Documentation System Sets Flight Path for Smart Maintenance, Construction

Documentation System Sets Flight Path for Smart Maintenance, Construction

By Vicky Borchers, RA, NCARB, LEED AP, and Ian Redhead

While the future of Kansas City International Airport (MCI) is at a crossroads — either construct a new, single terminal building or rehabilitate existing ones — the Kansas City Aviation Department already is directing an early project that will function no matter which way the decision turns.

Department officials are pursuing implementation of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for the airport. The system is getting its start during work on a new Facilities Maintenance Shop, and provides an approach that lays the groundwork for documentation to be delivered regarding all future construction projects, from design through commissioning.

The highly intelligent CMMS is being designed to integrate building systems, meet federal reporting requirements and manage real assets, plus establish a methodology so that vendors deliver documentation in a system-compatible format.

Department employees are working with developers and designers to see that the CMMS fits their needs, both existing and anticipated. The system's scalable design is set to accommodate projects increasing in both in size and complexity. Designers are delivering system components as the building is designed, using Building Information Modeling (BIM) to identify and integrate data, capture design intent, and geospatially locate all new building components.

So What Does That Mean?

  • In the design phase, it means that engineers' assumptions regarding sizing of mechanical equipment are captured in a manner that can later be recalled through the BIM model interface. It means that under-slab services are modeled and shown on the site plan for integration into future, sitewide building projects. It means that building shell components are detailed so that they can be linked to warranty and replacement information. It means understanding what is required to "plug into" the new CMMS and defining "connectors" required for subsequent phases of the project.
  • In the construction phase, it means that shop drawings and technical submittals conform to requirements outlined in the specifications and are delivered in a format that integrates into the management model, be it documentation, 2-D, or 3-D. Translation: An as-built BIM model is created and turned over to the airport upon project completion.
  • In the commissioning phase, it means that the CMMS and BIM form an integrated dashboard to the facility. The CMMS will monitor building performance, produce maintenance plans, provide lifecycle cost estimates for future budgets and manage federal reporting requirements. The new facilities shop, along with a site map, exists as a "virtual campus" within the CMMS, allowing users to click on a 3-D view of any component and pull up related and extended information on their mobile devices.

The groundwork is now in place. Designers, engineers and architects will produce BIM components that interact with the new CMMS. Contractors and suppliers will submit information in formats that link to the model and are easily retrievable. Key airport personnel will access and update information in the system live. And airport facilities managers will have a tool at their fingertips that can provide them with statistical data and access to in-time information.

The approach begs the question: How smart is your airport?

Vicky Borchers is a section manager in architectural production at Burns & McDonnell. Ian Redhead is Deputy Director for Operations and Maintenance at the Kansas City Aviation Department, which operates Kansas City International Airport.

On the Way

Key components that officials at Kansas City International Airport are looking forward to seeing in their new CMMS:

  • Fleet management
  • Work order management
  • Integration into a building automation system
  • Federal compliance reporting
  • BIM integration
  • A Division I specification outlining requirements for defining and delivering documentation on construction projects
  • Mobility


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