Conference Center Space Utilization

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Conference centers exist to bring people together in meaningful and productive ways. Whether it’s a massive expo that draws thousands or a smaller venue devoted to educational seminars, conferences succeed when facilities support the intention of the event. It all boils down to conference center space utilization. Is there enough room for presenters and attendees to come together?

There’s significant planning that goes into setting up a conference—including floor plans for exhibitors and structure for the general flow of the event. This planning takes place atop a floor plan, to ensure there’s enough space available for everything the conference needs to accommodate. It’s vital for event organizers to ensure the effective use of available space, to best-support everyone attending.

Good space utilization directly correlates to a successful event. But what constitutes appropriate conference center space utilization? Here’s a look at what it means to use exhibition space effectively.

What is conference center space utilization?

Space utilization in the context of a conference center involves allocating the correct amount of space, in the right location, for the right purpose. Often, this depends on the most important factors for event organizers. For example, how much space does a premium event attendee get vs. a normal one? Where’s the best place to host a 150-person seminar at an event? What’s the best way to approach atrium layout, to set a foundation for wayfinding at the event?

Space utilization is all about making the most of space—even at a large event. While it might seem like there’s ample space to welcome attendees, host breakout sessions, set up exhibitors, and funnel traffic, good space utilization will ensure this all happens in a comfortable, cost-efficient, well-coordinated way. Using space efficiently sets the tone for the event’s experience, and can be the difference between an event that feels cramped or confusing and one that’s welcoming and navigable.

The benefits of space utilization for conference center

Good space utilization puts event organizers in control of the flow and tone of the conference. Thoughtful allocation of people, attractions, events, and more ensures there’s space enough for everyone to enjoy the event in whatever capacity they’re attending. Moreover, it ensures safety, navigability, compliance, and support from facilities. Here’s a look at some of the core benefits that accompany good space utilization at a conference center:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

How will you craft clear thoroughfares in the main expo hall? How can you make better-use of offshoot rooms for speakers and presenters? Where’s the best place to put X, Y, and Z attractions for maximum exposure? There are answers to these questions and countless others within a utilization-driven model. The core question is a much simpler one: what’s the best use of this space?

How can conference center space utilization software help?

Whether it’s an industry expo or a professional conference, there’s tremendous planning oversight that goes into an event. Conference center space utilization software is key in making sure all variables come together with efficiency. Software gives event organizers a standard to build on, and allows them to see how their floor plans and designs shake out into a thoughtful event.

For example, space utilization software can tell organizers how much square footage is in a certain space and what the occupancy for that area is. Then, through drag-and-drop planning tools, it’s possible to allocate space and see utilization rates in real time. Designate speakers to rooms that’ll accommodate their crowd or place vendors strategically throughout an expo hall to make the most of presenter opportunities and attendee experience.

Utilization software also provides measurable data for utilization, which can help inform adjustments and modifications to an event. What happens when the lecture in Room C goes from 50 attendees to 150? What happens to a floor plan when two more prestige-level vendors book the show? Utilization software provides instant insights that help event planners coordinate the event—even as it changes.

Conference success depends on space utilization

Conference presenters and attendees expect an event that accommodates them. They want to move freely and comfortably, take in their surroundings without obstruction, and interact with others in a personable setting. Proper utilization of space ensures a good experience for all in attendance, no matter what brings them to the event.

Conference center space utilization is a function of event planning. Contextualizing the event within facilities and identifying the best opportunities to create cohesion is the secret to putting on an event that keeps people coming back. Well-utilized facilities lay the groundwork for an event that happens again and again, year after year, drawing a bigger and more enthusiastic crowd every time.

Keep reading: Conference Center Facilities Management Software Benefits


Conference Center Space Planning

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Hosting a conference takes careful planning for the attendees, the activities, and the general flow of the event. If things aren’t orchestrated accordingly, it’ll directly impact peoples’ experience. Putting together an event, expo, seminar, or other gathering starts with conference center space planning. The ability to floor plan and coordinate the floor at an event has rippling effects on how it all comes together.

There’s more to conference space planning than guaranteeing booth space or making sure attendees have a place to sit. Aside from bringing everyone together, event organizers need to create floor plans that encourage natural flow, make it easy for attendees to find what they’re looking for, and create ambiance. Good space planning makes for a great experience; poor space planning might see a lower turnout next year.

Here’s a look at how forethought in the form of conference center space planning culminates in an event that satisfies its purpose of bringing people together.

What is conference center space planning?

