This Research Note highlights the trends in Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the building operations and maintenance sector and reviews the activities of the major players across the Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), Building Management Systems (BMS) and Building Internet-of-Things (BIoT) sub-sectors.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) has established itself as a key software in the fields of building design and construction, and more recently in building operations and maintenance.
Memoori has observed the following major trends:
- The trend to leverage BIM in facilities management enabling users to bring together BIM data, IoT data and IWMS data in a single interface has intensified as data-driven solutions gain ground.
- Both IWMS vendors and the major building management systems players are actively engaged in incorporating BIM data and real-time performance data into digital models of buildings, through the Digital Twin approach.
- The recent consolidation moves and strategic investments in the IWMS market are enabling deeper and tighter integrations.
- Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) software vendors are extending their offerings into building operations and maintenance and making strategic investments to advance their positions in the sector.
Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) are defined as an integrated software platform specifically aimed at Commercial Real Estate (CRE) owners addressing five specific functional areas - space management, energy and maintenance management, capital project planning and lease administration.
The major players, iOffice + SpaceIQ, Planon, Spacewell, FM:Systems, MRI Software and many other IWMS software firms have already incorporated BIM into their software offerings. We detail below some of the recent initiatives in this sector, which deepen the level of integrations, improve user interfaces and lay the foundations for the digital twin approach.
Over a series of transactions backed by private equity, iOffice and Archibus made separate moves to consolidate their respective positions in the IWMS market, before merging in August 2021 to form iOffice + SpaceIQ, one of the top three pure-play vendors in the integrated workplace management space. One month later, iOffice + SpaceIQ announced an investment by Autodesk which recognizes their shared vision to bring together BIM and facilities management for more efficient, flexible, and responsive operations and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.
This investment is another strategic step in Autodesk’s efforts to bring BIM and digital twin technologies, including Autodesk Tandem, to the full project lifecycle from design through operations and maintenance.
Autodesk and iOFFICE + SpaceIQ currently offer integrations between Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD and Archibus with plans for future integrations with the Autodesk ConstructionCloud and Autodesk’s Forge platform.
Planon, a Netherlands based IWMS software provider, has a vision to support enterprise building and service digitalization by integrating a range of smart building technology, business solutions and data into a single open platform. This vision is supported by Schneider Electric, a leading BMS and energy management provider, who acquired a 25% minority stake in Planon in a December 2020 strategic investment.
Planon Connect for BIM is a software solution that provides a bidirectional data exchange between a BIM and the Planon Universe IWMS platform to ensure consistent and relevant re-use of information for building operations, including processes such as maintenance management, space management, portfolio management and contract management. This solution primarily focuses on the Autodesk product Revit, a market-leading BIM technology tool for architects, engineers, designers and contractors.
In October 2021, Planon and OrthoGraph, a Hungarian provider of operational BIM data, teamed up in a strategic partnership to enable a sustainable Digital Twin for building owners and operators. Through the integration of both technologies, Planon users have direct access to OrthoGraph’s building digitization and operational BIM functionalities - on-site and in the back office. OrthoGraph’s mobile and web technologies enable live data sharing and precise geo-localization of all building data stored in Planon. This brings users a new level of speed, accuracy, ease of use, and control when managing BIM for building operations.
Since 2018, Belgium-headquartered IWMS and IoT platform vendor, Spacewell has been a subsidiary of the Nemetschek Group, a major AEC software provider in Europe. The parent company has considerably extended its target markets beyond Design and Construction, where they already had a good market position, by establishing the Manage and Operations segment to address a new customer group of building owners, operators and facility managers.
Since September 2020, Spacewell’s MCS IWMS platform offers embedded BIM and IoT connectivity, enabling the import of spatial and asset data from BIM into IWMS software. It leverages Nemetschek’s strong AEC product portfolio by providing bi-directional integration with the Allplan BIM collaboration platform, Bimplus. Moreover, the Asset Information Model is also fully integrated with work orders, so that technicians can access BIM models in the field and visualize work orders on a 3D model.
In December 2021, Siemens Smart Infrastructure, the Swiss-headquartered BMS vendor, signed an agreement to acquire digital twin software for buildings from EcoDomus, a US-based company. This move enables the building technologies player to expand its digital building portfolio, including its cloud-based building operations twin software and its flagship building management platform Desigo CC.
EcoDomus software creates, maintains and visualizes BIM-based digital building twins, making design and construction data available for building operations and maintenance. Building owners and occupants can generate digital replicas of their real buildings and assets, creating a common data environment that integrates BIM, Building Management Systems (BMS), Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Internet of Things (IoT) systems. The solution enables BIM-driven workflows and digital twin-based lifecycle management, complemented by 3D visualization.
As BIM models evolve into real estate digital twins that mirror in real time what is going on in buildings, these initiatives, partnerships, acquisitions and strategic investments are laying the foundations for a digital twin revolution across the full lifecycle of the building.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.