Infographic: The Impact of BIM

BIM is a fundamental ingredient of VDC at SSOE. In 2015, Dodge Data & Analytics released a SmartMarket Report, “Measuring the Impact of BIM on Complex Buildings” focused on quantifying how BIM is contributing to improved outcomes in the stages of design and construction for complex buildings. In order to quantify, Dodge  performed an online survey of 391 owners, architects, and contractors who indicated that their company uses BIM and that they had a moderate or higher level of knowledge about the use of BIM at their company. We created an infographic that boils down a few key findings from this report on the positive impacts of BIM, top project outcomes expected to have the greatest impact in the next 5 years, and obstacles preventing organizations from achieving greater efficiency through BIM. You’ll also find a few SSOE-specific stats on the impact we’ve seen from VDC in our organization. Continue Reading →

Four Fundamental Enablers of VDC

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 Continue Reading →

VDC Project Delivery 101

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. Continue Reading →

What is Laser Scanning?

3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions of many facilities or sites. Replacing the time consuming and less accurate method of manually recorded field measurements, lasers scan an existing facility or site, creating a point cloud that acts as a highly accurate as-built drawing. Laser scanning is extremely useful when there are no existing drawings or the information on the drawings is outdated for a project. Continue Reading →

What is an Interactive Planning (IAP) Session?

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. Continue Reading →

“Lean” In to Eliminate Waste & Maximize Value

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, VDC is an umbrella for a number of concepts. One of these is the area of Lean Processes. We recognize that to best serve our clients we must not only look to improve their systems, but our own as well. Ours is an industry that has not had the dramatic productivity improvements many other industries have seen in recent years. SSOE is committed to changing that. Lean processes aim to take the principles of Lean Production that many of our clients have pioneered in revolutionizing manufacturing and bring them, and their associated benefits, to the design / construction world. Lean concepts, focused on eliminating waste and maximizing value, include: Continue Reading →