Regardless of the size or nature of the event, it needs orchestration. From the moment they arrive, people need to know where they are and where they’re going. The same goes for vendors and presenters. Space planning ensures everyone has their bearings. It involves a clear allocation of space, with mind to the floor plan and the flow of the event.

Space planning can take many forms. It’s the decision to locate food and drink vendors near restrooms. It’s the concept behind putting the table full of name badges at the check-in station. It’s why there’s always just enough seats for the lecture you’re attending, and it’s why every expo has a main thoroughfare right through the middle of exhibitors. Space planning goes into each of these decisions, and it affects the experience everyone has at the event.

Good space planning results in ample space for everything that’s happening. Bad space planning can leave rooms feeling cramped and congested, putting a damper on the event as a whole.

Benefits of space planning for conference centers

Space planning has ample benefits, regardless of the event. For attendees and presenters, it’s all about creating an environment that’s conducive to the experience: seeing and being seen. For hosts and organizers, it’s about keeping people engaged, happy, and comfortable throughout. Here’s a look at some of the chief benefits of good space planning for conference centers:

  • Conference facilities become more accessible to presenters and guests
  • Attendees have the space they need to explore the event comfortably
  • Reduction in the amount of space needed to conduct operations
  • The cost to organizers drops as facility efficiency lowers overhead expense
  • Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother operations
  • Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces

The biggest benefit of good space planning is a smooth-running event. Event managers will spend less time solving problems that arise as the result of poor planning and be able to devote more time to ensuring attendees and presenters have everything they need to enjoy a well-run gathering.

How does conference center space planning software help?

When it comes to space planning for events, there are numerous factors to consider. It’s important to take them all into account within the context of a floor plan. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Thankfully, conference center space planning software makes it easier.

Space planning software includes numerous tools and resources to make developing, iterating, adjusting, and analyzing floor plans simpler. It’s easy to design a master floor plan or break down an event space into multiple agile floor plans. This advanced planning becomes the foundation for more informed floor plan design, including better placement of key conference checkpoints and features.

Software also leverages broader considerations into the floor planning stage. A CAD mockup of the event center will alert you if a room is over capacity based on the number of seats or if a vendor booth layout violates fire code. These and dozens of other variables are instrumental in space planning, but might not always be top-of-mind. Software brings them to the forefront, so every decision is made in good confidence.

Finally, there’s no substitute for the efficiency of space planning software. Free-handing a floor plan or grid-lining a massive expo and its many attractions is virtually impossible. Moreover, it’s impractical—especially as event details and demands change. Software allows event organizers to be as dynamic as they need to be and stay agile during the key planning and iterating phases of space planning.

Space planning sets the tone for conferences

No one wants to attend an event where they’re packed in like sardines, with no way of knowing where they’re going. Instead, they want space to rub shoulders and take in the event. Space planning is the key to creating an event people enjoy their time at—one that meets their expectations and caters to their interest as an attendee or exhibitor.

From small seminars to massive expos, every conference starts with space planning. Whether it’s exhibition booths, pedestrian thoroughfares, seats and stages for speakers, or some other type of environment, every conference needs the right space to create the right experience.

Keep reading: Conference Center Space Utilization Software Benefits


Conference Center Stack Planning

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Some of the biggest expos in the world draw tens of thousands of people over the span of just a day or two. In 2019, San Diego’s Comic Con saw 130,000 attendees from more than 30 countries. Similarly, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago brings in crowds of more than 100,000 people each year. At this scale, it’s imperative for even the largest event spaces to engage in conference center stack planning.

Stack planning is an essential part of the pre-event planning process. At the world’s big conference centers, it ensures administrators account for multiple rooms, floors, and buildings during the space allocation process. And, done right, stack planning can ensure a more accessible, navigable, accommodating event for attendees and exhibitors alike.

Here’s a look at conference center stack planning and how it factors into the arduous process of establishing some of the world’s biggest expos and events.

What is conference center stack planning?

An event stack plan is the top-down, broad-scope view of space allocation. It shows space in context, through a variety of different lenses. What’s the total square footage of the event center’s atrium? What percentage of total presentation space is devoted to the auditorium? How much total available square footage is there in Building D? The stack plan yields answers to these questions and many more like them.

Stack planning for conference centers comes down to using this broad-scope stack data to better-orchestrate facilities and allocate space. If the main event space is at 110% capacity, what peripheral spaces are available? If you’re expecting a turnout of 50,000 attendees, what’s the occupancy of Building A vs. Building B? Stack planning puts the top-down view of space to work, to find solutions for the best allocation and organization of space.

