Construction Sector Deal: FMs hold the key to unlocking enduring value from new tech

12-07-18 9:41 BIFM

“If the announcement last week of a £420m sector deal between government and the construction sector does not seem immediately relevant to workplace and facilities professionals, then take another look”.  This is the view of Linda Hausmanis, CEO of the British Institute of Facilities Management, the professional body for facilities and workplace professionals.


The deal focuses on transforming the construction sector through the use of innovative technologies like BIM, which can revolutionise not only the approach to constructing a building but, importantly for FMs, its operation; and in the same vein, on whole life asset performance for buildings which shifts the emphasis from the cost of construction to the costs of a building throughout its lifecycle, especially its use of energy.


Its holistic approaches like this, combined with data-yielding tech, which provides the opportunity for built environment professionals - especially FMs - because when the construction phase is finished and the contractor hands over the keys, it’s a facilities or workplace professional who will be managing that building throughout its life, and helping to realise the benefits.


Welcoming the deal as timely boost for the built environment, Hausmanis continues “FM professionals have been helping to keep our facilities and workplaces safe, efficient and compliant for years. If we can seize the opportunity presented by the construction sector deal to attract and grow a highly skilled workforce that can understand and exploit these new technologies and keep our facilities and workplaces high performing, they can leverage real value for the businesses they support, and the economy more widely.


Research commissioned earlier this year by BIFM Embracing Technology to Move FM Forward examining the role technology will play in FM’s future, identified an awareness gap among FMs of the potential for technology to alter their operating environment.


Director of Insight Chris Moriarty said: “This innovative deal is exactly the sort of opportunity that can help FMs drive performance in their businesses and improve client service. BIFM is best placed to enable FM professionals to develop the skills and knowledge to meet current and future challenges it presents.  Our BIM technology work in partnership with the Zurich Institute of Facilities Management and Liverpool John Moores is actively building awareness and understanding of these technologies and their application, not least through expert knowledge and up to the minute guidance”.


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BIFM joins Global coalition to solve fire safety in buildings through industry standards

Separately, BIFM is part of a group of more than 30 organisations from around the world working together to develop landmark industry standards to address fire safety in buildings in the public interest. The group, known as the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition, was launched at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland this week. Following the Grenfell disaster, the standards aim to set and reinforce the best practice professionals should adhere to ensure building safety in the event of a fire.

Read more about on the Landmark industry standards to address fire safety in buildings here

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