Tony Sabat, BIM / CAD Technical Specialist at SSOE, recently authored an article on the SPAR 3D blog titled “Who Owns the Data?” The value of data has been tremendous to the built environment. But as data capture grows, who really owns this data? Data has been seen as the new oil, but does that analogy fit the value proposition of the industry? With the nuances of the data we look to extract, this can be a confusing question. In this article, Tony investigates these questions and discusses how data ownership can evolve. Read more
Lauren Collier, Associate AIA, Department Manager, VDC Global Initiatives and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, recently authored an article in New Equipment Digest where she explains that Advanced Work Packaging (AWP)—an industry response to a reduction in resources and the overall cost and capital of projects—is built on the premise that aligning engineering and procurement packages results in more efficient productivity. She notes that by creating these packages to deliver work, industrial projects can be delivered at a higher quality, faster, and with less cost. Read more
Josh Zimmerman, Section Manager for SSOE’s BIM2Fab™ Steel Group, recently authored an article in New Equipment Digest where he explains how an innovative Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) project approach allows architecture and engineering firms, such as SSOE, the ability to bring the detailing and steel fabrication optimization process in-house at the beginning of the project instead of the middle—saving real time and real dollars.
Mark LaBell, BIM / CAD Technical Leader, recently authored an article on laser scanning featured in Manufacturing Automation Magazine. Within, Mark discusses how laser scanning speeds up a project, reduces costs, and improves safety. Although there are challenges when adjusting laser scanning for specific projects, he writes that understanding project goals is key. Laser scanning is quickly becoming the go-to tool for reality capture—replacing the time consuming and less accurate method of manually recorded field measurements and ultimately creating an incredibly realistic and detailed 3D model. The article dives deeper into insights and benefits of using this innovative technology. Read more
Tony Sabat, BIM / CAD Technical Specialist and one of several licensed drone pilots at SSOE, discusses the shift in reality capture as a result of drone / unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology in this AEC Next article—spoiler: reality capture is now easier than ever. Using this non-destructive technology to generate a 3D model can be a game changer, allowing you to turn assets into detailed, accurate deliverables. With the drone’s speed, mobility, and safety, it has become the most efficient method for capturing the existing conditions of many facilities and sites, with added benefits downstream. Read more
Jason Christen, PMP, Senior Account Executive at SSOE, and Mark LaBell, Senior VDC Technical Leader, were both featured in a BD+C Magazine article that examines the rise of 3D laser scanners, which have recently evolved into handhelds. 3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions. In addition to allowing us to scan harder-to-reach places, handheld scanners provide the ability to show clients results immediately after taking a scan with a workable model showing an accurate representation of the facility—a major benefit of the technology that often translates into cost savings for our clients. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 2, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that Lauren Collier, VDC Department Manager, and Mark LaBell Jr., Senior VDC Technical Leader, have been selected to present at the annual Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Conference. This year’s event takes place over the course of four different dates in locations around the state of Ohio: August 15th in Columbus, August 23rd in Cincinnati, August 30th in Cleveland, and September 12th in Columbus. Read more
Featured as the cover story in a recent issue of Informed Infrastructure Magazine, Josh Zimmerman, VDC Steel Section Manager, explores the workflow and key considerations necessary to optimize the benefits of VDC Steel in this article. Coordination, collaboration, and clarity of scope are of upmost importance when using this delivery system. Within, Zimmerman provides a short case study on a project for Starwood Capital Group where a concurrent approach to design and steel detailing was used to meet an aggressive project schedule. Read more
New Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) for steel technology seamlessly integrates steel design, fabrication, and erection with reduced cost and a faster schedule.
Josh Zimmerman, VDC Steel Section Manager at SSOE, is featured in the November issue of Area Development Magazine. Within, Josh describes how Virtual Design and Construction methodology can be applied to the steel detailing process and result in significant schedule reduction. This is accomplished by creating fabrication-ready models quicker and earlier in the construction workflow—moving the timing of steel detailing to occur congruently with structural design on the project. Two examples are explored in the article, one saving 2.5 months on the construction schedule through early coordination of design and detailing associated with VDC Steel. Read more
Lauren Collier, Associate AIA, was recently featured on Modelo Blog’s “Design Manifestos” discussing her career path to Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Manager. With over 10 years of industry experience, Lauren offers a glimpse into her professional journey – from making the decision to study architecture and interning with SSOE, to her evolution into the project execution realm. Now a key member in SSOE’s VDC initiative, she’s responsible for enforcing corporate BIM / VDC standards and developing innovative new technology strategies and processes. Read more
Within SSOE, we’ve identified four fundamental enablers of VDC—essential elements to have in place for truly successful implementation of VDC project delivery.
