amount of work, which increases the efficiency of their work processes. Table 9: Time taken to complete Test 1 with and without the proposed solution Time Taken for Each Participant (Before & After Implementation of Solution) (Secs) Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 Tasks Before After Before After Before After Before After Before After Part 1 - Checking of As-built BIM Models Task 1 241 162 237 141 229 150 233 153 263 167 Task 2 432 200 421 213 464 188 416 188 374 181 Task 3 263 176 276 149 273 138 251 128 270 159 Total 936 538 934 503 966 476 900 469 907 507
4.1.2 Accuracy of Completed Tasks Table 10 shows the completion status of each task for all the participants with and without the proposed solution. The green box means that the participant was able to complete the task correctly and on time as per the requirements of the instructionâ€™s manual. The red box meant that the participant did not complete the tasks required correctly either with mistakes or did not complete the requirements as per the instructionâ€™s manual. As evident from Table 10, the red boxes only occur for the attempt before the proposed solution was implemented. After the 28
BEARS #01 implementation of the solution, all the tasks were completed correctly for all five participants. This would mean that overall, the accuracy of the results would increase with the use of the proposed solution. 4.2
Test 2: Transformation of as-built models to BIM FM models
This section provides results of the time taken to complete and accuracy of completed tasks in checking as-built BIM models with and without the proposed solution. Table 10: Task completion status for Test 1 with and without the proposed solution Completion Status of Each Task (Before & After Implementation of Solution) Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Tasks Before After Before After Before After Before After Part 1 - Checking of As-built BIM Models Task 1 Wrong Task 2 Wrong Wrong Wrong Task 3 Legend: Completed Incomplete
Participant 5 Before After Wrong
4.2.1 Time Taken for Tasks Table 11 shows the time taken for each participant to complete the tasks in Test 2 with and without the proposed solution. The time was recorded in seconds for each task before adding up the time taken for the participant to complete each attempt. From the data recorded, it was observed that all five participants were also able to complete the same amount of work for each task in a shorter time with the use of the proposed solution. This observation suggests the potential of our developed solution.
Table 11: Time taken for Participants to complete Test 2 with and without proposed solution Time Taken for Each Participant (Before & After Implementation of Solution) (Secs) Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 Tasks Before After Before After Before After Before After Before After Part 2 - Transformation of As-built BIM Models to BIM FM Models Task 1 533 323 647 368 545 304 520 287 512 282 Task 2 287 136 285 147 251 126 241 131 217 117 Task 3 137 78 119 77 183 79 138 81 121 73 Total 957 537 1051 592 979 509 899 499 850 472
4.2.2 Accuracy of Completed Tasks Table 12 shows the completion status of each task for each participant with and without the 29
BEARS #01 proposed solution. It can be seen that the red coloured box that represents the uncompleted task due to mistakes happened only before the implementation of the proposed solution. Instead, all the participants were able to complete the tasks 100% correctly on the attempt using the proposed solution. This would mean that a higher level of accuracy was achieved with the use of the proposed solution. Table 12: Task Completion Status for Each Participant for Test 2 Completion Status of Each Task (Before & After Implementation of Solution) Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Tasks Before After Before After Before After Before After Part 2 - Transformation of As-built BIM Models to BIM FM Models Task 1 Incomplete Incomplete Incomplete Task 2 Incomplete Incomplete Task 3 Incomplete Incomplete Legend: Completed Incomplete
Participant 5 Before After
After analyzing the data collected from the two tests conducted to determine the effectiveness of the proposed solution, it can be concluded that the proposed solution was effective in meeting the objectives as well as the needs of the users. From the tests, it can be seen that the proposed solution was able to reduce the amount of time required to complete the same amount of work for different tasks making the work processes more efficient. However, the difference is minimal because of the small scale of BIM model used in this study â€“ See Figure 11. We hypothesis the difference will be significant in hours or even days for complex, large or high rise buildings BIM models. Further study will be conducted to verify the hypothesis. As for accuracy, the tests conducted also proved that the proposed solution helped the users to identify more problems in the as-built BIM models and complete the required tasks more accurately. The benefit inherent in our proposed solution, as suggested by the results, will be more pronounced in complex and large buildings BIM models. With that, it can be deduced that the proposed solution has effectively helped to solve the problem based on the tests conducted. The adoption of our proposed solution will benefit facility owners and managers to make better used on developed BIM models during design and construction stages to improve the productivity of facility management and operations. Our findings imply that lesser manpower, 30
BEARS #01 especially for complex and large buildings, will be required in reviewing as submitted as-built BIM models for errors and unwanted information. To reduce the time taken to check for errors while improving accuracy with the non-automatic process will require more manpower. This has financial implications for all parties involved. The higher accuracy our solution provides will help prevent safety problems that may occur due to error in building models used for facility management and operations.
As BIM models start to become more and more used for operational purposes in the industry, facility owners and managers need to be able to prepare the BIM model efficiently and effectively. The facility owners and managers need to have the proper resources and aids to help them ensure that they will be able to prepare the BIM models appropriately. Appropriately in terms of conducting accurate checks after receiving them from the contractors as well as cleaning up the as-built BIM model to create a BIM FM model that is more relevant for facility management and operational use. With that, the BIM models will be able to be applied and ready for any purpose when the owner decides to enhance the digital capability of their facility. Additionally, the BIM models would be able to put to good use and that the time and cost spent on developing the models from design to construction would not go to waste. We plan to conduct further studies to verify the potential of our developed solution. Nevertheless, our initial findings show that our developed solution has the potential for improving the productivity of facility management and operations.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The support of the Singapore Institute of Technology in carrying out this applied research study is gratefully acknowledged. Ms. Camille Chua did the work and contents of this paper as part of her BEng final year design project in the Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services) programme. Dr. Moshood Olawale Fadeyi guided the development of the prototype solution and experimental design to test the effectiveness of the developed solution. Dr. Fadeyi also contributed to the development of this article.
REFERENCES Bornstein, M. H., Jager, J., and Putnick, D. L. (2013). Sampling in developmental science: Situations, shortcomings, solutions, and standards. Developmental Review, 33(4), 357-370. Lin, Y. C., Lin, C. P., Hu, H. T., and Su, Y. C. (2018). Developing final as-built BIM model management system for owners during project closeout: A case study. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 36, 178-193. Naghshbandi, S. N. (2017). BIM for facility management: challenges and research gaps. Civil Engineering Journal, 2(12), 679-684.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Click the link below to view additional information. Download the PowerPoint slides to view the videos of the proposed solution in the slides. The authors reserved the right to the information provided in the slides. https://www.dropbox.com/s/tuoozfxfj5c12a8/Supplementary%20Information_Proposed%20S olution_Chua%20and%20Fadeyi%202020.pptx?dl=0
Chua C and Fadeyi MO (2020). The use of dynamo to automate the process needed to prepare building information modelling (BIM) models for fac...
Published on Feb 11, 2020
Chua C and Fadeyi MO (2020). The use of dynamo to automate the process needed to prepare building information modelling (BIM) models for fac...