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AEC+ENG – Middle East Joint Venture

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Los Angeles, CA–(Press Release)–Today, ENGworks (www.engworks.com ) and AEC Resource (www.aecres.com) announced the establishment of AEC+ENG Middle East, a joint venture with the purpose of providing Building Information Modeling and related services in the Middle East market.

“ENG is very pleased to partner with AEC, which is a highly respected leader in BIM consultancy, but also adds Laser Scanning and high end 3D visualization services to our portfolio of offerings,” said Axel Kruger, President of ENGworks. “AEC will help us increase competitiveness in the region and bring years of Laser Scanning experience to the table, which is a service that is in high demand. ENG will continue to look for new ways to build global partnerships that drive growth and success for the company, our partners, and our clients.”

Diego Cotsifis, Director of AEC Resource, commented: “We view our new joint venture as a natural evolution of the working relationship that has existed between us and ENG for more than 10 years. In the Middle East, we began working together in Saudi Arabia on a large Hospital project two years ago and we always viewed ourselves operating in a real spirit of partnership. This new JV will allow us to provide further help to our clients in the region and is truly a win-win proposition for all involved”.

The joint venture entity will be formed and the new operating structure implemented in the second quarter of 2017.  In Qatar, AEC+ENG Middle East will operate in partnership with NCS, who is our local office in Doha [Mohamed Sallam, mohamed.sallam@ncs-me.com,   Mobile: +974 55231467. For the rest of the countries of the Region Tariq Abu-Laila, [tariq.abulaila@engworks.com , Mobile: +965 – 99085485], will continue be our Region al Director, based in our Kuwait office and covering among other countries the UAE where we will be opening an office soon.

The joint venture allows ENG, AEC and NCS Qatar to achieve greater scale, become more competitive and improve support to our clients across these countries.


Contacts

Diego Cotsifis
Global Director AEC+ENG MIDDLE EAST, LLC
Email: dcotsifis@aecres.com

Contact AEC+ENG MIDDLE EAST – Kuwait, UAE, …completar

Tariq Abu-Laila
Business Development Manager
Mobile: +965.9908.5485
Email: tariq.abulaila@engworks.com

Contact AEC+ENG MIDDLE EAST – QATAR

Mohamed Sallam
Sales Manager IT/BIM
Mobile: + 974 55231467
Email: mohamed.sallam@ncs-me.com

ENGworks at the 2017 AHR Expo®

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ENGworks at the 2017 AHR EXPO®

ENGworks will be exhibiting at the 2017 AHR Expo Las Vegas, January 30 through February 1st.

ENGworks will be one of the few BIM Services providers exhibiting and we look forward to see our clients/partners and colleagues, meet new people and form new partnerships.

AHR Expo, The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, has grown into the HVACR event of the year and is held in major cities across the U.S.

The 2017 Show will be in Las Vegas, hosting more than 2,000 exhibitors and attracting crowds of 60,000 industry professionals from every state in America and 150 countries worldwide. It provides a unique forum designed expressly for the HVACR community, allowing professionals to get together to share new products, technologies, and ideas.

The AHR Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

We look forward to meet you!

January 30th – February 1st 
Las Vegas Convention Center

Booth #C6931

http://www.ENGworks.com

Phone: 949.340.6924

 

 

5 Tips on how to choose your BIM Partner

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As a consequence of an explosion of BIM services demand, although there are still shortages of qualified BIM resources, many new BIM providers are appearing. If you decide to outsource work, you can find yourself with serious problems to the extents of not being able to construct, with payments withhold, because of choosing the wrong BIM partner.

Exactly the same can occur when hiring the wrong employee; however the intentions of this article focus on decisions to sub-contract BIM modeling efforts.
After speaking with several of our clients, we have coined five tips, on how to pick your BIM service provider.

1. Check specific experience
It is not only recommendable to find out how long the potential BIM provider has been in business, but also how long they have been providing the specific services you are requiring.

First check their portfolio and go into detail on what type of services they have provided for those projects and its claims. For example, if you are a subcontractor looking for someone to help you with BIM co-ordination requirements, a provider that only possesses “BIM design” experience is not appropriate. It is necessary to have a provider possessing “BIM construction” experience.

Everybody will probably claim 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D….XD. The reality is very few possess real lifecycle experience. So, ask for a specific scope of works on those past experiences your prospect providers have had.

