For any University, the campus facilities and architectur are an integral part of the higher education experience. Functioning much like a self-contained small town, the physical plant at universities and colleges around the world is an intricate web of residence halls, academic buildings and other student-support facilities.
For effective operation and performance, these assets must be carefully managed. A key part of this is precise recording and organisation of data relevant to the physical structures and the assets they contain.
Fortunately for professionals responsible for maintaining a campus, building information modelling (BIM) provides an innovative solution for facilities management in higher education. See how Redtack assisted Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in managing these challenges.
Challenges in data management
Like many institutions of higher education around the world, NTU faced significant space and facilities management issues. As the largest university in Singapore - where the population density is among the highest in the world - NTU was looking at these challenges on a significantly larger scale.
Like many other projects Redstack has handled, NTU had issues that arose from managing building models in a CAD application, while space data was handled in Excel - which led to costly redundancy problems. The existing practises of manually checking Excel spreadsheets against AutoCAD drawings was tedious and prone to errors.
File management also proved a challenge; NTU had multiple versions of these files with no way of knowing which was the most up-to-date. To get specific data, workers had to open each version and search for the relevant information.
The Singapore Government's BIM mandate was also a drive in encouraging NTU to adopt BIM practises and produce a complete BIM model of their entire campus for facilities planning, management and new building projects going forward.
With over 33,000 students and eight colleges spread over 200 hectares (490 acres) plus two additional campuses, this was a large scale and complex project. These challenges made Redtack the perfect partner for NTU due to their unique ability to integrate BIM with a facilities and space management solution. Redstack BIM Services successfully delivered on the following project scope:
Convert AutoCAD drawings to LOD 300 3D BIM models for 28 Campus buildings and integrate the models and their elements into FM for Space & Occupancy Management.
Streamline and automate the space planning , occupancy management and administrative processes to enable space optimization and for the purpose of space audit/occupancy studies.
Enable the implementation of a space chargeback mechanism.
Develop sustainable space management practices in the management of university campus space and facilities
Through this project, NTU became the first higher-education institute in Singapore to deploy BIM in this fashion. The transition was not a simple process, but it provided ample opportunity to show how any facility - regardless of prior management processes - can benefit from a BIM integration.
The solution: BIM goes back to school at NTU
The transition was not a simple process, but it provided ample opportunity to show how any facility - regardless of prior management processes - can benefit from a BIM integration.
"Initially, their facilities management team provided us with all their CAD drawings and space data," Ms. Zhao said.
"Most drawings were not up-to-date, so our team had to go to their site to make sure the BIM models we created were correct with space data input into the model itself."
The new models contain the geometric representation of the facilities and all relevant space information. As such, they can be synced with an Archibus database for all future facilities and space management needs. This helped NTU eliminate manual management tasks - increasing the efficiency of reports processing - and also improved access to that data across the university.
"This centralised space information can now be shared with the whole campus, so each school can instantly understand how their space is occupied and ensure their allocation is optimised," Ms. Zhao noted.
"Everybody can see that information and retrieve it anytime and anywhere from a smartphone or a tablet."
This project, however, isn't the end for NTU and BIM. Soon, they may extend this system to incorporate other areas like asset management and building operation.
An effective BIM implementation can revolutionise facilities management tasks at colleges, universities and a wide range of other institutions. Contact Redstack today to learn more.
More information on BIM and Facilities Management
BIM is providing significant advantages for projects of all sizes and purposes, as well as for the organisations that implement it. Learn more about Building Information Modelling at our BIM website:
Contact us today for further assistance with implementing BIM in your organisation.