18 July 2017

The Asset Information Model or AIM is a term used to describe the collated set of information gathered from all sources that supports the ongoing management of an asset.

The AIM serves as a single source of validated and approved information that relates to a built asset and is used during the operational phase of a building. It is a term that may relate to a single asset, a system of combined assets, or an organisation's entire portfolio of assets. 

Where does the production of the AIM fit in a BIM workflow?

The PAS 1192 suite of documents provide defined processes, such as collaboration using shared models developed to common standards, as well as activities including model co-ordination, interface management, and information quality management. 

The Project Information Model (PIM) is developed during the design and construction phase of a project in response to requirements set out in Employer's Information Requirements (EIR). The PIM will typically consist of a federated building information model, a range of non-graphical data and documentation. Starting off as a design intent model, level of detail will increase and, eventually, become a virtual construction model containing all objects need to be manufactured, constructed or installed.

At project completion required information from the PIM is transferred to the AIM in accordance with the processes and data set out in the EIR. This process is set out in detail in PAS 1192:3.

What information is contained in the AIM?

The AIM comprises models, data, documents and other records related to or required for the operational phase of an asset.

It might include information outlining the original design intent, details of ownership, survey work undertaken, operational performance details as well as 3D models developed on the project.

Who uses the information in the AIM and what for?

The AIM is used by clients, end users and facility managers as a building enters the Operation and In Use phases of the project lifecycle. 

Building owner/occupiers will use the data and information contained in the AIM to answer the Organisational Information Requirements (OIR) to support business operations.

Asset management suppliers will use the data contained in the AIM to manage their activities effectively.

The AIM should deliver a fully-populated asset data set that can, if required, be used by computer-aided facility management systems (CAFM). This software allows facility managers to plan, execute and monitor activities required to deliver proactive and reactive maintenance, explore space configuration and manage moves. Vendors like Bentley (Asset Wise), Business Collaborator (BC), Ecodomus (BIM Platform) and others produce software products that allow an asset information model to be established.

The Asset Information Model or AIM is a term used to describe the collated set of information gathered from all sources that supports the ongoing management of an asset.

How is data and information in the AIM managed and updated?

The AIM is managed within a Common Data Environment (CDE).

The asset owner/operator should specify the information required in the AIM and how frequently this will be updated. The regularity of updates will depend on how critical the information is and the whole-life cost and value of the prescribed level of information management will need to be considered carefully. For example, data on changes to systems or safety systems or certification are likely to require more urgent updates than, say, performance data that could be updated as part of a periodic schedule. Having a process in place to deal with updates in response to such 'trigger events' is, therefore, crucial.

With these things set out, the AIM is delivered in line with the structure and transactional processes set out in PAS 1192:3.

An effective information management process (IMP), defined in PAS 1192:2, should be instigated to maintain the integrity of the AIM. A data manager (sometimes referred to as a data administrator or data technician) will have overall responsibility for receipt of information into the shared area of the CDE and then publishing this so it is available to all relevant participants.

The information contained within the AIM will need to be updated regularly to ensure any repairs, upgrades, refurbishments, maintenance or decommissioning will need to be reflected. Assessment information (relating to performance or risk) may also need to be updated from time to time. Changes in the wider environment (including regulations, responsibilities or ownership) will also need to be reflected.

What kind of things do I need to consider when developing an AIM?

When establishing an AIM there are a range of questions that you need to consider including:

How will information be produced, collated and maintained? What format(s) will be used? How will versions be controlled? 

How will the data be checked for accuracy? By who and how often? How will information be checked for integrity and validated against the Asset Information Requirements (AIR)? How will you ensure obsolete, unreliable or unwanted data is disposed of?

Who should have access? Who outside of your organisation will require access? Confidential or restricted information may require granular permissions.

What backup strategy is required? What's the plan for disaster recovery and how would business as usual be restored, and how quickly?

What does interoperability look like? What systems will need to access the information contained in the AIM?

How will information be exported and shared? Use of COBie as an import/export format.

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