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Last edited 19 Jun 2021
Computer aided facilities management CAFM
Computer aided facilities management software assists facilities managers with planning, managing, reporting and tracking facilities operations. It is usually is a mixture of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and/or specific facilities management relational database software.
Facilities management software tools were first developed in the late 1980s and became popular in a variety of sectors including; healthcare, government, education, commercial organisations and industry. Many computer aided facilities management (CAFM) software solutions are now web-based and offer a wide variety of features including facilities orientated scheduling and analysis techniques.
- Help facilities managers ensure organisation’s assets are fully utilised at the lowest cost, through all stages of a building’s life cycle.
- Support the operational and strategic parts of facilities management including technical, administrative and infrastructure tasks and the strategic processes required for planning and management.
- Strategic planning: Systems can assist in determining space requirements, equipment layouts, construction costs, environmental constraints, and other critical planning functions.
- Space inventory and organisation: Space attributes and elements can be defined and standardised and asset inventories prepared including; floor plans, locations, dimensions, cost, usage, energy consumption, age, construction data, important contact details, key pieces of equipment and essential infrastructure, fire and safety properties and so on.
- Operations: Building services can be monitored and managed.
- Maintenance and repairs: Routine repairs and preventive maintenance operations can be scheduled and monitored.
- Forecasting: It is possible to predict future requirements for space, utilities, equipment and so on, and to cost and plan changes.
 Integrated computer aided facilities management systems
- Interactive databases: Relational databases that focus on the functional requirements of facility managers.
- Interactive graphics: Allowing for basic alterations to layouts, plans or other visual documents with most having standard CAD engines.
- Data management tools: It is possible for systems to use existing data and to export useful information.
Increasingly, CAFM systems include or are linked to building information models (or asset information models). BIM can provide a fully-populated asset data set to feed into CAFM systems and modelling to enable planning modifications. This data need to be maintained throughout the building lifecycle.
- Early project engagement.
- Making their contribution towards materials and products used, rather than allowing procurement to make that decision.
- Enhanced asset intelligence through the use of integrated Product Information Portals.
- Smarter assets.
- Cross fertilisation of information across disciplines.
- A single version of the ‘truth’.
- Starting to understand the performance of the project pre-handover.
- Understanding the intended operation of the project for maximum efficiency.
- Integrated links to existing CAFM and external systems.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Asset information requirements.
- Asset management.
- BIM and facilities management.
- Computerised managed maintenance system CMMS.
- Creating an asset register for construction projects.
- Employer’s information requirements.
- Enterprise asset management.
- Facilities management.
- Facility Management Technology
- FM Navigate
- Geographic information systems.
- Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management IWFM.
- PAS 1192-3 Specification for information management for the operational phase of construction projects using building information modelling.
- Soft landings.
- Software as a Service SaaS.
- Sustainability in Facility Management
- Work order management system.
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