Tag Archive for 'BIM'

Innovation as a Core Value

Rosendin Finds Success Through BIM and Other New Technologies

By Fred Meeske, Corporate Director of BIM Services, Rosendin

Many times, I’m asked why something is or is not when discussing Building Information Modeling (BIM) or technology adoption. While I wish I could say I know all these things because I’m so smart, the truth is I’m not that smart. What I am is part of a much bigger whole. Our team is full of learners and explorers just like me – where learning and innovation are not only welcomed, but encouraged and nurtured here at Rosendin. 

Rosendin’s leadership team challenges each of us every day, not to do the same things we have always done, but to continue learning, to get better, and never stop innovating. Not to be confused with chasing shiny objects or re-inventing the wheel each day, but more about being progressive, innovative, and measuring improvement from a relative position for accuracy.  Innovation is a core value at Rosendin and one of the reasons for the continued success of our company and our brand as a whole.

To keep up in this rapidly changing world, Rosendin is leading the industry through a paradigm shift, where every construction company is becoming more of a technology company followed by their specific product or service activity. Over the past decade, BIM has been one of the cornerstones for this new dynamic at Rosendin.

What Technologies are We Leveraging and for What Purpose?

Rosendin’s BIM Department, in conjunction with our Information Technology and Engineering counterparts, are continuously investigating emerging technologies, developing custom software solutions, preparing training for the different regional business units and field staff, and collecting data for business performance analysis. We have experts from the field, coordination, packaging, prefabrication, modeling, engineering, project management, and many more all leveraging technology in some new way for our customers’ benefit and enhancement of our brand.

What is BIM?

BIM is primarily an operations tool, created from LEAN concepts, that provides an information-rich digital representation of the project all before the physical project is built in the real world. BIM enables the creation of an integrated system where estimating, preconstruction, design, field construction, safety, and quality control continuously and seamlessly share information related to the project in real-time. 

A Rosendin worker describes BIM

I have seen our BIM Department grow from one individual to now more than 200 with experts in every area of construction (e.g., field, modeling, software development, prefabrication and packaging techniques, data science, augmented and virtual realities, and many other emerging technologies). Rosendin is not only committed to adopting available software and processes but to also lead the industry in developing custom solutions, ultimately increasing our performance and efficiency.

One way we have been doing this is through data science – the art of seeing relationships within the data that might not otherwise be readily apparent. These insights allow us to validate efficiency improvements to our process and continue to support decision-making processes. In one internal study, we reviewed projects that were completed and financially closed over the past 18 months. BIM projects were 9.1 percent more profitable compared to non-BIM based projects, and the results were statistically significant. Other more recent improvements in the BIM process enabled 70 percent fewer handoffs between teams – back and forth between the modeling and field teams – resulting in a cost reduction of 24 percent. In turn, our data analytics team continue to explore BIM-based efficiencies published by well-known and reputable publishing agencies.

What is VR and How is It Used?

Virtual Reality, or VR, is a technology that immerses a user in a 3-D, virtual world, completely blocking all view of the real external world. A challenge for BIM is having on-site access to the model for field staff, owners, project management, prefabrication and packaging teams, and engineering professionals to visualize.  Leveraging VR for design-build projects can be challenging, whereas the field electrician and modeler reside at different geographical locations. The two can call each other and discuss modeled content looking at the same model in real-time.

Power BI Dashboard view showcasing the different measurements collected

Imagine having a piece of equipment such as a transformer that needs to be worked on and is recreated in a virtualized model. The user is trained on how to proceed with wiring and installation according to factory specifications in a virtual environment. During and upon completion, proper assessment is provided within time limits allowing for error and corrections before touching the live equipment. This touches quality, safety and operation performance of the equipment. 

Our Version of AR and How Do We Use It?

Augmented Reality, or AR, is a technology that blends the real and virtual worlds by projecting virtual elements into the user’s view. Rosendin has leveraged AR by developing an in-house application referred to as the Sheet Viewer. The Sheet Viewer utilizes an iPad that allows users to easily interact with full-scale BIM models on-site and in a real-world environment without the cumbersome setup traditionally necessary for AR/VR experiences.

Sheet Viewer default view with layers menu open

Over the past 18 months, the Sheet Viewer has been used for QA/QC and work planning processes on multiple Rosendin projects across the nation. During this time, the Sheet Viewer has offered many opportunities for efficiency improvements, reduction in layout time, improvement in accuracy, and overall quality, directly translating into labor cost savings. Our development team has received feedback from our field teams to improve the Sheet Viewer format and functionality. This constructive feedback allows our development teams to continuously provide innovative technologies that cater to the unique needs of the field. 

The use of HoloLens while on-site has decreased the number of undetected clashes and associated change orders – less clashes to resolve due to increased process clarity results in less time and money from change orders. On one large complex manufacturing project, extensive use of AR is helping to achieve faster and more reliable clash detection between models and rapidly changing site conditions. On average, the HoloLens used are more than half of the overall model revision time, and the number of clashes detected has increased by up to three times compared to reviews without HoloLens – which would be statistically significant by any standard.

