Georeferenced asset codes for integrating BIM with BMS, BAS, FM and DMS systems.
COMMON ASSET CODES.
It is becoming more commonplace for high value and mission critical projects, such as logistics buildings and data centres, to use relatively advanced software systems for operations and management.
As BIM, FM, BMS, BAS, DMS and AMS systems converge, a methodology is needed if we are to seamlessly connect them all. Whilst these applications perform different functions, they are all dealing with the same assets in one way or another, whether they are modelled as 3D BIM objects, or defined as information only room data.
It makes sense to use a common asset coding system throughout the project so the information in one system can be referenced by the others. Experience has shown that a unique identifier that can be used across all applications is the key to integration.
GEO REFERENCING ASSET CODES.
On larger projects consisting of multiple buildings geo-referenced asset codes help identify the location of assets more precisely. These codes can be used to integrate the various software systems by providing key information regarding the asset, its location and the building systems its connected to.
Site | Building | Level | Room | UNIFORMAT | System | Subsystem | Asset Type | Unqique Number.
There are no fixed rules on how these codes should be setup, since most applications are reasonably flexible when it comes to handling different coding structures. The above example has been used on projects where BIM (Revit), BMS (Niagara) and BIM FM (YouBIM) systems have been deployed.
CODING WORKFLOW - IN 2D OR 3D?
Some projects opt for a 2D process where the codes are annotated as text on a drawing, whereas others write the codes as Revit parameters in a 3D BIM model.
Before either process can begin, the assets must first be identified, and the asset codes created. This is a significant body of work to accomplish bearing in mind the sheer number of assets on a medium sized project. Identifying the assets and managing the coding is easier to do using specialist coding applications built specifically for the job, and there is no contest when it comes to applying the codes themselves; in the time it takes for a CAD user to annotate a single asset code on a 2D drawing, a BIM process can import more than 2,000 asset codes and create 40,000+ Revit parameters.
THOUSANDS OF ASSETS TO CODE.
Applying asset codes on a project can be challenging due to the number of assets involved across multiple disciplines. This can involve thousands of asset codes even on a medium sized project, and to put that in perspective, there are more than 5500 coded assets in the building shown here.
NO ROOM FOR ERROR.
These codes are going the be used by multiple systems, so accuracy and consistency is essential. Each code must be constructed without any typos, spaces or omissions, and with the correct separators.
Manually entering the codes together with their supporting BIM parameters in Revit is technically possible given enough time and budget, but it’s not a viable proposition in the real world.
ASSET CODES AND REVIT PARAMETERS.
Geo referenced asset codes are constructed by concatenating various BIM parameters. Some of these are used to construct the codes themselves, whilst others are intended to make the BIM, BMS and FM integration process go smoother and to aid analysis and ensure data integrity.
Since these parameters are generally an addition to what has been defined in Revit, we found it’s useful to pre-fix them with an identifier (in this case AMX) so they are grouped together. This makes it easier for other software analysis applications to identify and work with them.
WHY NOT USE REVIT GUID OR IFC GLOBALID?
As BIM, FM, BMS, BAS, DMS and AMS systems converge, a methodology is needed if we are to seamlessly connect them all. A unique identifier that can be used across all applications is the key to integration, and although the GUID or GLOBALID from Revit and IFC models could work, they don’t provide any obvious georeferencing information.
The Revit and IFC identifiers for the light pictured opposite are shown below. They are suitable for various BIM and COBie processes, but they do not inform the operations team anything about the asset, its location, or the building system its connected to:
GUID In Revit: 41e11c11-e4b1-46e3-b8b3-ae87fdc144db
GLOBALID in IFC: 2tAYOnMqjDZAGhJ2e69PF$
Something more informative for BMS and FM systems, the error messages and work-orders they create is required. When a georeferenced asset code is implemented, all these requirements can be met, and systems can be integrated more effectively:
Asset Code +RVM1.TC.L1103/D_30_60_10/015.001/VDIF274
Many of the larger FM systems use COBie as the method of populating their databases and on many projects COBie is specified as a contractual deliverable. Because our asset coding solutions write the codes back into the model as BIM parameters, they will be included in the COBie export file, but this is not possible if the asset codes are handled as 2D annotated text on drawings.