For larger events spanning multiple rooms, floors, and buildings, an accurate stack plan is an invaluable piece of event organization—especially as variables change.

Benefits of stack planning for conference centers

Using a stack plan to create an informed conference floor plan delivers an exceptional range of benefits. At a high level, event organizers gain access to benefits unlocked by better awareness of space availability. Some of the biggest benefits that accompany stack planning for conference centers include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of attendees and exhibitors
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

The stack plan contextualizes space in whatever capacity is most important for event planners at the moment. Trying to find space to house more paying exhibitors? Need to comply with building codes and event safety guidelines? Unsure of you have the right facilities available for a specific need? The stack plan sheds light on pertinent information. Then, stack planning bridges the gap between opportunity and need.

How does conference center stack planning software help?

There is no stack plan without conference center stack planning software. Big events take shape so quickly and have so many moving parts that it’s virtually impossible to understand space allocation without a digital sync. Software can process the inputs and manage floor plans in real-time, to ensure the stack plan is current whenever organizers need to reference it.

Sandboxing capabilities also make stack plan software a worthwhile tool in planning events. The ability to change a wide array of variables within a dynamic stack plan to see the effects, then revert them to a baseline model, saves organizers innumerable headaches. It’s the difference between proactive problem-solving and putting out fires as they manifest during event setup.

Stack planning is also made more insightful by software. Easily attach cost centers, budget targets, revenue totals, occupancy and capacity information, and more to a stack plan to gain even more context about how space is working in favor of the event. Organizers have the integrations and data they need to make informed decisions about how, where, why, when, and what to engage in when stack planning—no matter what lens they’re looking through.

Stack plans set the tone for space allocation at events

When you’re managing hundreds or thousands of exhibitors and creating a floor plan designed to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people, a stack plan is imperative. The ability to see space at a macro level makes it easy to coordinate a cohesive event floor plan, no matter how large or complex the event is. With different lenses through which to view space, event organizers can quickly assess and reallocate as they identify the need for space at an event.

Stack planning isn’t just for the world’s biggest expos, either. From auto shows to trade shows, multi-day conferences to industry association events, a stack plan makes it easy to take a top-down look at any event and make sure it’s using facilities effectively.

Keep reading: Conference Center Space Planning Software Benefits


Facility Maintenance and Operations: Navigating Today and Planning for Tomorrow

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing at iOFFICE + SpaceIQ

Transitionary periods are never easy. As businesses move from routine and certain practices to unproven and uncertain situations, there’s a level of trepidation involved. Thankfully, there are ways to ease this anxiety—namely, by shedding light on the gap in old vs. new practices. At a time when many workplaces are either in the middle of transition or running up against it, investment in visibility is imperative.

Nowhere is visibility more important than facility planning. From real property to office operations, facility managers need oversight as they begin to adapt assets and workflows in the near-term and for the future.

Navigating a period of sweeping change

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to flex work have up-ended commercial real estate and its outlook as an asset. Many companies are asking themselves if they need a centralized workplace, and those choosing to maintain offices are reevaluating how to carry that overhead effectively. For the latter, it comes down to adapting maintenance and operations around the new parameters governing a flex work norm.

In the immediate, it’s about establishing processes and standards for bringing people back to the office safely and with confidence. Already, there are key best practices emerging as part of an effective return-to-office:

  • Reservable and hotel-able desks and workspaces
  • Channels for reporting workplace problems
  • Auto-scheduling cleaning and maintenance tasks

These practices and others only work if they effectively ease employee tensions and fears about coming back to the workplace. Moreover, they need to mesh with a new outlook on asset management—one that maximizes asset ROI by reframing expectations. Businesses need to navigate the balance between cost-driven adaptation and employee-minded changes.

One of the simplest ways to move forward with confidence is to bring transparency to workplace adaptation. Employee surveys and consistent communication bring visibility to changes, to get everyone on the same page about what to expect and how to progress forward. The future may still be a little uncertain, but it’s more certain when everyone has the same information to work from.

Planning for the facility needs of tomorrow

Transitionary periods as such that a company moves toward something: a culmination. For companies during the pandemic era, it’s about charting a course to a new and stable future. That means planning for that future while navigating the transition. You need to know where you’re going if you’re ever going to get there.

