Retro BIM: Unlocking your legacy asset data

How can BIM benefits be attained retrospectively for existing asset data?

With the Level 2 BIM mandate imminent we’ve never been more focused as an industry on capturing and managing structured data throughout the lifecycle of our built assets. But what about the information we already have?

Is this investment doomed to be written off or could it be – with the right help, and maybe a little technology – a rich source of asset information? Is it possible to breath new life into existing information and bridge the gap between drawings and information-rich models?

We think it is.
Are you spending time and money doing unnecessary surveys of your assets? You may be able to utilise the GroupBC’s heuristic data extraction techniques to unlock structured information in your existing digital records and documents. Imagine having this data in your own private data-engine and being able to utilise the power of the semantic web.

The benefits of BIM for designing, constructing and managing new assets are clear – we’ve no need to replicate them all here – however, it seems logical to many that BIM, if applied retrospectively to existing assets, could have implications to asset management which carry equally large rewards.

Retro BIM allows information in the past to interact with ongoing management data
Imagine the savings in time that being able to ‘Google’ your legacy data would provide. With the BIM Level 2 mandate looming there has been much focus around becoming BIM compliant in the future. At GroupBC we see a growing need for companies not just looking into the future, but to apply the benefits of BIM to existing infrastructure and assets. This is Retro BIM.

  • Having your data easily accessible allows you to speed up your decision making.
  • Having all your data available and allowing it to be queried on demand will reduce the likelihood of replicated work.
  • The ability to link to other semantic web data sources allows easy querying between data you hold and data you don’t.

Having all your existing asset information at your fingertips will increase the value of your existing portfolio and reduce the associated risk.

Work we’re doing with Retro BIM
With one major retailer, we’re examining their 2D drawings and extracting information from them. By identifying the techniques used when creating the drawing to categorise information we are able to extract that information into a form which can subsequently be queried and interrogated.

With a reduction in survey costs the savings can go straight onto the bottom line. The time saved by not having to perform unnecessary surveys allows you to respond sooner. Having the data in a form that is easily queried allows you to make decisions faster, letting you stay one step ahead of the competition. Portfolio reviews become simpler and quicker. Imagine being able to find all assets matching your criteria which require maintenance. With your digital data unlocked, forecasting becomes possible which could never happen if your data is locked away in documents.

Past assets become more efficient
Fear of adding to what might already be a seemingly insurmountable paper mountain of asset documentation is understandable. But, what BIM can do, is to collate this information digitally, not just to record an assets past, but to allow that information to interact with ongoing management data. For the future, this would allow assets from the past to become more efficient, better maintained and allow for modernisation in a structured way – just like the data BIM itself will provide about the asset.

And, we believe the semantic web will be a greater enabler towards this vision.