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Thread: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

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    Lightbulb Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Hello, I am a CAD Tech at a Facilities Management company in Ohio. I have a pretty basic CAD knowledge base. I went to school for Engineering and ended up not finishing, but worked at a consulting engineers company for about 5 years doing lots of Civil work. After the housing crash, I found a position with this FM company. I am struggling with finding my place here, as there is very little need for CAD drawings. Basically I work in the Trades dept. I manage and create drawings for the HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, GC, and Casework groups. These are generally quite basic, nothing too awful involved. My manager talked to me recently about wanting me to look into any kind of training I would be interested in taking that might benefit the company, some kind of continuing education. So here I am.

    Generally, I am very interested in learning Revit and figuring out how our company might benefit from me learning about Building Information Modeling. I am just somewhat confused on the whole topic. Most of the facilities we manage are building that have already been built, some have electronic drawings, some don't. Pretty much NONE of them have 3d drawings anywhere that I'm aware of. I would love to figure out how we could create the 3d drawings for some of our biggest clients and incorporate BIM into them. From my understanding, aside from the time I would spend learning all of it, it would take quite some time to realize a real "BIM" environment and reap the benefits from that, but it seems like, over time, it would definitely be worth it for us. We handle a LOT of facilities. Some are very big, well-known companies.

    So anyway, I guess what I'm looking for is any information that anyone could help me out with to figure out how I might go about implementing this into our business. I am only one person, with fairly basic AutoCAD skills. I know I need to learn to use Revit. I have learned Civil 3D and Land Desktop working for the engineering firm, and I learned a lot there just about using CAD in general. Anyone have any resources I could look into, information that would be helpful? I would greatly appreciate any input here!

    Thanks!
    Jessica

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    Default Re: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Quote Originally Posted by jlcarey1487121 View Post
    Hello, I am a CAD Tech at a Facilities Management company in Ohio. I have a pretty basic CAD knowledge base. I went to school for Engineering and ended up not finishing, but worked at a consulting engineers company for about 5 years doing lots of Civil work. After the housing crash, I found a position with this FM company. I am struggling with finding my place here, as there is very little need for CAD drawings. Basically I work in the Trades dept. I manage and create drawings for the HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, GC, and Casework groups. These are generally quite basic, nothing too awful involved. My manager talked to me recently about wanting me to look into any kind of training I would be interested in taking that might benefit the company, some kind of continuing education. So here I am.

    Generally, I am very interested in learning Revit and figuring out how our company might benefit from me learning about Building Information Modeling. I am just somewhat confused on the whole topic. Most of the facilities we manage are building that have already been built, some have electronic drawings, some don't. Pretty much NONE of them have 3d drawings anywhere that I'm aware of. I would love to figure out how we could create the 3d drawings for some of our biggest clients and incorporate BIM into them. From my understanding, aside from the time I would spend learning all of it, it would take quite some time to realize a real "BIM" environment and reap the benefits from that, but it seems like, over time, it would definitely be worth it for us. We handle a LOT of facilities. Some are very big, well-known companies.

    So anyway, I guess what I'm looking for is any information that anyone could help me out with to figure out how I might go about implementing this into our business. I am only one person, with fairly basic AutoCAD skills. I know I need to learn to use Revit. I have learned Civil 3D and Land Desktop working for the engineering firm, and I learned a lot there just about using CAD in general. Anyone have any resources I could look into, information that would be helpful? I would greatly appreciate any input here!

    Thanks!
    Jessica
    I trust you saw the post of FM class handouts pinned to the top of this forum? Hopefully newer stuff will be uploaded soon, too. But, the basic principles are the same. And the BIM & FM page on the Facilities Management Community area? https://www.augi.com/communities/fac...ity/bim-and-fm

    My last facility was very complex and very old. The paper to CAD transition took about 15 years, and the CAD to BIM transition should take about the same amount of time. Obviously, most facilities don't have the funds available to have that type of thing done on a mass basis, so it was pretty much covered by renovation projects only (you have to really ride your project managers, architects, engineers and gcs about CAD or BIM standards to ensure you're getting decent editable electronic documentation, which is a whole topic unto itself). I know it's frustrating to move that slowly, the engineering analysis which will be a big benefit later on, can't really be done when you've only got 15% of your building modeled.

    The architectural modeling seemed to go pretty quick. They were starting a campus upgrade as I left, and the architectural firms managed to do pretty decent models of the 5 most affected buildings in pretty short order. The MEPFP is a whole other animal, though. They didn't model much of that up front, it would've been cost prohibitive.

