From Design to Operation: Quality Information throughout All Phases of the Building Lifecycle

When a structural engineer, a detailer or a contractor finishes his job, the building lifecycle is still close to the starting point of the line that eventually only ends in demolition and recycling.   Between these two ends, it is built environment professionals such as real estate and facility management professionals, who work for organizations which both own and lease buildings around the world, take control.

Real estate and facility managers are now involved in all phases of a building life-cycle from the moment when there is a strategic need by the business for a new place to house their operations (or through portfolio optimization planning, when they notify the business of an opportunity for consolidation or growth) to the time when location no longer meets the needs of the organization. Trimble Real Estate and Workplace Solutions provide tools that allow directors of corporate real estate and facility management visibility of the work that is being done through this entire life-cycle.

Previous to this, the corporate real estate and facility management groups were handed a building to manage after commissioning and they had no input into the design and construction phases. There has been a transformation in the way the corporate real estate and facility management professionals work, now using special advanced Real Estate and Workplace Solutions software applications, as well as other construction technologies.

Meeting the needs for space

Corporate real estate and facility management professionals use Manhattan Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) for site selection (interfaced with GIS) and space planning tools for the early stage of project development before design.  They can map space supply with demand and begin determining what types of space each business unit needs, the timeframe for that space and where the groups and individuals will be located.  There is also the CenterStone CAFM system which can be used for space planning for organizations with a smaller footprint of real property.

In the next phase, the corporate real estate and facility management groups work with the architect to transfer these requirements for design of the new or remodeled space. A  Building Information Model (BIM) is created, and it will be accessed through the process to determine any problems or opportunities for improvement. For renovation projects of existing buildings, which actually are the majority of facilities in the customers’ portfolios, the facility manager  can utilize Trimble’s scanning tools (including in the future Google’s Project Tango platform) to create a Building Information Model for a building for increased coordination in this and all of the subsequent phases of the life-cycle.

Upon completion of design, the commercial real estate and facility management then monitor construction and will be able to take advantage of Trimble Connect, and in the future also the Microsoft HoloLens platform, to determine that the building systems are being placed correctly and their placement is maximized for ongoing maintenance and operations.

The Operational building 

In the long, on-going process in the operation and management phase of the life-cycle of a building, the real estate and facility management groups often utilize the Manhattan Integrated Workplace Management System solutions. Now  the Building Information Model is integrated to the Space Management application for on-going occupancy reporting and analysis with data shared between the database and the 2D floorplans or the 3D model.  Moves or adds and changes are often required even daily in a facility and are managed in the CAFM or Manhattan Integrated Workplace Management System.  These changes can be viewed and updated on a drawing in a tablet or smartphone out in the field with the Manhattan mobile application. The project management application is used to ensure all of the facility and real estate projects come in on time and on budget.

Building as an investment

As most of the organizations in real estate & workplace solutions have both an owned and leased portfolio of spaces, they need to manage also the leases carefully.  Applications such as Manhattan Integrated Workplace Management System are becoming critical in 2016 since both FASB and IASB, the US and international governing financial standards bodies, are issuing new requirements for reporting leases as capital, as opposed to operating leases.  This will force leases to go on the corporate balance sheet. These new strict reporting requirements can be achieved more easily with Trimble's Manhattan IWMS’s Lease Administration and Accounting application with its strong financial functionality, including its own general ledger.

Information for the building users and maintenance

In this phase there are new people who are interested in the use of the building, and they are not construction or real estate professionals. For the users’ needs, the Space Scheduling application enables the entire workforce in the office building to reserve a room or equipment for an allotted time period. This allows maximum utilization of the space or resource in a building, while decreasing the total cost of occupancy. Proper, reliable information will also be needed for both preventive and reactive work to maintain the building, which can be scheduled through a mobile work order app and help desk functionality.

Building information has never had before the Real Estate & Workplace Solutions depth of functionality, more of a wealth of uses and users over the entire life of a building.

For product information, please check out Trimble’s Real Estate website:


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