2. Ask for references
Everyone can claim “we focus on quality” and “we provide the best service”, but just like when you hire an employee where their experience can always look fantastic, you need to check the facts. There is nothing like talking with someone that has already gone through the experience of working with such firm or individual.

When referring to such references, question specifically about “weaknesses”. One thing is producing a quality As-Built Model, another very different skill is producing BIM coordination for a sub-contractor, and another is providing a FM data-rich BIM model etc. It is also recommendable to raise the question of work quality, and how knowledgeable and how responsive the provider is.

3. Don’t confuse “low hourly rate” with your real cost
A low hourly rate is most of the times irrelevant when comparing bottom line cost. Obviously extremes are relevant; a really high hourly rate will affect total cost. There are three main aspects, first of all the quantity of hours a BIM consultant will take to complete a project. This can affect the total cost more than the actual cost per hour. Secondly, how much your own staff takes to complete the project. Finally, what would be the cost if the BIM work is not accepted by the client, or if you are missing deadlines and subsequently not receiving invoice payments.

Ultimately, a lump sum fee is the most suitable payment solution understanding “consultant’s direct cost”. Whereby, perhaps you can allow the “coordination” portion of the proposal to be T&M (Time and Material), because it can be unforeseeable, and you do not want the provider to inflate the quote just in case. However, it is critical to trust your provider of course.

If you have to babysit your provider, and your own staff due to a lack of BIM knowledge, this is where cheap can become expensive. For instance, if BIM deliverables are not on time, and not of acceptable quality, this is probably the main source of project deliverables pain. Alas, payments as contractor can be held and those are typically much bigger numbers than “BIM services fees”. When you hire someone that either is not experienced or does not have enough staff to deliver, this can be a risk.

4. Accessibility is critical
Expect for those rare cases where timing is not an issue, it is highly recommendable to hire a BIM consultant that is accessible, someone who responds to e-mails or calls within a couple of hours. This is specifically important for fast track projects. Accessibility depends mainly on a couple of things:

a) Company Culture to respond imminently or quickly. The provider can be in an adjacent building, but if they are not experienced in responding quickly, that can create a lot of stress during project performance.

b) Time zone is important to have a good time overlap, especially during a BIM co-ordination project.

5. Size…sometimes does matter
Company size particularly matters when a project is of a certain size, because a team with several BIM resources may be required. But even on smaller projects, if a modeler is sick and subsequently unavailable, it is essential to avoid an impact on deliverables. Furthermore, this is where defined company structure is imperative.

Finally, of course these are not the only important highlights; nonetheless these points serve as a basis when making the right decision for successful project delivery.

If you like to know more about how we can help you with your BIM needs, call us at 949-340-6924 or email: Axel.Kruger@ENGworks.com

 

 

BIM requirements: know enough to be dangerous

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Day in and day out we receive calls from General and Trade Contractors asking for help. They find themselves bidding a job or even having an awarded contract, where it is specified by the Owner that Building Information Modeling will be required for the Coordination process, Shop Drawings creation, As-Builts, or other. 

                                Axel Kruger – ENGworks

Facility Owners are recognizing that BIM lowers their construction risk, eliminating waste and ultimately reducing their final cost. The US contracting industry has embraced the vision and this has turbocharged its adoption. If the job is larger than 5 million in total construction cost, there is a big chance you will have BIM requirements. Especially if the project is Institutional (Education, Healthcare, Religious, Labs,…), Government/Publicly Owned, and even Commercial (Hotels, Offices, Retail). Residential is still behind in adopting BIM modeling.

Most of the times the BIM requirements can be found on the Specs, on Division 01 under the general conditions or in the Project Management or Coordination section.

You may already have BIM experience and even a BIM Manager on staff, and then this may not be an issue for you and this article may contain obvious concepts. But if you do not, don’t worry, you can still bid for the job and you can still win it and do it successfully. But to be able to do so, you need to learn enough of the main BIM concepts and processes. Not only to be able to maintain a conversation with your prospect Client (GC or the owner) and give them confidence you will handle the job correctly, but also to know how to request a quote to a BIM services consultant and later manage its deliverables. To make sure you comply with the requirements so that BIM doesn’t become the reason of delaying construction and payments to you and ultimately so that you take advantage of the efficiencies that it can bring you.

The intent of the article is to point you in the right direction quickly. BIM solutions cannot be learned overnight and this article is here to summarize the main points.

