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Using Data to Improve Facilities Management

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Using Data to Improve Facilities Management


Cars, appliances and many other useful items often come with user manuals. These can prove valuable in maintaining the quality of your new purchase. What many people do not think about when entering a building are the complex systems running everything from temperature to lighting and even monitoring the humidity.  Like anything with moving parts, these systems must be maintained, which often requires a dedicated team.

At W. M. Jordan’s NASA Measurement Systems Lab (MSL) project, a comprehensive facilities management tool was necessary to keep everything up and running.  Typically, when we hand a project over to the owner, there is an operations and maintenance manual that covers the different systems in the building.  Often, this information gets passed to a facilities management team, where someone must physically manage the input of data from the various systems in the building.

A project like the NASA MSL has numerous systems performing many tasks, which require constant monitoring. W. M. Jordan’s Virtual Design Construction team is able to use Construction Operation Building Information Exchange (COBie) to transfer system information from WMJ’s Autodesk Revit software to the client’s Facilities Management software, like IBM’s Maximo.

COBie helps capture and record important project data at the point of origin, including equipment lists, product data sheets, warranties, spare parts lists and preventative maintenance schedules.  This information is essential to support operations, maintenance, and asset management once the building is in service.

“The technology is quite cutting edge, and is not done on many projects,” said Virtual Construction Coordinator Geoff Bean. “There is a significant amount of effort that takes a lot of involvement from the Owner, the Construction Manager, and the Trade Partners alike.  While the upfront input is intensive, the long-term benefits of such a Facilities Management plan for complex arenas like NASA Langley Research Center are massive.”

This is an example of a component breakdown for a heating unit at the NASA MSL. Data including fan speeds, cooling and heating specifications as well as filter sizes are sent via COBie to NASA's Maximo Software.

At NASA’s MSL, COBie information is imported into Maximo, where repair technicians and facilities maintenance staff have access to automatically generated task schedules, as well as live updates on systems that need to be serviced, parts breakdowns, and quick access to support should they need to call extended maintenance.

W. M. Jordan Company continues to look at innovative ways to improve our client’s experience, as well as the quality of building we provide. Interactive Facility Management plans are just one of the many tools in our Virtual Construction toolbelt. Reach out to us for more information on how our VDC team can help solve your project needs.

Geoff Bean, Virtual Construction Coordinator