If you did not make it to Philly for the 2016 AIA Convention this year, you really missed out! For the architectural and design community, it is the event of the year when like- minds come together for an incredible experience. As you might expect, you get the opportunity to learn from industry experts, gain insight into what is happening in the built environment, and get inspired by rising stars in the design world. While this year’s convention really delivered in all these fronts, I found this year’s convention particularly meaningful. In this post, I wanted to share my top three highlights with you.
It almost goes without saying; a majority of important project decisions are made at the design phase. Traditionally, all project stakeholders do not participate at this phase. For argument sake, let’s imagine a scenario where all project stakeholders are involved during the design phase. You’d expect get a clearer picture on project scope and geometric detail. Decisions on physical construction would lead to greater outcomes in terms of timing, delivery, and cost. Add virtual building into the mix and you’ve got an environment that sparks proactive engagement and, ultimately, greater results. This post makes the case for building in a virtual environment.
As new design and construction technologies continue to make a positive impact on our jobsites, it was only a matter of time before wearable technology arrived on the scene. It is refreshing to note, a number of these technologies are developed to enhance the everyday gear familiar to the jobsite worker. Created to boost adoption, wearable technology may eventually be used to enhance or offer added functionalities to the hardhat, safety vest and power tools. The following explores 6 exciting wearable technologies for design and construction:
“What if?” This tends to be the reoccurring question each project team faces when working with a 4D BIM construction-sequencing model. Model-based sequencing links model elements to schedule activities to develop a construction-sequencing plan. 5D model-based estimating adds in the element of cost to the 3D BIM model. The construction sequencing method is an invaluable resource for developing the project plan for the activity sequence and logistical requirements on an active construction site, or phased occupancy of a renovation, retrofit, addition.
Jobsite environments are rapidly changing with the increased adoption of onsite technologies advancing active and effective engagement. In this new age of design and construction innovation, there will be winners and losers. There’s a clear divide between early adopters and late bloomers that construction professionals cannot afford to ignore. The following describes the technologies we believe will continue to make an impact as well as emerging technologies that could begin to make a presence in 2016.
It seems like every month there is a new state regulation or internal business decision that requires a higher level of performance for buildings and their related infrastructure. From Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), to beating the CA Energy Code we are all faced with the reality that faster, better, cheaper, and more efficient is becoming an extremely difficult equation. Most medium to large organizations are also plagued with differed maintenance protocols, legacy software, and a dwindling or rigid workforce environment. The industry will need to adapt, reinvent, and do more with less to survive this new regulatory environment. The solution to this need is widely accepted as a software solution, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Organizations will not only need to change their informational workflows, they will also need intuitive software solutions that bridge the gaps between capital planning, construction/record drawings, facilities work order management, and asset management systems. The question is no longer “Why BIM?”, but what Level of Development (LOD), layers, and informational resources are we looking for from the design team and contractors. Even for folks not actively using these added features today, dollars to dimes they are using a system that will accept some form of layered export from BIM.
Let’s face it BIM is here to stay. The process is truly transforming project planning and management. But is it really a useful process? At first blush, you say, “yes.” The data generated from a model can be leveraged into a beneficial visual and informational aid for design and field personnel. Field activities require practical and accurate information from the model to apply to physical construction. So why is it so hard to implement BIM in the field? Could it be that time and accuracy is lost from manual activities? Are teams still making calculations from 2D plans? Are they using old measurement methods? To get to the heart of the matter, this post explores the facts and fiction of BIM.
Simplicity makes PlanGrid a superintendent’s and field engineer’s “go to” job site app. The PlanGrid platform allows for real-time plan updates and synchronizes changes over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. It is practical and easy to incorporate on a project of any size or scope. This mobile tool takes away the need for paper blueprints, delivers much-needed plan version control, and creates a collaborative environment for sharing project critical information including markups, progress photos, and issues tracking.
More than ever, technology plays a vital role in today’s design and construction firms. Emerging solutions are greatly influencing the way a project operates as well as how project stakeholders perform their tasks. However, there are so many options to consider, each having their own pros and cons. Some solutions really suit a specific project role, while others seem to cover a wide range of activities.
Do you ever wonder how to get more out of your project resources? The hustle bustle of an active worksite, ebb-and-flow of resources, the need for critical information, and unpredictably of weather conditions make it really difficult to solve the project productivity puzzle. However, with the advent of location aware technologies, solutions for construction operations productivity seem to be bit clearer.