For many companies, the first priority is reframing assets and understanding what their role is in the future—and how to maintain them for that role. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shrinking your CRE footprint, changing floor plans, or exploring new desking concepts: assets need to adapt to expectations. It boils down to key objectives:

  • Reassess the maintenance needs under a different level of demand
  • Create and maintain more proactive asset maintenance schedules
  • Implement data collection and analysis for asset use and maintenance
  • Generate new costing and budgeting models for enterprise asset management

Establishing asset strategies for the future also means addressing present needs, to establish a foundation for the future. Now’s the time to tackle deferred maintenance and establish digital twins that’ll serve as a backbone for a more refined level of future asset management. The sooner facility professionals embrace change in asset management, the more proactive they can be in recognizing the new standard for efficient utilization.

SpaceIQ bridges the gap in transition

Bringing visibility to the many changes occurring in the workplace comes down to having data. SpaceIQ software provides that data. SiQ provides the floor plan and management tools needed to facilitate operational changes. Serraview offers the resources to manage employee sentiment and create transparency through communication. Archibus is the gold standard for asset maintenance. Together, the entire suite of solutions casts light on the many obfuscated areas of the transitioning CRE landscape.

Even beyond stewarding a change to new operation and asset management strategies, SpaceIQ is poised to help businesses succeed beyond. With sustainability tools, data de-siloing, holistic views, and mind for experience, facility managers have the tools they need to create the new normal that’s best for their company, its assets, and its employees.

For more information about SpaceIQ solutions for the future of facility maintenance and operations, request a demo.


Conference Center Facilities Management

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Any time people gather in mass in a centralized location, there’s bound to be logistical concerns. When those logistical concerns involve facilities, there’s an exponential level of foresight required to ensure everything holds up. Conference center facilities management becomes a paramount focus of planning any large-scale event, and has significant bearing on the success of that event.

Overseeing facilities for a conference event is a major undertaking that spans a broad swath of duties. From ensuring the restrooms receive regular cleaning and restocking, to garbage collection and A/V technical assistance, the demands of facilities get pushed to their limits for the duration of the event. A proactive and comprehensive approach to facilities management ensures that everything runs smoothly.

Here’s a look at how conference center facilities management factors into a successful event—and how coordinated management efforts impact every aspect of the event, big or small.

What is conference center facilities management?

Conference center facilities management involves overseeing all aspects of the buildings and grounds where an event takes place. It ensures the facilities support the event and the people attending it. This ranges from simple things like ensuring proper wayfinding signage for an event, to complex demands like managing vendors who can service the HVAC system before a big gathering.

Facilities management spans six major areas of focus, according to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA). These include employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. Foresight to these pillars ensures that conference centers are ready, willing, and able to meet the influx of people flocking to them for a special event.

Well-managed facilities add up to better preparation for an event, stronger responses to unforeseen demands, and the ability to host an event that’s comfortable, safe, accommodating, and welcoming to attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and anyone else coming together.

Benefits of facilities management for conference centers

Though it takes tremendous effort, conference center facilities management is well-worth the benefits it offers. Event planners and organizers will find themselves amidst facilities that run smoothly and are able to handle the stress of a significant population influx. Some of the benefits that accompany forward-thinking facilities management include:

  • Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
  • Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
  • More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
  • Better transparency when it comes to event operations and activities
  • Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
  • Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate event activities

The last thing event organizers need is facility failure. Bathrooms that can’t stay stocked. Damage to entry-exit doors that makes them unusable. An escalator that’s out of commission. Each failure on the part of facilities affects the experience of event-goers and can result in ongoing headaches for facility managers. Proactive management of facilities ensures they’re able to stand up to event demands and perform as-expected for the duration of the gathering.

How does conference center facility management software help?

Managing an event is a complex endeavor. Managing the facilities hosting it takes an even more herculean effort. It goes beyond managing the everyday demands of a building—it means planning for the type of stress test only tens of thousands of attendees can deliver. To prepare, conference centers have begun turning to facility management software.

FM software aggregates all important facility tasks into a centralized system. Here, administrators can visualize the needs of facilities, delegate to in-house staff or partners, assess facility trends, and make informed decisions prior to an event. Not only does software improve the everyday performance of facilities, it ensures they’re ready to meet an impending stress test in optimal condition.

Facilities software also provides important data about facilities during events. From support tickets submitted in real-time to streaming data about occupancy and space utilization, software enables rapid response and agility from event organizers as they respond to the ebb and flow of an event. Whether it’s last-minute floor plan changes to improve pass-through traffic or allocating extra staff to sanitation to handle rubbish accumulation, events simply run better when there’s data-driven insights available.