Of course unless you have an in-house BIM team, you will need to hire a BIM services provider that will perform the actual modeling and perhaps even represent you on all BIM aspects before the client and the rest of the stakeholders.

In most of the cases, these BIM requirements will only ask for 3D Coordination and As-Builts. This will typically imply having to create the BIM Model/s of the disciplines you are building (that may or may not state a specific software i.e: Autodesk REVIT, Bentley AECOsim), Coordination including Clash Detection, coordination meetings and clash resolution (that may also require specific software i.e: Autodesk Navisworks, Bentley Navigator etc…), and finally once model is signed off, the extraction of the layout/install drawings from the coordinated model.

In some more sophisticated clients you may see BIM for FM requirements or Lifecycle Building Information management. Referred to the data this models need to incorporate during the design and construction to hand over a data-rich Building Information Model. This requirement is less often yet, but we are seeing it more and more. Within it you may find a “COBie” requisite (Construction Operations Building information Exchange). Which is a standard on how the data has to be structured, organized and completed through the Design and construction phases. More on COBie at http://www.wbdg.org/resources/cobie.php

Here are 7 things you need to know to have a successful outcome:

BIM – ENGworks – LOD400

  • First of all, you need to be involved in the process, even if you outsource the entire scope. As contractor, you will be held accountable for the Model/s, that must be a virtual representation on how you will build it in real life. You are the one that ultimately knows exactly how you will install, and that knowledge has to be incorporated into the Building Information Model. You need to be an active participant in the Spatial Coordination process, so the clashes are resolved incorporating the criteria you would use in the field to resolve them
  • Beware of the existence of a standard for the Level of Development called “LOD”, that was initially created by the American Institute of Architects AIA, and further develop by the BIM Forum. This LOD described the precision of geometry and information the model needs to include. Including what elements have to be represented in this model. If you are a trade contractor, most likely you will need to create LOD 350 or 400 models. Which is a Construction/Fabrication level model. This critical that you pass it along your BIM consultant as a delivery requirement, and ideally you list the elements you want them to include in the Model. A good example are the hangers. A design model, LOD 300 has no hangers and that is ok for a design model. But to have a real construction coordinated model, you need hangers to be there because the take space and have a significant impact on the coordination.

You can learn more about it on the BIM Forum Level of Development Specification http://bimforum.org/lod/

  • BIM is not CAD. The overall purpose of traditional coordination and BIM coordination is the same. The ultimate goal is to get those Layout/Install Drawings so that the field guys can install. But the way to get there is different, with BIM the process is different. You will not see drawings right away, the center of attention is the model initially, it needs to be created first, go through that iterative clash detection/clash resolution/visual checks process until coordinated and then drawings can be extracted. The most important difference is that BIM is a collaborative process. During the 3D BIM coordination all the stakeholders must work together on the model, incorporating everyone’s criteria, to resolve the issues before going to the field. The drawings set up can be done lot earlier, and once Coordinated model is approved, drawings are ready to be dimensioned and tagged.  Bear in mind that these drawings are parametric 2D views of that 3D model, so you can do a significant amount of the work before the final model is signed off.
  • What if a Design MEP Model exists? If designers provide, let’s say a REVIT MEP model and designers have performed a design coordination effort. It will definitely serve as a guide, and you can probably consider that the coordination process can be somewhat easier, because you can assume more has been thought through than if it would be just 2D CAD. But unfortunately, you will probably need to remodel. In real word it’s a nightmare trying to transform a designer’s model into a construction model. No fault of the designer, because it is not his scope. For example, consider that at design stage there are no material transmittals, so there are no specific fittings, and the models will be created with generic pieces. If you only take that in account, replacing all fittings is most of the times more work that creating a new model with the right fittings. Additionally, these actual manufacturers fittings may force changes in the layout.
  • Who will be the “BIM Manager”? You need to find out who will take the BIM manager role, that includes gathering all other discipline models, combining the into a federated model, running clash detection, and then leading the weekly coordination meetings. This role is most of the cases from the GC, but we have seen many times the Mechanical Contractor taking this role, and in some cases even the architect or a BIM consultant hired directly by the owner, but this is more unusual. If you will take this role, you need to take it in account when you price the job, whether you do it internally or hiring a BIM consultant to do it on your behalf. If you are not going to be the BIM Manager, you need to still do your internal clash analysis among your own disciplines, and you will still be responsible of adjusting the model when modifications of your discipline are required.
  • What is the requirement for Handover? Be careful on this aspect, because each owner is different, and the requirement can go from just 2D As-Built Drawings, As-Building the BIM you used for Coordination according to as constructed conditions, to delivering a Data-Rich BIM, which can include a full COBie delivery. Also, lately we have seeing several projects requiring Laser Scanning the completed areas, taking the point cloud generated by this scanning and matching it with the BIM model geometry.
  • Select the right BIM Partner. Price is obviously an important aspect and I am not saying to ignore it, but do not make it your main selection criteria. BIM will not be just another requisite your need to comply with. We have seen many cases where clients hold payments, where construction is on hold because for example, model is not yet clash free, signed off and drawings cannot be extracted and signed off. So cheap may end up been very expensive. The right BIM partner is a company that has the experience and enough qualified man power to move at the paste the project needs to.

