April 04, 2011
Simplify Operations with Facilities Management
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News
Simplify Operations with Facilities Management
By Susan Smith

Facilities Management has been in the AEC news in the past couple of years, as the industry has needed more from that technology.

With the knowledge that buildings account for approximately 39 percent of all energy use in the U.S. and commercial buildings account for around half of that total, there is a huge need to control the amount of wasted energy that buildings expend.

In March of this year, IBM reached a definitive agreement to acquire Las Vegas-based Tririga, Inc., a developer of management software for the building and real estate industries.

IBM plans to fold Tririga’s operations into its Tivoli line of management software and also into its Global Services consulting and outsourcing unit. According to press materials, Tririga’s suite of products makes it possible for building owners and managers to simplify their operations.

The relationship with IBM will help expand Tririga’s presence globally and open up new markets.

One-third of Fortune 100 companies and 15 federal executive departments use Tririga’s software.



Last year Autodesk made FM:Systems a preferred partner to replace their FM Desktop (FMD) product. Although Autodesk had relationships with other CAFM vendors, the relationship with FM:Systems provided a certain product depth and ease of use, scalability and integration with their products.

FM:Systems is a direct competitor to Tririga. FM: Systems’ BIM Integration component can help Facility professionals in the following areas:

*         Improved space management

*         Efficient use of energy

*         Streamlined preventive maintenance

*         Economical retrofits and renovations

*         Enhanced lifecycle management

FM: Systems Sales Development representative Gerad Johnson said they have a bi-directional link with AutoCAD and with Revit, so that was a big differentiator for Autodesk. “We are the only company that offers that, we are two separate companies. They decided to partner with us and we reached out to all those different FM Desktop clients and offered them a migration path for moving off FMD to FM Systems,” said Johnson. “Our product mix is much more robust and a much more expensive product than FMD, however what we were trying to do is not leave those customers hanging and that’s also Autodesk’s goal. It was about a year in change of migration plan to allow them to move over and we allowed them to move over at their current renewal price that they would have paid Autodesk. We were also giving them a product that was opening them up to be able to do a lot  more than they can currently do.” That system is a product called FM Interact. Within that product are space and asset management and strategic planning. Other modules can sit on top of FM Interact, that are called Move Management, Preventative Maintenance Management, Project Management, Real Estate Portfolio Management and a newer one called Sustainability, which came out with Version 8. 

Since FM:Systems has had tight integration with AutoCAD for many years, they have invested in a bi-directional link for Revit also, so users can obtain data from the models and incorporate it into their solutions.

“BIM is new to the CAFM world as far as facility management is concerned,” said Johnson. “There are a lot of architectural firms and general contractors trying to understand how they can incorporate this data and maintain those relationships with clients, how does that work. Tere are a lot of questions to fill out there.”

FM:Systems is a 2D system that can take data from various sources including 3D. However, those attributes about that asset will be stored in the system and viewed in a 2D system.

Johnson said in the future that may change and they may include a way to view 3D data.

“We try to have as many different ways to get those reports and access data and be open about receiving all that data,” said Johnson.

FM:Systems does have some clients such as Northwestern University that have GIS data they use in the system.

Sustainability is the newest product, in the Version 8 release. The next product coming out will be Room Scheduling, which offers a space management mode to schedule certain rooms and additional products.

Sustainability ties into the EPA’s reporting so users can start to understand what their carbon footprint is, and what sort of energy consumption they have. “It’s a way to improve your efficiency from an energy consumption perspective,” said Johnson. “If you have an energy initiative to reduce your carbon footprint by a certain amount, those ratings that are tied into the EPA are tied into our system. So if you want to switch all your bulbs from one percentage to another, and if you want to start changing things to environmentally friendly and use less water, or have less lighting. You want to know what impact will that have on the environment and what kind of impact will it have on your overall energy consumption. What sort of goals can you set so you can try to become a little more aware of the energy that you’re using.”

FM:Systems pulls information from various sources, such as Oracle, HR databases, sell sheets, access databases, so that data can come in and tie into other reports. The data can be tied into the metrics of the organization and see the sort of environmental impacts it has, where it’s being rated with the EPA for LEED certifications.

Also, at the end of March FM:Systems announced that Shanghai, China-based FacilityOne has become the first FM:Systems Solution Center partner in mainland China.

Stu Rich, CTO  of PenBay Solutions, believes that GIS is important for facilities management and analysis. “We’re seeing tremendous growth in urban environments, tremendous building boom witnessing the greatest migrations of humanity the world has ever seen,” said Bay. “In 2000 we became a predominantly urban species, there are more people for the first time living in urban environments than in rural. It looks like we are going to be doing this for a longer time. This takes pressure off our agricultural lands, but the implications for urban infrastructure are profound.”

What is chewing up our carbon footprint by far is our buildings (facility tailpipe), said Rich. Emissions far exceed those coming from cars. “We’re moving towards a greener construction industry. The greenest building is the one we never build.” 

“We need to think about how to address that existing building stock which is unlikely to have the BIM data sets we’ve been talking about,” said Bay.

Gathering data inside buildings is becoming increasingly important to public agency officials for public safety reasons. This data can be integrated with other data.

Top News of the Week

Rand Worldwide announced that its IMAGINiT Technologies division has  launched the new Scan to BIM 2012 software for the Autodesk Revit 2012 platform.

This new downloadable version is re-engineered specifically to support the new point cloud engine in Autodesk Revit 2012 software. Highly sought-after features such as the ability to create Revit geometry from the point cloud and analyze any differences between the user’s model and the point cloud will continue to provide users with both productivity and quality assurances.

ZWSOFT (ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd.),  supplier of 2D and 3D CAD/CAM software, announced availability of the beta program for their forthcoming ZW3D 2011 software. Watch ZW3D 2011 Trailer>>

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