Keep facilities welcoming, accommodating, and accessible

The stakes are high for event organizers when it comes to putting together a seamless conference. Focus on facilities management and responsive oversight tops the list of concerns. From ensuring the basics like restrooms, sanitation, security, and accessibility, to more complex demands like vendor support, access control, and wayfinding, facility management is at the core. Event admins need to consider the many facets of facilities and rely on management software to ensure everything is under control for the duration of the event.

And, as any event manager knows, not everything goes according to plan. A well-conceived facilities management plan can mitigate issues, prompt rapid response, and ensure contingencies that keep event-goers happy, safe, and unconcerned. With so much of the event dependent on the facilities hosting it, few things rank more important than conference center facility management.

Keep reading: Conference Center Stack Planning Software Benefits


Telecom Stack Planning

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Telecom companies have a growing footprint in urban epicenters across the world. Every day, more data centers power on, customer service departments grow, and the physical telecom infrastructure gets a little bigger. As telecom becomes more and more entwined with everyday life, it becomes more and more important for telecom providers to take a top-down view of facilities, to ensure they support growing demand. The solution is often telecom stack planning.

Stack plans offer visual insights into how and where telecom companies use the space and real estate assets available to them. At a macro level, it might show that 58% of a telecom’s property holdings are data farms. Looking closer, space in the clerical building in Tulsa is 34% occupied by customer service reps. Whether looking at the full property portfolio, a specific building or a line of business, there’s opportunity for optimization in stack planning.

Here’s a look at the role of stack planning as it relates to a growing telecommunications infrastructure and the real estate assets behind it.

What is telecom stack planning?

A stack plan is a top-down look at the allocation of space across a telecom company’s full real estate portfolio. Moreover, there are numerous lenses administrators can look through. Examples can include:

  • How much of total space does X occupy?
  • What percentage of Y does Y occupy?
  • What facility costs are attributed to X cost center?
  • What’s the spread of X over a single facility? The full portfolio?

The stack plan simply informs a better understanding of where and how space gets used within the company. Therefore, stack planning is an active strategy for using a high-level understanding of space to inform better allocation and administration. For example, using stack plan data, it might make sense to cut back on total seats in the data admin department and increase seats in sales.

Stack planning is an ongoing practice. As facilities evolve and grow, the stack plan allocation changes. With this change comes the need to reevaluate and rebalance facilities, to ensure they’re operating at peak efficiency.

The benefits of telecom stack planning

Telecom stack planning offers companies numerous benefits. Some equate to bottom-line savings; others, to top-line growth. No matter what form the benefits take, they’re the direct result of more efficient asset management. Some of the key benefits associated with stack planning for telecoms include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Stack planning enables a macro-level of optimization for telecoms that translates into additional downstream benefits. Making adjustments to facility layouts can increase the standard of work done by those business units, which results in tangible benefits for customers and the company. It’s an imperative focus as telecoms expand and their operations become more in-demand.

The role of telecom stack planning software

To use a stack plan, administrators need to see one. This has become a function of telecom stack planning software. These platforms pull workplace and facility data into a single dashboard, to create a data visualization of the telecom’s real estate portfolio or a specific building. More than a visual breakdown, software also contextualizes the allocation with appropriate data about the makeup of the stack plan.

Stack planning software unlocks a wealth of opportunities in sandboxing and planning. Administrators can make adjustments to floor plans and allocations to see their effect on the overall space strategy—all without changing the physical environment. Moreover, automation and AI tools make it easy to predict how new space allocations ripple outward from a modified stack plan.

The many lenses of stack planning also become easier to understand with software. Flip between analytics to see the difference between cost, space allocation, occupancy totals and more—then, compare and contrast for additional insights about to best-use space.

Finally, software makes it easier for a full breadth of stakeholders to collaborate on a stack plan and subsequent floor plans. From facility managers, to portfolio managers, to c-suite executives, the accessibility of software-driven insights puts telecom teams on the same page as they work together to optimize real estate assets.

A top-down view of growing telecom infrastructure

Telecom companies are no strangers to taking a top-down approach. Whether it’s assessing expanding infrastructure or figuring out the best way to orchestrate a data center, it helps to see the whole picture. Telecoms can apply this same concept and see the same benefits from a top-down assessment of facilities and real estate.

Telecom stack planning is a useful tool in measuring and planning for specific growth areas. Putting real estate assets to work in a way that generates maximum ROI is a great way to power the telecom industry forward, at a great margin for the companies investing in its infrastructure.