This document intent to give basic tips to those, especially Contractors and Subs that are not yet BIM experts but are starting to get BIM requirements or decided to move a step forward into adopting this technology.

There are a few documents that we recommend to read to get more inside.

The Canadian Associations MCAA, MCRF, NECA and SMACNA has developed this guide that is very easy to read, even without previous BIM knowledge: http://mcac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/BIMSpecialtyGuide.pdf .

There is also the National BIM Standard – United States – Version 3, that can provide clarification on scope, roles and process: https://www.nationalbimstandard.org/

Also, feel free to contact us for any question at 949-432-4204 or at Axel.Kruger@ENGworks.com or Celina.Parodi@ENGworks.com

Sharing – a model solution

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There is a change afoot in construction. It’s not an architectural thing or an engineering thing. Building information modelling (BIM) is both. And more. It is a software that allows different professionals to work together on the same project.

“BIM is a leap forward,” says Melbourne architect Rowan Opat. “You are drawing lines but the lines have meaning. They have attributes. When you draw a wall, that is a wall. The [software] knows a wall is a wall, a floor is floor, a duct is a duct and a roof is a roof, a door is a door.”

One benefit of this is that the software can tell different professionals working on a project when there is a clash between designs. Eliminating such mistakes, traditionally a painstaking job, is taken care of by the software.

For a small, two-person practice such as Opat’s, BIM frees up practitioners from technical drudge work and lets them do more design.

The wider consequences of BIM, however, are huge. It represents a real change in the world of construction – a huge part of the economy – that according to one study could add 0.2 basis points (one basis point is a hundredth of a per cent) to Australia’s economy each year. And it is only just starting.

The gains in productivity are significant. Adrian Stanic, a director at Melbourne architecture firm Lyons, contrasts the difference between a design using BIM and one done on the widely used two-dimensional CAD software.

“Let’s say, you have a roof and you change your roof wholistically and have a new elevation,” he says. “Once that roof has been 3D changed, the changes will appear in all of those flat elevations and in each of those flat views, whereas previously, in the old scenario, you would be going back and would amend each drawing.”

It goes further, with functions that allow those on the design side to work more efficiently with others in the construction chain, such as component suppliers. Stanic gives a simplified example of a window schedule, the document through which a builder would order windows from a manufacturer.

“Fundamentally the schedule would tell the manufacturer: ’20 of these, five of those …’,” he says. “Through BIM you can actually create those schedules and they’re automatically updated from the model. If you add a window, it gets added to the schedule.”

Opat agrees. “The sky’s the limit,” he says. “You can tell it to weigh the paint [needed for a design] and it will tell you how much it’s going to weigh.”

The economic benefits of BIM come not just through a more efficient construction industry but in lower input costs that indirectly benefit other industries, a 2010 report on BIM by the Allen Consulting Group for the Built Environment Innovation and Industry Council says.

Widespread adoption of BIM could immediately boost gross domestic product by 0.2 basis points above the “business as usual scenario”, with that rising to 5 basis points by 2025, the report says.

“It is estimated that this benefit over the period 2011 to 2025 is equivalent to a one-off increase in gross domestic product of $4.8 billion in 2010 and that this benefit could be as high as $7.6 billion,” the report says. “There are very few options available for enhancing productivity that can be achieved on such favourable terms and without difficult-to-achieve structural reforms.”

BIM came about after the architecture, engineering and construction industries in the US started copying manufacturing, the head of engineering in the Asia-Pacific region for software company Autodesk, Rob Malkin, says. The design and construction industries both needed to resolve the same problems – to ensure components delivered were made to the right design and came in the right number at the needed time. BIM allows the construction industry to follow a just-in-time procurement process.

