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.
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.
Ever feel like you need a crystal ball to predict whether your project is constructable? Virtual design and construction (VDC) may be just what you need.
So what is VDC? VDC is the management of integrated multi-disciplinary performance models of your project, which includes the building or structure, manpower, workflow sequences and processes, and overall organization of the design and construction. This practice references and analyzes the overall project model to determine material quantities, project schedule milestones, project cost, material quantities, as well as identifies potential project risks. All of these elements are considered Building Information Modeling (BIM) processes.
Reaching project target costs is a whole lot easier with 5D model-based cost estimating. 5D model-based cost estimating links and maps model elements and associated construction quantities to develop a project cost plan. 4D construction sequencing brings the element of time or schedule to the 3D BIM model; 5D brings the element of cost. This cost estimating method is an effective way to work together with the owner and project stakeholders, leveraging a wealth of information and experience from the model to the project in a visually communicative way. Use of 5D model-based cost estimating may still be a fairly new practice for some people. However, I am pleased to report that we’ve had great success using model-based estimating over the past 10 years. This article aims to illustrate how 5D model-based cost estimating can be successfully applied on your next project.
Let’s assume you and I are on a project together. We’ve determined the project requirements and the design phase is about to commence. The project architect is beginning to shape the client vision through a series of project drawings and written specifications. We know the client will be a part of this process to review the drawings and make important decisions. As we begin to embark on the design phase, we start to wonder how virtual design and construction practices could benefit our project.
Building Information Modeling is all the industry rage and Millennial design and construction professionals have their mobile devices in hand, ready to access models and roll with a project’s daily activities. However, it is also important to drown out the sounds of the mobile device and make sure that a project’s building information model is really telling the truth about your client’s project. You’ve got to get beyond the novelty of simply creating the 3D model; it is time to develop a reliable BIM Execution Plan.
Innovating A/E/C practices with new technology requires team commitment. This commitment begins with collaborative and strategic discussions within a company, and more specifically, among cross-functioning departments and stakeholders. Discussion about A/E/C practices across functional areas should include insight from operational subject matter experts, information systems personnel, training and development personnel, executive sponsors and insight from key stakeholder groups. The intent of these discussions is to identify transition activities, eliminate duplicative activities and create operational efficiencies.
If you think that a Project Execution Plan is simply used to highlight how to handle, store and share your models, think again. The Project Execution Plan is much more than that. Even before design starts, the project team (including GC’s VDC – Virtual Design Construction team) and all major stakeholders must reach consensus about the project management processes needed for the project execution plan. The overall goal is to set the stage for a clear implementation strategy from design through to construction. Here are some thoughts, ideas and best practices about how to benefit from good planning for VDC/BIM uses.
Whether you call it data-driven prediction or think of it as pseudo-science, virtual design and construction is going strong. Today’s owners require smart, efficient planning and want the architect, engineer and general contractor to work together to meet their desired building requirements. Given today’s technological advancements, what are the qualities or characteristics of an intelligent and predictive master program plan?