The most important thing that we express to our teams is that it’s about getting better. It matters where we’ve been, and much more where we wish to be. BIM is a participatory process, not a spectator sport. We must all move together providing value to each participant in the process.  

Catching Up to Keep Up

By Greg Sitek

By now you’ve had a chance to face the fact that we are well into the new year 2020, which is also the start of a new decade, the second in this the 21st Century. One of the many things that has change in recent times is the speed at which thing evolve or change. Many people look at the construction industry and think that it is slow to change. Although it may appear to be it isn’t.

Granted, much within the industry doesn’t change — the equipment used doesn’t “look” like it has changed but equipment owners and operators know that it has. Construction equipment is more efficient and more productive; requires less maintenance; is more comfortable in all kinds of weather and all kinds of climates; it has machine controls to assist the operator; some can be operated remotely, and the list goes on.

Typical hand held construction tools have changed evolving from the once standard corded tools to battery powered versions that deliver as much if not more productivity without the hazard of electric cords stretched a jobsite. Lighting has improved radically not only on the mobile equipment but also on the hand-held and on the jobsite. 

If you think about it, there has been a lot of change with the equipment, tools, safety devices, lighting, signs, communications, data and information collection and distribution, design and engineering and management.

Along with these changes have come an endless list of acronyms. If nothing else, our world has gone acronym crazy. Some of them have become a part of our jargon and we know instantly what they while others take time to figure out and still others need someone to explain them to us.

BIM is one of the acronyms that has become more common. What is BIM? Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process that begins with the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build, operation and maintenance). (Autodesk.com)

What is BIM used for? BIM is used to design and document building and infrastructure designs. Every detail of a building is modeled in BIM. The model can be used for analysis to explore design options and to create visualizations that help stakeholders understand what the building will look like before it’s built. The model is then used to generate the design documentation for construction. (Autodesk.com)

What is the process of BIM? The process of BIM supports the creation of intelligent data that can be used throughout the lifecycle of a building or infrastructure project. (Autodesk.com)

Another acronym that has become popular is IoT — The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Wikipedia

We ran a few article on IoT in the ACP magazines and on this website. The most recent, Construction Enters the IoT Age, was posted on December 15, 2019 (http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=17582). According to market research firm, IDC, worldwide IoT spending will surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022. It’s already disrupting many industries – from gathering sensory data on agricultural crops, trucking routes or the state of consumer appliances, to monitoring patient heart rates in healthcare. Construction has joined this IoT revolution. A study released by Dodge Data and Analytics, in partnership with Triax Technologies, found that nearly three-quarters of contractors surveyed believe IoT will help them control occupational risks, and about half expect it to reduce risks to the public, as well as financial risks and those related to property damage and construction defects.

Another article, The Future of Construction from DEWALT — Introducing the New Age of Jobsite Connectivity, was posted on May 31, 2017 (http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=14373). This article looks at the use of IoT to help contractors with asset management on the job. 

What’s next? How about, PBA – Project Business Automation. Project Business Automation (PBA) defines a new software category that integrates the fragmented project application landscape into one system, allowing information to flow freely throughout the enterprise, which means radically better and timelier insight and business management capabilities.

Project Business Automation is changing how project business gets done. It takes companies from a disparate and cumbersome collection of manual processes and business applications to a unified, holistic approach to their business. It takes a revolutionary look at the project business and enable entirely new capabilities that drive substantial improvements in efficiency, visibility, and control that ultimately lead to better project outcomes. ( http://www.adeaca.com/    )

Watch for articles on PBA in future issues of the ACP magazines. Meanwhile, to get caught up and/or keep current with changes in the industry take in some of the 203 educational session at the upcoming CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, March 7-10, LasVegas NE.

This editorial appeared in the 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Emerging Practice of Prevention through Design and Technology Advances Poised to Help Improve Construction Safety  Latest Dodge study reveals a new arsenal of tools to help increase construction safety onsite.

Note:  Dodge has just released its newest SmartMarketReport on Safety Management in the Construction Industry, produced in partnership with The Center for Construction Research and Training and United Rentals. The study reveals the engagement with and impact of two critical trends for improving construction safety: technologies used on job sites and the practice of Prevention through Design (PtD).

A new study  reveals the engagement with and impact of two critical trends for improving construction safety—technologies used on jobsites, and the practice of Prevention through Design (PtD). The study, conducted in partnership with the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and United Rentals and published in the Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2017 SmartMarket Report, is the third in a series of studies that demonstrate the financial and project benefits that contractors reap from their safety investments. It also shows the impact that new technologies being deployed onsite, from building information modeling (BIM) to drones to wearable devices, have on improving safety. Finally, it suggests that active consideration of safety during building design, known formally as Prevention through Design (PtD) is still an emerging practice, but one well-positioned for wider acceptance in the design and construction industry. The full report is available for free download here.

The findings from the study on the benefits of safety investments, along with previous studies conducted in 2012 and 2015, show that investment in safety has a positive impact on project budgets, schedules, quality, and on business factors such as a contractor’s standing in the industry or ability to contract new work. And these impacts can be substantial: contractors reporting positive impacts on average see a nearly 5 percent reduction in the project schedule and a 4 percent reduction in project costs.