“When you build a car, you want pieces to show up an hour before that car is going to be built,” Malkin says. “Think about a building site four to five years ago. There would be piles of materials sitting there and exposed to elements for a month. Now, with these models, you can [create a] timeline: ‘On the first day I need these tiles arriving the night before’ … You’re not carrying the cost of inventory of those tiles.”

A note of caution is needed. Stanic warns against overstating what BIM can achieve. “There’s a real danger of people overselling what BIM can do,” he says. “There are a lot of people in the market, probably driven by the software producers, advocating incredibly high levels of what BIM can achieve. It might be able to achieve those levels but the problem is industry hasn’t caught up to that yet. A lot of people don’t know what it is, don’t understand it.”

The fact that information is being shared by different players is more important than the technology, according to a lecturer in construction project management at the University of Technology, Sydney, Jennifer Macdonald.

“Companies are making [3D] models, but that’s not really BIM,” Macdonald says. “What happens is that you get the architect’s design to the engineer’s office and then it’s far too detailed. There is lots of stuff in it that the engineering firm doesn’t need. They might be doing structural analysis. So they spend time stripping out [details], rebuilding the model for their analyses. There’s not that proper exchange. The idea with BIM is to cut back on waste.”

One natural brake on the adoption of BIM are the costs. Stanic, whose firm used BIM to design the new RMIT Swanston Academic Building in central Melbourne, says that in a firm like his with 70 architects, the $12,000-to-$15,000-per-software licence mounts up.

“It’s very expensive,” he says.

Autodesk’s Malkin, who says the cost is “under $10,000 on average,” argues that the greater cost comes in the lost working time it takes to train staff.

“The cost of the software is not the big part,” he says. “It’s not cheap but it’s nothing like having four people out of the office for three weeks to be trained.”

Stanic says his firm trains staff in BIM in-house.

Despite the software having been around for more than a decade, there is still a struggle on between rivals such as Autodesk’s Revit, Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD, Tekla BIM and Bentley BIM to establish themselves as the standard.

“Think about Microsoft versus Word Perfect years ago,” Malkin says. “The industry is going to decide what the standard is and how to drive the standard.”

It is still early days for everyone but the implications for built environment professionals are great. “Small practices suddenly are empowered to be able to do bigger work,” says Opat. “Which doesn’t necessarily mean a small firm can suddenly build a city but you can do bigger work. There’s a small leap there.”

Source: Sharing – a model solution. By Michael Bleby. BRW. July 5, 2012.

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FM contractors proving slow on the uptake with BIM

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Facilities management companies are lagging behind the rest of the construction industry in their understanding and use of building information modeling (BIM).

That is according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (UK), which says that the FM sectors needs to “wake up to BIM”.

RICS is calling for more ambitious sector targets to raise awareness of BIM and its benefits to facilities management (FM). RICS is concerned that the FM industry is missing out on the value BIM can bring to running buildings.

A recent BIM4FM survey revealed a significant lack of understanding on BIM and how it can be used within the built environment, with 35% of the FM professionals surveyed not knowing about BIM or its uses.

As part of the BIM4FM group, RICS is now working to promote awareness and ultimately adoption of BIM by FM professionals.

Johnny Dunford, global commercial property director at RICS, said: “Clearly the benefits of BIM and the competitive advantage it provides are not fully appreciated by the FM industry. RICS is eager to address this to ensure the profession is not left behind but instead seizes the opportunities presented by new technologies.

“It is vital that the entire property industry works together to ensure the data BIM produces is transferable across the different professions operating at every stage of a building’s life-cycle. By embracing BIM, FM professionals not only gain additional skills but can also become involved at the design stage as an educated consultant.”

Source: FM contractors proving slow on the uptake with BIM. The Construction Index. October 29, 2013.