Keep reading: Telecom Space Planning

Blog Workplace Thought Leadership

Autodesk University On Demand Sessions Recordings

Autodesk University is the design and make conference for innovators everywhere. Learn from industry experts who are progressing architecture, engineering, construction, design, manufacturing, and media and entertainment. Thousands attend Autodesk University every year to grow. Break new ground. And drive progress past the limits of what’s possible with actionable learnings from global industry experts.

See iOFFICE & SpaceIQ experts’ presentations from Autodesk University 2021 below. Note that to access the recordings, you will need to create a free account through the links below.

Tech Trends Panel: Why Data Connectivity Is Driving the Convergence of Design and Make

Abstract: In the days when companies followed a linear business model, workflows in the AEC and manufacturing industries were created using incompatible software programs. That meant data would be lost between handoffs from discipline to discipline—whether from architect to contractor or engineer to manufacturer—and would have to be recreated or stitched back together throughout a project. That doesn’t work in today’s world, when data needs to be at the center to help solve complex problems and spark innovation. To mitigate global challenges such as urbanization, population growth, and climate change, project stakeholders need to design and make with help from automation and a seamless flow of data and insights. In this panel, execs from Epic Games, Lenovo, SpaceIQ, and Autodesk discuss why converging processes, technology, data, and industries are key to a thriving future.

Moderator: Kylee Swenson


  • Nick Stefanidakis, SpaceIQ
  • Mike Haley, Autodesk
  • Jeff Wood, Lenovo
  • Marc Petit, Epic Games

Listen to the recording here.

Managing Space, Assets, and Maintenance through BIM to FM

Abstract: Building owners want to take rich data collected from BIM and put it directly to work managing space, assets, and maintenance. AEC professionals want to deliver their carefully-developed BIM data in a form that is immediately useful for building operations. Yet discussions around commissioning this information for lifecycle use can sound complex and daunting. This session demystifies BIM Execution Planning for the most important “BIM to FM” use cases – namely managing space and maintenance. The session walks through real world workflows, entities and object properties needed for professional facilities management. Demonstration sequences illustrate how to extend the usability of AutoCAD drawings and Revit models designed for construction, to easily flow hundreds of spaces and assets to FM management software, and begin getting immediate results.

Presenter: Nick Stefanidakis

Listen to the recording here.

Archibus: From Space Inventory to Action

Abstract: Explore how organizations that leverage Archibus, maintain their space inventory in AutoCAD and have those changes reflected in the Archibus solution with a few clicks. We’ll also see how teams can then utilize a complete and accurate space inventory in Archibus to meet organization initiatives, namely a Return to Office (RTO) plan.

Presenter: Mike Zimmer

Listen to the recording here.

Archibus OnSite: A Modern Mobile Solution For Maintenance Professionals

Abstract: Join Mike Zimmer as he demonstrates Archibus’ newest mobile application for maintenance professionals, Onsite. We’ll explore how maintenance technicians can easily document their time, materials, and comments around the completion of various tasks that are assigned to them all from their phone.

Presenter: Mike Zimmer

Listen to the recording here.

Transform Your Maintenance Strategy with ManagerPlus

Abstract: EAM/CMMS solution for any industry to improve asset reliability, extend equipment lifecycles & streamline maintenance operations. From manufacturing to hospitality, our software increases ROI.

Presenter: Brandon Gunn

Listen to the recording here.

Keep listening: Remote Work is Here to Stay. Are you Ready?

Workplace Thought Leadership

Leveraging BIM for Maximum Returns

By Nick Stefanidakis
General Manager, Archibus

As the world population continues to grow, the demand for urban and industrial construction projects will also carry on at a massive scale. Building information modeling (BIM) systems are playing a vital role in this development, with both government and private sector groups seeking more efficient, collaborative ways to build roads, skyscrapers, tunnels, and more.

BIM software is so effective that countries like Abu Dhabi and the UAE now require its use for all major construction projects. Other countries are following suit, and the BIM market is estimated to reach a value of $9.81 billion by 2026.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the demand for BIM, which helps construction companies adhere to safety and distancing requirements. (Global use of Autodesk, one of the most popular BIM software options, increased by 350% in the first quarter of 2020.)

Clearly, BIM software is quickly becoming the new standard in the construction industry. But what are the top benefits of using BIM during the construction process? And how can construction companies leverage the technology to the fullest?