“Consistently, contractors have reported that they receive project and business benefits from safety, even across dramatically different construction markets, such as the ones in 2012 and 2017,” says Steve Jones, senior director, industry insights research at Dodge Data & Analytics. “Safety investments clearly pay off in measurable ways and in ways that are harder to quantify, but that still have a major impact on a contractor’s business.”

The study followed up on the 2012 and 2015 findings on leading indicators of a positive safety culture and climate on job sites. For instance, safety & health training for supervisors and workers, one of the eight indicators, is up from 2015, while recognizing the importance of good communication, another of the indicators, is down.  “This survey helps us track what is happening in the industry relative to each leading indicator.  These findings are extremely useful in identifying needs and opportunities for improvement,” says Chris Cain, executive director, CPWR.

The study examined the degree to which contractors are deploying technologies that can help improve job site safety, a concept that was also examined in 2012. Different technologies were explored, including BIM, mobile tools and emerging technologies like drones and wearable devices. The findings reveal the ways in which technology is already helping to improve safety and how it is likely to do so in the future.  

  • Over two-thirds of contractors who use BIM (69 percent) state that it has a positive impact on project safety, a 27-point increase over those who reported that in 2012.
  • Over half of those reporting that positive impact attributes it to using BIM to identify potential site hazards before construction begins, to conduct clash detection, to support prefabrication and to create 3D images.
  • Smartphone use is nearly ubiquitous onsite, and tablet use is widespread and growing. This allows for use of mobile tools like cameras to be used by 85 percent of all contractors on site. The documentation of site condition and work progress is fundamental to many safety efforts.
  • Nearly half of contractors (42 percent) also employ safety inspection checklist apps, but the use of mobile tools for safety training (35 percent) and to access safety and health websites (28 percent) is less common.
  • Almost one-quarter of contractors (21 percent) use drones to promote safety onsite for functions such as reality capture that allow for digital analysis of existing conditions, and almost three-quarters of them (70 percent) believe that these have a positive impact on safety.
  • While wearable devices like badges with coded electronic information and smart helmets are only being used by 13 percent of contractors currently, 82 percent of those who use them report a positive impact on safety. This suggests that as these technologies become more widely known and more affordable, their potential for improving job site safety increases. 

“Technology is drastically improving job site safety, providing tangible results in protecting workers and firms alike,” says Jim Dorris, United Rentals’ vice president of environmental, health and safety. “Evolving data platforms, tools, and service capabilities will deliver innovative new safety solutions, and United Rentals is excited about the emerging roadmap to safer projects of all types.”

Another emerging trend explored in the study is PtD: the effort to help improve construction safety by actively considering safety issues during design, from the schematic stage forward. The study included an architect survey on this issue, which found that while few architects were aware of the formal name for this process before taking the survey, the use of key PtD practices occurred at least to some degree.

  • Most architects (83 percent) report that they have worked with GCs and key trades before the completion of schematic design to identify opportunities for prefabrication.
  • Roughly two-thirds are either reviewing the design during schematic for safety during building operations/maintenance (68 percent) or use a lifecycle safety approach to improve safety during building operations (66 percent).
  • However, only about half of architects (51 percent) do similar reviews to optimize construction safety.

The biggest barrier to wider use of PtD among architects is concern about taking on construction liability, reported by 79 percent, followed by lack of client interest at 63 percent. Correspondingly, most architects (81 percent) would be influenced by requests from their clients to take this approach, and over two thirds (68 percent) would be influenced by insurance incentives. With global studies linking between 22 percent and 63 percent of workplace fatalities to design-related factors, getting owners on board with demanding this approach, providing liability coverage for architects seeking to practice it and getting insurance companies to reward them appear to be powerful ways to enhance the safety records of buildings.

“The survey findings confirm two things we have been hearing for years,” says Cain. “Owners drive construction safety and health, and architects are reluctant to implement PtD solutions without client pressure. By ensuring the entire team, starting with the owner/client, focuses on preventing job site hazards, we will continue to see improvements in worker injuries, illnesses, and fatality rates.”

About Dodge Data & Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, we make the hidden obvious, empowering our clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. Our construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. We are leveraging our 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

About CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training [CPWR] is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the construction industry through research, training, and service programs, and currently serves as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) National Construction Center and the research and training arm of NABTU.  In this capacity, CPWR works to reduce or eliminate occupational safety and health hazards faced by construction workers through safety and health research and the development of a broad array of training programs. For more information please go to www.cpwr.com.

 About United Rentals: United Rentals, Inc. is the largest equipment rental company in the world. The company has an integrated network of 1,019 rental locations in 49 states and every Canadian province. The company’s approximately 15,000 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners, and others. The company offers approximately 3,300 classes of equipment for rent with a total original cost of $11.6 billion. United Rentals is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Barron’s 400 Index and the Russell 3000 Index® and is headquartered in Stamford, Conn. Additional information about United Rentals is available at www.unitedrentals.com.


CII Reports: BIM Technology and the Changing Industry


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