The Virtual Buildings Information System (VBIS) is a freely available and system-agnostic standard that provides a means of classifying asset data and integrate data sources to provide a balanced asset view.
This data includes asset registers, operation and maintenance records, financials, technical datasheets, schedules, specifications, reports, commissioning, warranty information and performance data.
VBIS provides a means to structure asset data and locate information from a range of applications, including digital engineering, BIM, document management, financial and FM systems.
VBIS is included in VDAS, aligns with ISO55000 and supports the data requirements to meet the obligations of the AMAF.
The FM industry has seen three evolutionary cycles through technology disruption over the last 15 years named Proptech 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 introducing smart buildings through adoption of sensors and cloud-based applications. There has also been a rapid increase in digital engineering practices in construction resulting in a lot of content that could be utilised in building operations.
A facility now utilises several disparate applications that cater for specific functions and carries a lot of data. Specific functions include maintenance, finance, safety, documentation and building controls with components of data related to the asset residing in these different applications. A whole-of-life view enables an understanding of the performance of an asset through installation to disposal.
Victorian Digital Asset Strategy
Aligned with the industry trends and with over $70B of capital works being delivered or in planning, the Victorian Government released this Guidance framework in March 2020 through the Office of Projects Victoria (OPV). Their website notes “The Victorian Digital Asset Strategy (VDAS) is a step change in the way Victorian Government departments and agencies plan, deliver, operate and maintain the assets they manage on behalf of the people of Victoria”.
VBIS in included in the document set within Part B of the document set.
The OPV website further states,
“Are there any case studies or evidence to substantiate a VDAS ROI?
The Virtual Building Information System (VBIS) provides a standard syntax to permit and create reliable links between applications and data repositories. It has developed a standard data tagging and labelling convention and a logical parent/child relationship for data.
The implementation of the VBIS only accounts for 1% of total construction cost and it could achieve an annual saving of around 40% per annum. It is predicted that the net benefit could be around $68M over a 25-year period for a $1B development. In addition, the VBIS has the potential to reduce operating, maintenance and asset lifecycle facility management cost.”
The VBIS Standard
The objectives of VBIS are:
- An open standard for Asset Information
- Not software,
- System agnostic, works with your existing applications or new off the shelf,
- Resolve the issue with disparate and unstructured asset data.
The VBIS Standard consists of two key components.
Part 1 is a 4-level Asset Classification Structure inclusive of a unique tag per specific asset type. This is called a VBIS Tag.
Part 2 is a URL query string based communication mechanism to pass asset parameters between disparate applications to facilitate interoperability and link disparate data of specific assets.
The Asset Classification structure will consist of 34 disciplines such as Electrical, Mechanical, Hydraulics, Fixed Furniture & Fittings, Building Fabric and Security. This is intended to cover all managed maintenance items (MMI) within facilities.
The VBIS Tag follows the Classification Structure and has the following format.