A quick guide to BIM 

Like blueprints and CAD software that came before, BIM is fast becoming the standard for drafting, designing, and visualizing any construction project. But unlike past methods, BIM is highly intelligent and collaborative.

Changes to the design are updated and stored automatically in a common data environment, so architects and contractors can immediately observe these changes. In addition, small tweaks to any element of the 3D model flow through to the entire building, which helps maintain consistency and accuracy.

Design is just one element of BIM, however. The software also offers features like scheduling, cost estimations, budget analysis, energy consumption, and more.

Ways to leverage BIM data

The advantages of BIM data go well beyond 3D modeling. But leveraging BIM requires a thorough understanding of how the software can help a particular segment. For example, for those looking to use BIM to FM (facility management) purposes, the manager should first define their needs, make a data storage plan, and then classify information.

Here are other ways architects, construction firms, capital project managers, and operations and maintenance professionals can successfully leverage BIM data:

  • GPS and drones. Every 3D design starts with a point cloud, and that point can sometimes take weeks to come up with. However, GPS software and drones can be used to get quick, accurate, and detailed measurements as a launching point for BIM designs.
  • Laser scanning. Laser scanning is the best way to outline existing structures that may clash with a new construction project. This information can be directly imported into BIM software, making it easy for architects to design buildings with minimal rework.
  • Mobile apps. Owners can now use BIM software like Autodesk anywhere they go, thanks to mobile apps that can communicate both internally and externally to immediately reflect design changes.
  • Project management software. Integrating BIM data with project management software helps to further streamline the entire construction process, from the initial sketches to completion.

Maximize BIM with the right tech

BIM offers many clear benefits, allowing companies to build in a more streamlined, cost-effective, sustainable fashion.  Combined with an open project management tool that integrates flawlessly with Autodesk and other BIM software, like Archibus, stakeholders are able to access vital information that keeps them on track with their goals.

Greater Cost Savings & Predictability

Capital projects present many budgeting challenges, with 30% of construction costs coming from rework and 55% of maintenance costs remaining reactive. Fortunately, BIM can help to greatly reduce costs during the building process, by minimizing delays and providing greater visibility. BIM can also help reduce costs across the life of the structure, from maintenance forecasting to energy specifications.

Archibus helps take these benefits to the next level. Weighted performance scorecards highlight over-budget projects and allow owners to review actual costs in comparison to baseline estimates.

Fewer Errors & Improved Schedules

When asked about the benefits of using BIM, 34% of people surveyed answered that “fewer errors” topped their list. Because BIM offers insightful data and better schedule forecasting, builders are less likely to encounter problems in later stages of construction. In addition, the same survey found that 26% of respondents believe BIM offers an ROI of 25% or more—further highlighting the importance of reducing errors.

Archibus creates a central repository of data, offering a “top-down” perspective that makes it easier to manage projects and changes once construction is completed and the building is handed over to the owner/occupier. With insights like project priorities, actions, and costs, all parties involved have quick access to streamlined reporting and project execution.

Greater Insights

BIM software makes it easier for multiple parties to communicate about the construction process in real-time. This allows all stakeholders to gain valuable insights and a greater understanding of the 3D modeling before it is put into action.

One of the premier advantages of using Archibus is the ability to see each subsystem within a building and understand its context. How does that system exist in relation to others, and what’s its role in broader building function? With this information in-hand, facilities managers can make better decisions about how they manager, alter, and maintain different subsystems, and the effects of those decisions on the building.

Increased Efficiency

In another survey of BIM users, respondents reported that the software allows them to spend less time documenting and more time designing. Increased efficiency means architects can dedicate more of their workday to creating sustainable, cost-effective buildings.

BIM risk mitigation takes many forms. Utilizing BIM data in an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) like Archibus can help model maintenance and improvement tasks sequentially, to reduce risks associated with the scope of a project and increase efficiency. Or it can deliver risk analysis for certain aspects of building function. It can even mitigate on-the-job risks by assessing the inherent dangers of specific tasks. In short: BIM makes facilities maintenance and modification safer.

Comprehensive Views

Organizations typically have a large number of projects in progress across the portfolio. Using BIM data, Archibus can help connect these project to a capital budget plan and ranks them so capital spend is aligned with the corporate mission.

By integrating BIM data into Archibus, managers get a comprehensive view of their entire project, which allows for appropriate building management once construction is complete. Using data collected during design and construction phases lets owners and operators easily track and manage assets and space. The payoff is improved asset performance and space utilization because all departments are aligned.