    Now, I believe Clyne Curtis out at Brigham Young University used student labor from the architectural programs to have his campus modeled.
    If you could pair up with some instructors from a local university or trade school that wanted their students to get some hands on surveying and modeling experience, that could be a way to make it more affordable, or if your company is supportive of interns, etc.
    not all those who wander are lost
    (missing MEP/FP and Revit)

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    Default Re: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    I trust you saw the post of FM class handouts pinned to the top of this forum? Hopefully newer stuff will be uploaded soon, too. But, the basic principles are the same. And the BIM & FM page on the Facilities Management Community area? https://www.augi.com/communities/fac...ity/bim-and-fm

    My last facility was very complex and very old. The paper to CAD transition took about 15 years, and the CAD to BIM transition should take about the same amount of time. Obviously, most facilities don't have the funds available to have that type of thing done on a mass basis, so it was pretty much covered by renovation projects only (you have to really ride your project managers, architects, engineers and gcs about CAD or BIM standards to ensure you're getting decent editable electronic documentation, which is a whole topic unto itself). I know it's frustrating to move that slowly, the engineering analysis which will be a big benefit later on, can't really be done when you've only got 15% of your building modeled.

    The architectural modeling seemed to go pretty quick. They were starting a campus upgrade as I left, and the architectural firms managed to do pretty decent models of the 5 most affected buildings in pretty short order. The MEPFP is a whole other animal, though. They didn't model much of that up front, it would've been cost prohibitive.

    Now, I believe Clyne Curtis out at Brigham Young University used student labor from the architectural programs to have his campus modeled.
    If you could pair up with some instructors from a local university or trade school that wanted their students to get some hands on surveying and modeling experience, that could be a way to make it more affordable, or if your company is supportive of interns, etc.
    Hi Melanie,
    Thanks for your quick reply. I did see the handouts post above, and have bookmarked it to take a look through it all.

    That's pretty interesting, that's a heck of a timeline! lol I feel so underwater here with all of this. I am the entire CAD department! My job right now basically consists of drawing random stuff for the Trades managers. HVAC equipment, plumbing diagrams, kitchen redesigns, etc. Those trade managers are my only contact for any of these projects. They and the project managers handle all contact with everyone else in the process. I guess I'm feeling very unsure that I would be capable of solely managing such an undertaking. That is a big step to take! I think that for now, I will talk to my manager about first just learning Revit and finding out all of its' capabilities. And maybe schedule some meetings with him and the trade managers to get an idea of how they would feel about trying to move toward this, whether it would be helpful to them, and see how receptive they would be to it. I think, especially since we are such a huge, well-known company, being able to offer those kind of services would only be a good thing, and would really put us ahead of so many other companies. And, let's face it, this is going to be the norm very soon, I'm sure. This will be what the clients will expect.

    Thanks again for the information. It is very helpful!

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    Default Re: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Quote Originally Posted by jlcarey1487121 View Post
    Hi Melanie,
    Thanks for your quick reply. I did see the handouts post above, and have bookmarked it to take a look through it all.

    That's pretty interesting, that's a heck of a timeline! lol I feel so underwater here with all of this. I am the entire CAD department! My job right now basically consists of drawing random stuff for the Trades managers. HVAC equipment, plumbing diagrams, kitchen redesigns, etc. Those trade managers are my only contact for any of these projects. They and the project managers handle all contact with everyone else in the process. I guess I'm feeling very unsure that I would be capable of solely managing such an undertaking. That is a big step to take! I think that for now, I will talk to my manager about first just learning Revit and finding out all of its' capabilities. And maybe schedule some meetings with him and the trade managers to get an idea of how they would feel about trying to move toward this, whether it would be helpful to them, and see how receptive they would be to it. I think, especially since we are such a huge, well-known company, being able to offer those kind of services would only be a good thing, and would really put us ahead of so many other companies. And, let's face it, this is going to be the norm very soon, I'm sure. This will be what the clients will expect.

    Thanks again for the information. It is very helpful!
    I'm just happy to see someone talking instead of just lurking. The FM crowd is a shy one.
    Yeah, I know it's a long timeline. It's harder when you're the service provider and likely have to make money instead of just being overhead like on my side.

    I say learn a bit, see the potential, and maybe float doing a pilot project with a small client. Track everything, long and short-term costs and savings. That's the hard part, I know I saved loads of money on our projects by scanning old prints and making them available electronically, and then having the CAD files that meant our projects didn't have to be drawn up every time... but, none of the PMs tracked costs (of field verifications, record reviews and drafting) that granularly.

    And you're right, there's so much potential and it really will be the norm later on. It's just that education and transition phase that'll be a bit bumpy.