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  • Lodi Memorial Hospital
  • Southern Ohio Medical Center
  • Clemson Bioscience / Life Sciences Building
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  • Mestek - Aztec Series
  • Children's Memorial Hospital
  • Blood Donor Center at Fort Benning
  • ONEC1TY
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  • Resurrection Medical Center
  • VCU Critical Care Hospital
  • American Dryer - Automatic Hand Dryers
  • Wesley Long Hospital
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  • Recabarren Business Park
  • The Ohio State University - Lane Avenue Parking Garage
  • Bilco - Roof Hatch
  • World Largest Tech Company’s New Corporate Headquarters
  • William B. Ogden Public School
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital
  • Delta - Linden Series
  • Arica City Center
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • Manquehue O´Connell
  • HQ & TEM Facility at Fort Riley
  • Northshore Skokie Hospital
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Antlers Bridge
  • Brigade Transformation Battalion HQ
  • Milgard - Aluminium Series Windows
  • St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center
  • Northlake Data Center
  • Pittsburgh VA Hospital
  • The UOA - University of Alabama General Classroom Building
  • Saint Jude Medical Center
  • Cooper Bussmann - PS and PMP Series
  • Milgard - Style Line Series
  • Teknion Altos-Optos
  • Sutter General Hospital
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center
  • Harvard Dunster House
  • UPMC Passavant
  • Embraco – Compressor Manufacturer
  • Regency Tower
  • Northshore Glenbrook Hospital
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Henry Ford Hospital
  • Georgia BioScience Training Center
  • ProCure CDH Proton Therapy Center
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
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  • Western Maryland Hospital
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Australian Department of Defence takes the lead in BIM

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The Australian Department of Defence has emerged at the forefront of efforts to incorporate Building Information Modelling (BIM), using it to enhance the development and operation of its vast portfolio of assets.

Brigadier Darren Naumann, acting head of infrastructure for the Department of Defence, said in a recent presentation on enhancing project outcomes that the department is taking the lead in the implementation of BIM amongst government bodies.

Areas where BIM is being put into practice include facilities for maritime patrol systems acquired under the AIR 7000 Phase 2 project, air warfare destroyer and landing helicopter dock sustainment facilities, and the Moorebank Units Relocation (MUR) project.

BIM and related digital engineering technologies are already being applied to the MUR project, which will see units based at Moorebank – including the School of Military Engineering – shifted to new, purpose-built facilities at Holsworthy Barracks in western Sydney.

Three-dimensional modelling – the most fundamental component of BIM – is being applied to health and safety reviews in order to better prevent hazards such as excavation collapses and underground service strikes.

More advanced 4D BIM – which adds the dimension of time to virtual modelling – is being applied to construction planning and program tracking for the overall building schedule.

The Department of Defence expects the use of BIM to bring manifold benefits to the project, including reductions in error rates and wastage, increases to buildability and efficiency, enhanced safety, and optimized decision-making.

The benefits will also extend beyond the design and build phase of the project, with BIM models slated for incorporation into management systems to improve the performance of maintenance procedures and the collection of critical asset data.

The lead taken by the department on BIM marks a major step forward in efforts to foster the adoption of the new design and construction methodology.

The Department of Defence is one of the biggest asset owners in the country with over 30,000 properties in its portfolio, annual capital expenditures in excess of $1 billion, and annual estate maintenance costs of more than $450 million.

Measures to promote BIM in Australia nonetheless lag behind many other countries such as the UK and Singapore, who have both set deadlines for when the process will be mandated for developments of a certain scale.

Speaking at the sidelines of the Bentley Advantage Conference in Brisbane, Bentley vice-president for the South-East Asia Pacific Alan Savin recommended the Australian Government look to the examples set by these nations with respect to BIM implementation.

“Australia has strong ties to the UK and Singapore and can really just follow the lead taken by those countries in those areas,” said Savin. “They’ve really done a great job of stating what BIM means and helping the industry to get there.”

Source: Australian Department of Defence Takes the Lead in BIM. By Mark Howe. Sourceable. November 22, 2013