For example, Maintenance isn’t repairing a roof, that capital planning has scheduled to replace, in a building that CRE has slated to sell, and technology is completing a mission critical project in. BIM correlates the activities across the organization.

BIM for better building

BIM data provides a wealth of opportunities for capital projects managers, real estate developers, and more. Coupling BIM software with Archibus allows owners to leverage existing data, improve construction schedules, and get greater cost predictability. Explore the benefits of utilizing Archibus and  BIM together by scheduling a demo today.

Keep reading: How Does BIM Work?


Telecom Facilities Management

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

When telecom systems don’t work, everyone suffers. So much of life’s integral activities happen on the back of telecom utilities, which rely on physical infrastructure to keep them running. Telecom facilities management is an important cornerstone of our growing reliance on everyday tech. The better telecoms maintain the physical infrastructure, the more reliable and seamless digital services become.

The wonder of modern telecom facilities management is something of a continuum. Facility management software powers insights about physical space, which result in efficiencies that translate into a better level of service from the digital operations that space enables. A well-orchestrated data center makes cloud computing more reliable, in the same way a well-managed IT services department makes it possible for telecoms to innovate. Digital insights beget better infrastructure, which powers better data solutions.

Here’s a closer look at what telecom facilities management means to the growth of this industry, and how telecoms can harness it to scale up with demand.

What is telecom facilities management?

Facility management breaks down into six key areas of focus. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), those areas include: employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. The sum of these segments culminates in facilities that meet the needs of the people relying on them to work within.

In a more general sense, facility management involves making sure facilities are well-suited to operational expectations. Do data scientists have the space they need to conduct R&D? Does facility telecom infrastructure support daily inbound and outbound communication? Are the facilities working, safe, and code compliant? Are they easily navigable? These factors (and thousands of others) play an important role in leveraging facilities as a real estate asset, beyond its overhead costs.

Telecom facilities management involves active oversight of facilities. It can include coordinating in-house teams, contracting vendors, working with consultants, and more—all in pursuit of creating facilities that are well-equipped to support work and workers.

The benefits of telecom facilities management

Well-managed facilities are a gateway to tremendous benefits for any company—telecoms especially. They enable employees and operations, which results in a better standard of work. That better standard of work translates to everything from increased revenues to better cost savings. Some of the ranging benefits of good telecom facilities management include:

  • Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
  • Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
  • More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
  • Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
  • Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
  • Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate business growth

The benefits of telecom facilities management are even more visible when compared to the pitfalls of under-managed facilities. Without operational confluence rooted in facilities, telecoms can struggle to stay mission-focused and efficient. Forethought to facility support gives the company a platform for operational excellence.

The role of telecom facilities management software

Telecoms face increasing demand for the services they offer, which means companies are leaning more heavily on their tangible assets—real estate included. Turning facilities from a cost center into a competitive advantage allows telecoms to leverage more control over their operations and to increase the capabilities of the company without raising overhead.

The most powerful and important feature of telecom facilities management software is access to prolific data. Not raw data, either—clean, aggregated, ordered data that’s easily arranged into dashboards with trend insights at-the-ready. This takes tremendous administrative burden off of facilities management staff and allows them to pinpoint exact inefficiencies and problems. Moreover, AI and machine learning can glean unseen conclusions that make improving facilities easier—there are fewer barriers to meaningful change.

Robust digital tools are another integral feature of telecom facilities management software. From support ticket management to digital twin mapping, an Integrated Workplace Management Software (IWMS) platform brings facility tasks into one place, automates them, and simplifies the general management of everything that keeps facilities running. Fewer time-intensive tasks and less room for human intervention bring a level of consistency to facility ops, as well.

Finally, integrations make telecom facilities management software paramount. From synergies with accounting software to vendor management portal connections, the ability to sync up an IWMS instantly removes barriers to facility management. Administrators can do more, in less time, with less effort, to greater effect, with results that improve overall telecom operations.

Well-managed facilities equate to reliable digital services

Billions of people rely on telecom services—and demand is only growing. For providers and servicers to keep up with demand, they need the stable foundation that comes with well-run, appropriately managed facilities. From technical assistance to accounts payable, telecoms rely on the physical space they operate in to bring a better standard of digital service to the world around them.

Ironically, it’s digital services that are helping telecoms better understand and manage their physical workplaces and real estate assets. Full-featured facility management software is an integral stepping stone for bringing telecoms into the future, one square foot of optimization at a time.

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