FM:Systems FM:Interact and the Autodesk Forge Viewer

We’ve been integrating bi-directionally between our FM:Interact Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) and Revit models since 2010 and have been on the forefront of Lifecycle BIM since then. For the most part, building owners who are going to utilize Revit models for day-to-day facilities operations primarily relied upon 2D plan views generated from the model for all aspects of managing their facilities including space and occupancy planning, assets and maintenance management, etc.

Traditionally, plan views have provided a tremendous amount of information to facilities teams, especially intelligent plans, where users can query a drawing and get direct feedback on space and assets on the plan. Over the past two years, we’ve been integrating 3D viewing technology from Autodesk to help our customers take better advantage of the entire model.

We’ve recently updated FM:Interact to the latest Forge Viewer from Autodesk and the results are truly fantastic. The Autodesk Forge Viewer gives us the next generation graphics engine that enables our customers to take greater advantage of their Revit models for operations. Here are some of the top reasons why the time is right now and why we are now making this fantastic viewer available to FM:Interact customers who are using Revit models in their implementations of our software.

  • Speed: Revit models can be large…
  • Data: 3D model viewers have been around for years…
  • Ease of use: The majority of the end users on facility teams…
  • Accessibility: Facility team members are more mobile than ever…


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What is the significance of the Floor Level in the Floor form?

What is the significance of the Floor Level field in the Floor form? It is a required numerical field. I am trying to understand how this field is being used. It is straight-forward if we have a 1st Floor, 2nd Floor; it will be 1, 2 for Floor Level. However, in our old system, we had a Floor Level field that was open text. We came up with a standard to use B1, B2 for Basement 1, Basement 2. For Mezzanine, we use M1, M2, etc. How are you handling these exceptions?

It is used in stacking to order the floors in the building. It might be used in other applications as well. The BIM integration with Revit initially populates it with the elevation of the floor. This works for stacking, as it just needs the lower floors to have a lower value. You can manually change the values to (say) -1, 1, 2, 3, 4 if that makes more sense to your users.

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ValuD: Integrating BIM with IWMS

Typically, design and engineering teams manage the process of BIM model creation and preservation throughout the construction phase. This further leads to an advantage of having multiple resources maintaining and updating the model.

The drawback to this is that AEC groups are normally temporary in nature. They meet up for the task regularly, but disband once the venture is complete, leaving the building owners and occupants in a quandary about who will maintain the models once occupancy begins. Frequently, these models are rejected as RE/FM teams simply do not have the capability needed to maintain the BIM, especially if the model is exclusively preserved in Autodesk Revit, the innovative design tool.

IWMS offers an answer to this issue by safely circulating the obligation of maintaining the model all throughout a building’s lifecycle. This is accomplished using cloud technology and is done by associating the geometry of the model to the data in a way that gives access to what is basically an effectively viable digital operating and reporting manual for the building…

Selecting the right IWMS which delivers the ease of integrating CAD tools and BIM models within your facility management goals is of prime importance. To select the right IWMS solution provider, you can read my previous article. I personally advocate IBM TRIRIGA as one of the industry’s specialized IWMS solution providers. IBM TRIRIGA comes with the true power of integration and the capabilities to manage the lifecycle of real estate assets on a single platform…

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about CAFM, CMMS, EAM, and IWMS competitors, the 06.30.16 post about when facility managers should get involved in BIM, and the 02.08.16 post about having fun linking Autodesk Revit BIM models to TRIRIGA IWMS.]

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NFMT conference and exhibition returns to Las Vegas in 2016

From: Best FM Education Returns To Las Vegas, FacilitiesNet

Join us at NFMT Vegas 2016 for the facility management industry’s premier West Coast event

Conference: November 1-2, 2016, Mirage Events Center, Las Vegas

After meeting last year on the East Coast, Building Operating Management’s National Facilities Management & Technology Conference and Exhibition returns to Las Vegas. The facility management industry’s premiere West Coast educational event is back at the Mirage Events Center with more than 70 educational sessions, bonus in-depth workshops, and more than 60,000 square feet of new products and solutions on display.

Learn, interact, and gain essential insight from others’ experiences. NFMT Vegas delivers 70 educational sessions over two days, covering seven tracks designed with building owners, facility managers, and maintenance department problem-solvers in mind. Session tracks include Safety, Energy, Technology, Maintenance, Building Automation, Sustainability, and — new to Las Vegas — the Building Internet of Things (IoT)…

The new Building IoT track covers all aspects of how the Internet, wireless control, cloud computing, and other technologies are affecting how FMs do their jobs. Corporate information technology vendor Cisco presents on the digitization of building systems, while other presenters delve into the increasingly important topics of Big Data analytics, building information modeling (BIM), and the ways IoT is changing lighting choices…

The NFMT Las Vegas exhibit hall also has main-stage presentations to complement the many exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on displays of products and solutions… While the conference sessions and exhibition are free to attend (Nov. 1-2), the four-hour workshops on Monday, Oct. 31, require an additional fee… For free registration or for more information on sessions and workshops, go to


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Planon: From FM technology in the movies to actual BIM reality

Nowadays, in break-in movies you often see an IT guru in a small van five streets away who effortlessly hacks into the security system of the building to be broken into. For this purpose he or she magically pulls up perfect 3D models and CAD drawings and uses these to provide the accomplices with useful information. The number of visitors, the escape plans, access codes and whether a service company may be at work on a certain floor. All relevant information that contributes to a successful break-in…

As is often the case, movies run far ahead of reality. There are few Facilities Management organisations that can make their building information magically appear as fast as the break-in hacker. Yet, this time is quickly approaching. Building information is increasingly more often made available with the aid of Building Information Modeling (BIM). With the right preliminary preparations, a BIM model can be linked to the Facilities Management processes, so that a current 3D environment continues to be available during the building’s maintenance and management phases as well. The technology is ready for this. It is therefore only a question of time before we start seeing the technologies already used in my favourite movies become actual reality in the Facilities Management domain.

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Planon: When should facility managers get involved in BIM?

BIM is widely accepted in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry to be a technology and process to provide substantial benefits over the traditional 2D design methods, such as AutoCAD. A model not only provides the benefit of an enhanced 3D graphical representation and the ease of assimilating how the geometric properties work as a whole, but it also provides tools such as clash detection, model walkthroughs and project visualisation. Utilising 4D, 5D and 6D BIM, planning and management, quantity take-offs, costs, lifecycle management and data capture (through the use of strategically installed sensors) can be realised and mapped out even before any plant reaches the building site.

But when should FMs get involved? Should the contractors just design and construct the building as per the client’s initial Employers Information Requirement (EIR) with no ongoing involvement from the people that will have to ultimately manage the building for the next 60+ years? If so, would the design teams make all decisions that may impact the maintenance and ongoing cost of operations? Wouldn’t FMs want to challenge these decisions as early as possible? This leads to the realisation that FMs should be involved and incorporated into the design and construction (D&C) teams right from the initial stages of a project. This will provide FMs the chance to detail their requirements whilst keeping operational maintenance and overall lifecycle costs to a minimum.

FMs should also work closely with their IWMS solution to ensure that the finalised “as built” model can be integrated into the system with minimal alteration. Emphasis should be placed on ensuring data formats are specified at the earliest stage and standardisations created, that if delivered correctly, will meet the framework of the IWMS. This approach could save considerable time and cost at the later stages of a project…

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