Our Portfolio

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  • Henry Ford Hospital
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  • The Ohio State University - Lane Avenue Parking Garage
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  • CH-2 Data Center
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  • Milgard - Aluminium Series Windows
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  • North Carolina State - Centennial Campus Parking Deck
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  • Anaheim Kraemer Medical Office Building - Kaiser Permanente
  • Cleveland Clinic - Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute
  • EAB 48 Man Barracks
  • Marathon Oil Headquarter
  • Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
  • Clemson Bioscience / Life Sciences Building
  • Manquehue O´Connell
  • Palliser Parking Garage
  • Northshore Skokie Hospital
  • Bilco - Roof Hatch
  • Cooper Bussmann - PS and PMP Series
  • Rig-A-Lite - SAF Series
  • Fort Drum
  • CS Motts Children's Hospital
  • Protective - Doors and Windows
  • Aria at the CityCenter
  • Arica City Center
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • St. Peter’s New Parish House
  • Wellington Regional Medical Center
  • Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
  • ONEC1TY
  • O’Keeffe’s - Ladders
  • Disney Springs
  • Harrahs Cherokee Casino & Hotel
  • Rig-A-Lite II
  • Alto Palermo
  • Bridgeway Mixed-Use
  • Milgard - Quiet Series
  • Emerald Point
  • Western Maryland Hospital
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • World Trade Center Memorial
  • Salvador Metro
  • Philadelphia College of Physicians
  • Sutter General Hospital
  • Southern Ohio Medical Center
  • Riley Hospital for Children
  • Northshore Glenbrook Hospital
  • Milgard – Tuscany Series
  • The UOA - University of Alabama General Classroom Building
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center
  • Wesley Long Hospital
  • Embraco – Compressor Manufacturer
  • Saint Jude Medical Center
  • University of Chicago - David Logan Arts Center
  • Armstrong Ceiling Systems
  • T&S - Plumbing Fixtures
  • SMART Technologies - Interactive Whiteboards
  • Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility
  • The Palazzo Podium
  • Palos Community Hospital
  • Milgard - Ultra Series
  • Rush Medical Center (Part 2)
  • Astellas Pharma Company Headquarters
  • Milgard - Style Line Series
  • Georgia BioScience Training Center
  • Harvard Dunster House
  • Cardinales II
  • NIBCO - Ball, Butterfly, and Gate Valves
  • Children's Memorial Hospital
  • Midmark - Modular Casework System
  • Child Development Center at Fort Knox
  • Prudential Lighting - Aparia Series
  • Lodi Memorial Hospital
  • Accident Fund
  • Delta - Linden Series
  • Avanti Resort
  • VCU Critical Care Hospital
  • OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital
  • UPMC Passavant
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  • Brigade Transformation Battalion HQ
  • World Largest Tech Company’s New Corporate Headquarters
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  • William B. Ogden Public School
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  • Antlers Bridge
  • American Dryer - Automatic Hand Dryers
  • Milgard - ADA Doors Series
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  • University of Massachusetts - Claire T. Carney Library
  • Teknion Altos-Optos
  • HAAF 72 Man Barracks
  • Blood Donor Center at Fort Benning
  • ProCure CDH Proton Therapy Center
  • St. Alexius Medical Center - Children's Hospital
  • Sparrow Health Clinic
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  • Target - West Loop Store
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Is Google planning a BIM-busting app for construction?

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Google’s apps and operating system have already “disrupted” Microsoft’s business – and now it could be planning to do the same for BIM and online collaboration in the construction industry.

According to online reports, the company’s Google X development unit has been working on a project to offer the architecture and construction sector the project collaboration equivalent of Google Docs.

Originally code-named Genie, it is a cloud-based platform with online design and analytical tools that would allow designers and construction professionals to collaborate in real time.

This week, Globes Online, an Israeli business news site, reported that a prototype of the system is now being progressed by a spin-off company founded by Google engineers called Vannevar Technology.

Its website says the company is “reimagining building design for a more sustainable future”, but carries no other details or contact information.

Details on Genie emerged from a report submitted by the Google X team to Google founders Sergei Brin and Larry Page and the company’s management team around 2011, according to Globes-online.

The report presented Genie as a revolutionary technology for the construction of sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings, that could also deliver massive revenues to Google.

It also estimated that using Genie could help cut construction costs by 30-50%, and also shorten the time taken to design and mobilise projects by 30-60%.

The Globes report says that the Google X team has already met leading US contractors, engineers and architects, as well as and major developers, apparently receiving “enthusiastic” responses.

Architect and BIM specialist Elrond Burrell, who works for Architype, commented on Twitter that he believed the UK government’s BIM Task Group had also been given a preview of the technology last year, judging it a possible major contributor to Level 3 BIM.

He told CM: “I remember people on the Task Force and Mark Bew referring to a Google thing that could “do” Level 3 BIM. It sounds like it gives you a situation where you have multiple people collaborating in real time, rather than exchanging static information.”

Google X is involved in the development of innovative products that are not core to the company’s business, such as driverless cars and augmented reality Google glasses.

Source: Is Google planning a BIM-busting app for construction? Construction Manager Magazine. October 19, 2013.

