My 2014 Facility Fusion Experience

My 2014 Facility Fusion Experience

by Maurice (Mo) Johnson, CFM, LEED AP

Last week, I had the honor and privilege to attend the 2014 Facility Fusion conference courtesy of a scholarship provided by the Greater Triangle IFMA Chapter. I was particularly interested in participating because as part of this event,  IFMA held its first BIM Conference for Owners, Facility Managers & Service Providers. BIM is short for Building Information Modeling, and has been defined as “A BUSINESS PROCESS for generating and leveraging building data to design, construct, and operate the building during its lifecycle. BIM allows all stakeholders to have access to the same information at the same time through interoperability between technology platforms.” (AGC) As a facility manager and an architect by training, I have been intensely interested in the potential of this technology for the efficient management of the built environment beyond the end of construction. Panelist from construction companies, architects, corporate users and universities presented their perspectives on how this process is being used to transform building design, construction and operation. My main take away was that this process has produced amazing results in the delivery of new buildings, but the real value to be derived from BIM in long-term facility operation is just beginning to be realized. Based on the attendance at this conference, IFMA will be heavily involved in the promotion of Building Information Modeling for facility management in the years to come. I hope to stay involved in that effort both professionally and within IFMA.


The rest of the conference was spent attending educational sessions, talking to exhibitors, and meeting IFMA members from all around the country and the world. I attended sessions on facility water conservation and reuse, the facility condition assessment process for 350,000 buildings owned by the U.S. State Department around the world, and sessions moderated by the IFMA Corporate Real Estate Council (of which the Triangle’s own Mark Ellis, CFM is the upcoming council president). These CREC sessions focused on workplace strategy, design and collaboration. Speaking of collaboration, The Triangle Chapter joined in with the Chicago and Northern Illinois chapters in hosting an informal social in the conference hotel. A great time was had by all!


The keynote speaker on Tuesday was especially inspiring. If you ever find yourself getting bogged down in red tape trying to get things done, I suggest you Google Jason Roberts and “The Better Block Project”.  The things he has done to improve his community are truly remarkable. Thursday’s closing speaker was Ken Schmidt, former communications director with Harley-Davidson. Ken spoke of how the company went from near bankruptcy to one of the most successful brands in the world by creating customers that are disciples for the Harley-Davidson lifestyle. It is an amazing story.


I would like to thank the Board, the Professional Development Committee and all the members of the Greater Triangle IFMA Chapter for giving me the opportunity to experience this great event!


Thank You!