#1: Information capture (laser scanning) – for an accurate picture of current conditions. 3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions of many facilities or sites. This replaces the time consuming and less accurate method of manually recorded field measurements. Now, lasers scan an existing facility or site creating a point cloud that acts as a highly accurate as-built drawing. The point cloud can be referenced into a 3D model to avoid collisions with the proposed design and costly rework in the field—resulting in an incredibly realistic and detailed 3D model of an existing facility.
#2: Coding structure for models – to allow data mining to automate and enhance certain functions, like quantity take-offs for estimating. This requires each model element have a unique code, and also that coding is consistently used from the very onset of a project. This concept encourages a more holistic approach to project delivery by leveraging data embedded in the models to improve and optimize other project efforts such as estimating, quality assurance, safety, documented savings, and more.
#3: Internal integration of the model – the ability to integrate design efforts between disciplines; one example is conducting multi-discipline reviews within the 3D model. SSOE’s 3D design review sessions bring together discipline leads before a client coordination meeting to hash out the agenda for the next meeting with project stakeholders. The agenda is a critical component in driving coordination success and serves as a framework to identify specific issues that need to be addressed during the meeting to move the project forward. One key benefit is that the internal review engages the design leaders by getting them into the model to find, track, and proactively resolve issues, as opposed to simply reviewing drawings prior to the meeting. Issues that require resolution or decisions from the client are captured within the model, and any later input from project stakeholders is added to keep a visual record of changes.
#4: External model collaboration during the execution of the project – the processes and technology required to gather input and create alignment with the fabricators, trades, and contractors into the model during construction. Methods to facilitate this collaboration, such as Interactive Planning (IAP) sessions, are also essential, even before the development of the model.
Coordination within the model takes place as various trade partners enter routing and fabrication-level detail (including hangers, supplemental supports, etc.) into their trade models which are used to generate submittal drawings for approval. These individual models are brought into one coordination model to uncover conflicts and avoid costly issues in the field that would otherwise be missed. For example, on one project, once detailed models of the fire suppression systems and mechanical systems were put into the coordination model, it was discovered that there wasn’t enough clearance around the fire suppression system and the mechanical system design was adjusted prior to construction.
Performing external model coordination does for the entire construction project what internal model integration does for cross-discipline coordination. It highlights interferences, provides one “source of truth” for making adjustments, and drives the discussion and collaboration needed between partners to improve project outcomes so the owner knows exactly what will be built in the field.
