How are life cycle costs more predictable and better understood by using BIM?
The above question was asked the other day. Here was my short answer......
True BIM is nothing more than data. As such, data can be flexed to see how it responds to differing variables. We do this with weather modeling, manufacturing, and engineering. It's now time for the A/E/C industry to understand that the same criteria that we have been doing for years in "computer modeling" also applies to buildings.
For instance, if a HVAC unit from a manufacture has life cycle data (and they all test their equipment for failure) associated with it and we place it in a BIM and then simulate demands on that system based upon building performance. We can then adjust design/maintainence schedules etc. to allow for better performance or planned replacement. You can then extrapolate that data even farther. If it's a replacement schedule, how is that going to impact the owner at that point in time? Do we need to plan for areas of occupancy to change? Do we want to schedule other items for repair in that same area? Is this going to be a mission critical situation?
If I can design a building, that based upon my BIM modeling/testing that out performs a comparable building, I should then be able to tell my owner "here are the numbers based upon a XX number of years it will cost to operate this facility". I've pulled in the power usage data of all systems, adjusted for seasonal/weather conditions, etc. "Mr. Owner, check these numbers compared to your existing facilites operating costs."
Again, this is the same testing we've seen in the automotive industry or in fact, anywhere performance is critical on manufactured items.