One Eighty is once again venturing into new territories by crossing the globe to deliver BIM (Building Information Modelling) expertise in Japan. For the past 12 months, One Eighty have been working behind the scenes with the Kajima Corporation to deliver and develop their BIM to Facilities Management (FM) capability. Throughout the duration of this research and development project, we learned a lot about our Japanese partners, the differences between traditional Western views of BIM and how facilities are managed in downtown Tokyo.
The original premise of the project was to deliver a single building using unique ability to import the BIM model directly into the FM application. Whilst we are no strangers to innovation in BIM for FM solutions (see our work with Slough Borough Council), it was quickly apparent that we needed to bridge the language barrier to deliver a workable solution for our new partners.
To that end, the complex process of translating the application into Japanese started, as with all efforts to make a system multi-lingual, a simple translation tool wouldn’t suffice. This is especially important with Japanese having 3 distinct levels and differentiation, quality and accuracy are key. Between One Eighty, and the Kajima Corporation, we ensured the translations created were accurate and met expectations. Whilst this proved difficult, it was a welcome challenge, one where we are constantly learning and refining as a practice, even now. With this dedication to the project and ensuring a strong collaborative and teamwork ethos, is now available to the Japanese market.
Another challenge we wanted to address was the possibility of utilising standards that can be replicated to allow automation and standardisation of imports directly from 3D models. already had the ability to use several Scandinavian standards so, this was not completely new territory. That said, the project focussed on using 2015 as its standard. The reason for choosing this standard was varied, however; the fact that all major design tools seem to be heading towards 2015 and the weight of the International community via Building Smart International and other organisations advocating an open BIM approach seemed to be the most logical choice.
By capturing the 2015 structure directly from the publicly available tables via NBS, we were able to get to design a process to search and categorise the BIM elements in a model. Further processes allowed this data sorting to be exploited by auto-generating the asset register within the system as specified and designed. The ability to link this information directly between graphical elements in the model and the database used to manage work, contracts and documentation etc gives the FM, for the first time, an integrated virtual view of their building with visual feedback and interaction not available through traditional software.
In addition to automating the location and asset generation, the Kajima Corporation aspires to utilise the ‘Master Concept’ where standard planned tasks can be allocated to items based on their classification and use. This system of providing a standard solution across multiple buildings in municipal settings is a massive benefit to large organisations. It both standardises the asset management strategy and de-risks the organisation as nothing is missed and categorisation is automated. Human error is reduced significantly by this approach.
Further work is now underway to integrate zones, theme related specialisations such as fire, health and safety, environmental management and access into the visual representation and feedback from the model. These processes are already well defined in and the move to visual representation is simply the next logical progression. The work now continues with the next building where some of the new developments will be fully tested and implemented.
To date, our work with the Kajima Corporation has been immensely exciting. And through the various challenges that have arisen, One Eighty have been able to work with the client on a unique and ground-breaking research and development project. However, this is only a small fraction of the work we have underway in far east, as well as in the UK and Ireland as we enable the digital transformation of the built environment. As this, and other, projects start moving along, we will provide you with more insight. It is great that a British company, in connection with a Scandanavian software company can support a Japanese corporation on a multinational project. This is truly a global facilities project, leading the way through smart solutions.