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|Who Manages The Building Data?
There would seem to be a very good case for bringing all the facility data into a unified database architecture and putting into practice standard methodologies and processes to manage the data.
Jim Sinopoli PE,
RCDD, LEED AP
Smart Buildings LLC
the title of the person managing all your building data? Is it one
person or a team from several departments? Did the team provide
forethought and a strategy to all the data and information needed to
manage a building?
Have you identified all the “data "repositories" in the building, such as asset management, inventory, maintenance, building management systems, independent control systems, facility management systems, business systems, BIM data, as well as construction drawings, equipment and product data, and data in the hands of third-party contractors that install, service and maintain building equipment.
Much of the data is stored away in varied electronic and paper formats. The typical building has several "silos" of data scattered throughout the organization with no cohesive strategy for data management and little coordination. Also note that it's not only the data that is in silos but also the underlying technology systems for data management, different data management processes, and even the people involved.
There would seem to be a very good case for bringing all the facility data into a unified database architecture and putting into practice standard methodologies and processes to manage the data. There are several benefits to this approach.
The industry has realized that building data, data analytics, and even machine learning are emerging major tools for improving building operations. Data applications, such as energy management and fault detection and diagnostics, are probably the best early examples of the effectiveness of managing and analyzing data. The effort for many building owners to acquire and manage facility data, however, appears either ad hoc or narrowly focused on specific aspects of the building, such as energy and HVAC systems.
number of data "repositories" currently used in buildings provide a
substantial amount of data. They include building management systems,
independent control systems, facility management systems and business
systems. In addition, there is the "umbrella" of Building
Information Modeling, which addresses design and construction drawings,
equipment and product data, as well as data in the hands of third-party
contractors that install, service and maintain building equipment.
of this data is stored away in old Excel spreadsheets, Access databases
and a host of varied electronic and paper formats. The typical building
has several "silos" of data scattered throughout the organization with
no cohesive strategy for data management and little coordination. Also
note that it's not only the data that is in silos but also the
underlying technology systems for data management, different data
management processes, and even the people involved.
There would seem to be a very good case for bringing all the facility data into a unified database architecture and putting into practice standard methodologies and processes to manage the data. There are several benefits to this approach:
The Role of a Facility Data Manager
is an asset. During design and construction of a building, data will be
generated; it is in the operations of the building that data not only
will be generated but also consumed. Given that building operations and
maintenance is the most expensive part of total life cycle costs and
the longest time duration within the building's life cycle, we need
data management during every building phase: design, construction,
commissioning and operations.
A key element is to elevate the importance of data management and provide a position with the responsibility and authority to manage all the facility data. We'll call that position the facility data manager. During design and construction, we typically have two to three people tasked with managing various data. One is the LEED consultant tasked with gathering energy and sustainability information for the building certification; another is the BIM consultant organizing BIM models and data; the third is the architect who uses project management software to communicate and share data with the project team. After commissioning or occupancy of the new building, the roles of the BIM and LEED consultants, and possibly the architect, expire.
The facility data manager would have a much larger responsibility in implementing the data management system for the building and the acquisition and management of the data from the initial building design through construction and facility management. The FDM would design, deploy, maintain, monitor and even enforce a comprehensive program for data management.
Practical Data Management Activities
Programming: If you're involved with new construction and going through the programming and conceptual design of the facility, the project team should establish rules for the data management that will be generated throughout the project with some thought given to the data that will need to be exported into operations and facility management systems. Yes, the focus in new construction is typically the construction schedule and budget, but any acknowledgment and appreciation of long-term operations and rules and standards for data management would be positive.
Building Information Modeling: BIM is the significant data management tool for new construction. Data can be generated, stored in the BIM COBie files throughout the process of design, construction, and commissioning. The updating of data occurs several times during the project and responsibility for the data is shared and shifts from the designers to the contractors during the project. Data also needs to be updated based on RFIs, construction related changes, and change orders.
Submittals: Construction submittals are an important milestone in new or renovation construction. Submittals usually involve shop drawings, product data, samples and coordination drawings. Quality assurance and quality control submittals involve design data, test reports, certificates and manufacturer's instructions. The new requirement for contractors regarding submittals must be that they are in an electronic format; all of this data and information needs to be provided in an electronic form, preferably COBie for the product data, or a format that is part of a building owner's data management system.
Commissioning: During commissioning and project closeout, data and information such as commissioning reports, project record documents, contract drawings, project manuals, contract modifications, startup logs, test reports, certifications, the complete as-built BIM and other documents and data are generated. All this information should be permanently retained and accessible. Some documents may be paper, such as certifications, but all documents and data should be submitted electronically and stored. The importance of many of these documents is that if the building or its systems are modified the designers and contractors will want to use the original record document as the baseline.
An immense amount of building data is created during the design, construction, and operation of a facility but we've only managed and analyzed a relatively small amount of the available data. The industry foray into data management and analytics is just in its infancy. The initial results, however, especially analytic applications, show impressive results and are very promising. We should expect the model to apply to other building systems and additional data to be generated by new building systems.
At the starting point is a facility manager given the responsibility for implementing a structured data management system: The Facility Data Manager.
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