    Have you looked into ReCap and products like that? Back when I was doing a lot of field verifications in our equipment rooms and chasing down pipe runs, I basically had an iPad with PocketCAD. I was just starting to use my iPad for walk-throughs on some of our projects (as they got more wifi coverage in my facility... but, none in the equipment rooms, sadly, IT skipped us).
    My current company has no-wifi at all, so I'm back to paper here if I've got to field verify. (it's architectural only, so much less complex anyway, so I can deal with it.)

    I digress... any questions as you work through stuff, feel free to post! I look forward to seeing how things pan out for you.
    not all those who wander are lost
    (missing MEP/FP and Revit)

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    Default Re: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Jessica,

    You may have several tools already available in-house to do some proofs of concept projects. For example, you can extract data from AutoCAD's blocks and closed polylines (such as square footages) using the DATAEXTRACTION command. Read up on it and other AutoCAD data command and experiment with it. On the Revit end you can develop schedules and export the data or use DBLINK to export a lot of data (too much probably). Most firms have Microsoft Office Pro and that comes with MS-Access. You can experiment building MS-Access databases and learn how to import the CAD and Revit extracted data. Once you have worked with the CAD and Revit data outside of those applications you will have a good basic understanding of the data interactions and how to manipulate it. The great thing is you can do this with your existing CAD, Revit, and MS Office software. You can develop work flows and see what works and doesn't. Later, you can engage an outside vendor if needed to develop a formal enterprise system.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Jessica,
    I don't know if you're still following this thread, but here goes.
    Revit training is a good place to start, however almost every Revit training session you can find is design centric and will be of mixed value for someone approaching BIM from an FM perspective. Those classes that aren't design centric are construction oriented, which has the same issue.

    Facilities Management is a market that Autodesk is making a big push on as far as developing tools and software these days. Many of those tools are under NDA still but I'm sure Autodesk would see value in discussing them with an FM firm such as yours, if you like I can put you in touch with some of the right people to talk to. If you can wrangle it, I recommend attending Autodesk University in December, you can get training, talk to Autodesk folks and there will be a number of presentations on Facilities Management utilizing Autodesk tools.

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    Default Re: Looking for info on learning Revit and BIM solutions for FM company

    Quote Originally Posted by jlcarey1487121 View Post
    Hello, I am a CAD Tech at a Facilities Management company in Ohio. I have a pretty basic CAD knowledge base. I went to school for Engineering and ended up not finishing, but worked at a consulting engineers company for about 5 years doing lots of Civil work. After the housing crash, I found a position with this FM company. I am struggling with finding my place here, as there is very little need for CAD drawings. Basically I work in the Trades dept. I manage and create drawings for the HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, GC, and Casework groups. These are generally quite basic, nothing too awful involved. My manager talked to me recently about wanting me to look into any kind of training I would be interested in taking that might benefit the company, some kind of continuing education. So here I am.

    Generally, I am very interested in learning Revit and figuring out how our company might benefit from me learning about Building Information Modeling. I am just somewhat confused on the whole topic. Most of the facilities we manage are building that have already been built, some have electronic drawings, some don't. Pretty much NONE of them have 3d drawings anywhere that I'm aware of. I would love to figure out how we could create the 3d drawings for some of our biggest clients and incorporate BIM into them. From my understanding, aside from the time I would spend learning all of it, it would take quite some time to realize a real "BIM" environment and reap the benefits from that, but it seems like, over time, it would definitely be worth it for us. We handle a LOT of facilities. Some are very big, well-known companies.

    So anyway, I guess what I'm looking for is any information that anyone could help me out with to figure out how I might go about implementing this into our business. I am only one person, with fairly basic AutoCAD skills. I know I need to learn to use Revit. I have learned Civil 3D and Land Desktop working for the engineering firm, and I learned a lot there just about using CAD in general. Anyone have any resources I could look into, information that would be helpful? I would greatly appreciate any input here!

    Thanks!
    Jessica
    Jessica,

    Facility management is a fairly new concept for Revit. As with anything in the world it is garbage in, garbage out. What that means for facility managers is that the architects, engineers, and/or contractors who develop your models should be required to add necessary models and parameters in order for the model to be applicable to your operations. There is much discussion as to who should take responsibility for COBie and other specifics that benefit the building owner.

    If you receive a Revit model without relevant information, all is not lost because you can still edit the model yourself to work for you. However, this can be a somewhat daunting task to someone who is less familiar with the Revit platform.

    There are a number of softwares that offer Revit Add-ins, it really depends on what your requirements are. FM: Systems is doing some really cool things with two-way data between Revit models and a web-based system.

    - Jay Merlan
    Last edited by Wanderer; 2015-10-19 at 04:34 PM. Reason: No sales, please familiarize yourself with the forum guidelines.

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