Mark LaBell, BIM / CAD Technical Leader, was interviewed for this recent article on laser scanning featured in BD+C Magazine. Within, Mark discusses SSOE’s rapid and widespread adoption of 3D laser scanning to capture existing conditions of facilities or sites and reviews the investments needed in not only software, hardware, and personnel training, but also third-party vendor relationships needed to fully support laser scanning data processing and modeling. Laser scanning is quickly becoming the go-to tool for reality capture—replacing the time consuming and less accurate method of manually recorded field measurements and ultimately creating an incredibly realistic and detailed 3D model. Read more
Many engineers and architects have spent a larger proportion of their careers on the design side of the project lifecycle. As we evolve to using VDC methodology on an increasing number of projects, it’s important that each individual grows their understanding of what happens after design to achieve a better, more constructible design. This understanding is critical for implementation of VDC and integrating design and preconstruction services into the project delivery process. Read more
John Gill, Director of VDC and Craig Pickerel, Architect and Section Manager take a look at how VDC has already transformed the way design and construction teams work together to develop new healthcare facilities—and where they see additional benefits in the future in Medical Construction & Design Magazine. The pair provides insight into specific ways VDC could enhance operations, maintenance, and management of a healthcare facility, improve the patient experience, and enhance staff efficiency and performance. Read more
SSOE Group is a leader in leveraging the latest technology to enable integrated and collaborative project delivery. SSOE Group was featured in BOSS Magazine, in an article highlighting the company’s technology strategy and culture — both of which are helping provide better solutions to clients. Driven by collaboration, SSOE is using innovative tools and customized applications to deliver high quality projects more efficiently, while working to maintain employee engagement along the way. Read more
Firms being asked to play a bigger role in providing expertise
Dave Sipes, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in this article recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR). The article highlights manufacturing, a particularly robust market currently, and the need within this market to improve processes — with an emphasis on output. Popular among manufacturers is integrated project delivery, a concept that focuses on collaboration and commitment among all parties, which is successfully executed with the help of highly evolved technologies like 3D modeling and laser scanning. Read more
Interactive Planning (IAP) sessions serve as a platform to enhance collaboration between a cross-section of project stakeholders and team members to explore, discuss, and reach solutions about a particular aspect of a project. By bringing together all key members of a project team, we’re able to more effectively map out critical milestones, schedule considerations, and necessary tasks to support the achievement of those milestones. The session recognizes and reminds team members that the end in mind is a business objective that must be met, and looks for the best means to meet those objectives. The solutions and approach that emerge when your project is framed in terms of your business goals can be much different than those that focus on generating a set of drawings or simply putting up a building. Read more
John Gill, PE, PMP, LEED AP, SSOE’s Director of VDC, was recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR) discussing the topic of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Gill has over 20 years of industry experience and was responsible for the implementation of SSOE’s VDC program. He writes on the many strengths the VDC framework has to offer our industry, and offers some tips for implementing a solid foundation on your next project. Read more
Mark LaBell, BIM/CAD Technical Leader at SSOE Group, and Lauren Collier, Assoc. AIA and Design Technology Section Leader, are both featured in this article recently published in Building Design + Construction Magazine. The article discusses the recurring theme of reluctance to technology that exists in the conservative realm that is the AEC industry. Despite the opposition, when implemented well, innovation can offer a better way with the rewards surpassing the risks. Read more
Cultural and commercial variances between the U.S. and Mexico can sometimes result in construction delays or expensive component substitutions. When strategic plans rely on heavily maintaining schedules, the following insights, which are often grouped under the head of tropicalization, should add confidence to the planning and executing of projects here in Mexico. Read more
In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Read more
In moving a project from statement of work to completion of construction, regular collaboration between owners, designers, and contractors is no longer a luxury. It is the managerial insurance the project must have in order to stay on schedule and budget. Much of the unbudgeted time and expense incurred by change orders can be attributed to a lack of integration between the players. It’s often because these parties failed to include the resources and intentional effort for collaboration. Read more
Structural steel is often critical to both the timeline and budget of a project. It is also an area in which SSOE has set itself apart through a well-defined VDC execution strategy. In fact, the modeling to detailing capabilities of VDC Steel, along with some of the piping detailing we are performing, were recently identified by a contracting partner as one of SSOE’s main differentiators from our competition. With this perspective, let’s take a quick look at what VDC Steel entails. Read more
In the AEC industry, when a client asks for a project to be completed “faster, better, and cheaper,” chances are they will be told that two out of three is about as good as it gets. Thanks to technology, integrated delivery methods, and an exceptional team effort, SSOE raised the bar and delivered on all counts on a recent project for a global leader in the food industry.
A roundup of tools and services that architects are using to break free from company servers and physical boundaries.
Lauren Collier, Assoc. AIA, design technology section manager at SSOE Group, is featured in this article recently published in ARCHITECT Magazine. The article reviews recent industry trends related to cloud-based system use, going beyond file sharing and backup. Companies are beginning to incorporate the cloud into schematic design, project management, energy performance analysis, renderings, and other outsourced tasks. The cloud offers adept speed that releases us from our dependency on less-efficient company servers, and generating productive collaboration.
Vince DiPofi, Chief Strategy Officer at SSOE Group, is featured in the July issue of Engineering News-Record (ENR) Magazine. The article discusses current trends in manufacturing, in addition to the new technologies appearing in the automotive sector.