Camden CourthouseThe landlord for the civilian federal government, U.S. General Services Administration Public Buildings Service (GSA PBS) acquires space on behalf of the federal government through new construction and leasing, and acts as a caretaker for federal properties across the country. PBS owns or leases 9,624 assets, maintains an inventory of more than 370.2 million square feet of workspace for 1.1 million federal employees, and preserves more than 481 historic properties.

In 2003 the General Services Administration (GSA), through its Public Buildings Service (PBS) Office of Chief Architect (OCA), established the National 3D-4D-BIM Program. OCA has led over 30 projects in its capital program, and is assessing and supporting three dimensional (3D), four-dimensional (4D), and Building Information Modeling (BIM) applications in over 100 projects to date across the nation. GSA is committed to a strategic and incremental adoption of 3D, 4D, and BIM technologies.

GSA’s Office of the Design and Construction is currently encouraging, documenting, and evaluating the use of BIM technologies to support facility management and building operations. The overall purpose of utilizing BIM for facility management is to enable GSA to leverage facility data through the facility lifecycle to provide safe, healthy, effective and efficient work environments for our clients. Facility data is created throughout the design and construction process. GSA intends to use and update this data throughout the facility lifecycle – through Small Projects, Operations & Maintenance, and Major Renovations & Alterations. The maintenance of this data will create greater efficiencies such as: having accurate as-built information to reduce the cost & time required for renovations; increasing customer satisfaction; and optimizing the operation and maintenance of building systems to reduce energy usage.

The flagship project for GSA in the area of BIM for Facility Management – Lifecycle Energy Performance Assessment with Facility Management – was awarded to EcoDomus/View By View/AEI team in 2011. The project developed best practices to track energy performance from design through operations by integrating BIM and Smart Building technologies, and deploy mobile devices – Apple iPad – for work order management. The results of this project will provide a way for GSA to assess sustainability and energy performance strategies and their impacts during operations, providing feedback on best practices for energy modeling during design.

The flaws in current approach to facility performance simulation and analysis include: disconnect between stakeholders and systems means no correlation between predicted and actual performance; narrow approach to assessing facility performance only on facility level (i.e. energy dashboards); inconsistent data quality – measured and simulated.

BIM BAS integrationEcoDomus added a new software module for energy management that works alongside EcoDomus PM (for project commissioning) and EcoDomus FM (for continuous commissioning) that allows passing BIM/COBie data to EnergyPlus energy simulation software, receiving datasets from EnergyPlus, and providing visual comparison of simulation data with actual data received from building sensors and meters via Building Automation Systems.

This micro-level energy management allows facility engineers narrow down energy problems and provide better Return on Investment than costly equipment upgrades typically suggested by energy consultants (mostly because they lack enough data to provide more accurate recommendations).

Even more excitement among the facility engineers was generated by the implementation of iPad Tablet PCs for work order management. EcoDomus Mobile software works natively on iPad allowing viewing full 3D BIMs, creating work orders, and receiving work orders from GSA’s CMMS (Corrigo).