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Impacts and Implications of the Digital Engineering Agenda on Strategic and Operational Scope of Facility Management (Coursework Sample)


Critically analyse the practical impacts and implications of the digital engineering agenda on the strategic and operational scope of facility management. What role does the UK Government Soft Landings (GSL) policy play in this context?


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Facility management entails an extensive array of services and disciplines that aid in ensuring the comfort, safety, functionality and efficiency of any built environment (Cotts, Roper and Payant, 2010). It may include maintenance and operations, management of communication, business continuity and the management of emergencies, environmental sustainability, ergonomics and human factors, hospitality, property management and real estate and project management among others (Atkin and Brooks, 2015). With the increasing advances in technology, digital assets are now produced together with the physical assets. These can be described as digital twins aimed at providing interactive and concurrent built environment models (Bone et al., 2019). This digital twin is built using digital engineering; i.e. coming up with the data that informs and creates the digital model or twin. Digital engineers come up with the building information model (BIM), a digital representation of the physical asset comprising information and data about the design of the building, its construction and current and future functions (Stocks, 2016). To this end, digital engineering provides various practical impacts and implications on the operational and strategic scope of facilities management.
Impacts and Implications of Digital Engineering
According to Doughty (2020), the aim of digital engineering is to capture data about the built environment in a way that is sensible and structured in addition to collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure high-quality outcomes. Digital engineering is arguably a more advanced form of BIM. This is a vital technique that allows engineers and architects to test how designs perform before the actual building process commences (Stocks, 2016). This is in addition to the optimisation of the asset performance throughout its whole life-cycle. Digital engineering, on the other hand, entails imagery by drones, virtual and augmented reality, IoT sensors, artificial intelligence, advanced building materials and machine learning among others (Woodhead, Stephenson and Morrey, 2018). Together with BIM, these technologies can be used to inform a digital twin besides ascertaining that it is an accurate representation of the real-time features of its physical twin (Araszkiewicz, 2017). Digital engineering is a relatively new concept developed from BIM and as such, it comes with various impacts and implications to the engineering and construction field. As such, with reference to the Deanery Church of England Academy, the practical impacts and implications of the digital engineering agenda on the operational scope of facility management are discussed.
Risk Avoidance and Safety
For a long time, models have been created and perfected by engineers to provide a better grip of reality and also make it easier to understand and handle. With the introduction of digital engineering, various generative design tools that enable the simulation of real conditions in incremental, iterative and adaptive ways have been developed (Duc, 2018). Moreover, the increasing interconnectedness of billions of devices is expected to provide detailed knowledge of how the objects or, as in the current case, the built environment, that contractors design and operate are used. Bone et al. (2019) add that these digital devices would enable the prediction of how the use of the objects would transform through time. This helps in risk reduction. Furthermore, Zhou, Whyte and Sacks (2012) suggest that, with the use of digital technologies such as virtual reality, online databases, 4D compu

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