Our Portfolio

  • The Ohio State University - Lane Avenue Parking Garage
  • VCU Critical Care Hospital
  • Georgia BioScience Training Center
  • Milgard - ADA Doors Series
  • Saint Jude Medical Center
  • Rig-A-Lite - SAF Series
  • Prudential Lighting - Aparia Series
  • Sutter General Hospital
  • Children's Memorial Hospital
  • SMART Technologies - Interactive Whiteboards
  • Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
  • Promedica Toledo Hospital
  • HQ at Fort Lewis
  • Manquehue O´Connell
  • Brigade Transformation Battalion HQ
  • Rig-A-Lite II
  • Henry Ford Hospital
  • World Trade Center Memorial
  • Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee
  • Rush Medical Center (Part 2)
  • Accident Fund
  • Child Development Center at Fort Knox
  • Alto Palermo
  • Mills-Peninsula Hospital
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • ONEC1TY
  • Delta - Linden Series
  • Pittsburgh VA Hospital
  • Milgard - Quiet Series
  • Recabarren Business Park
  • American Dryer - Automatic Hand Dryers
  • EAB 48 Man Barracks
  • Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
  • St. Peter’s New Parish House
  • Western Maryland Hospital
  • Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center
  • Sparrow Health Clinic
  • Clemson Bioscience / Life Sciences Building
  • University of Massachusetts - Claire T. Carney Library
  • University of Chicago - David Logan Arts Center
  • Rush Medical Center (Part 1)
  • Bilco - Roof Hatch
  • Marathon Oil Headquarter
  • Palliser Parking Garage
  • Teknion Furniture & Furniture Systems
  • Target - West Loop Store
  • T&S - Plumbing Fixtures
  • Emerald Point
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • CS Motts Children's Hospital
  • Milgard - Style Line Series
  • Anaheim Kraemer Medical Office Building - Kaiser Permanente
  • Astellas Pharma Company Headquarters
  • Disney Springs
  • UPMC Passavant
  • Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
  • ProCure CDH Proton Therapy Center
  • HQ & TEM Facility at Fort Riley
  • OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Fort Hood Brigade Headquarters
  • Harvard Dunster House
  • Northlake Data Center
  • Riley Hospital for Children
  • Wellington Regional Medical Center
  • Gerber - Lavatories and Water Closets
  • St. Alexius Medical Center - Children's Hospital
  • St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center
  • Silver Cross Hospital
  • Milgard - Ultra Series
  • Northshore Glenbrook Hospital
  • NIBCO - Ball, Butterfly, and Gate Valves
  • Fort Drum
  • O’Keeffe’s - Ladders
  • Bridgeway Mixed-Use
  • North Carolina State - Centennial Campus Parking Deck
  • William B. Ogden Public School
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital
  • Protective - Doors and Windows
  • Cleveland Clinic - Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute
  • Lutron - LOS C Series
  • The UOA - University of Alabama General Classroom Building
  • Lodi Memorial Hospital
  • Milgard – Tuscany Series
  • Cooper Bussmann - PS and PMP Series
  • The Palazzo Podium
  • Harrahs Cherokee Casino & Hotel
  • CH-2 Data Center
  • Philadelphia College of Physicians
  • Midmark - Modular Casework System
  • Wesley Long Hospital
  • Embraco – Compressor Manufacturer
  • Southern Ohio Medical Center
  • Regency Tower
  • Antlers Bridge
  • Blood Donor Center at Fort Benning
  • Resurrection Medical Center
  • Milgard - Aluminium Series Windows
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Mestek - Aztec Series
  • Clarian Arnett Clinic
  • Cardinales II
  • Lake Forest College Sports & Recreation Center
  • Salvador Metro
  • Sacramento International Airport
  • Armstrong Ceiling Systems
  • Palos Community Hospital
  • Avanti Resort
  • Sonoma State University - New Student Center
  • Northshore Skokie Hospital
  • Department of Defense – Washington Headquarters
  • World Largest Tech Company’s New Corporate Headquarters
  • Teknion Altos-Optos
  • Aria at the CityCenter
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • HAAF 72 Man Barracks
  • Arica City Center

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BIM = Better information mobility?

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A US survey suggests growing benefits of mobile information, but its respondents weren’t enthusing about mobile access to digital models.

At the Bentley Systems Year in Infrastructure conference in London, information mobility has been a recurring theme (indeed, BIM has even been verbally re-engineered to become ‘better information mobility’), and its not just about mobile devices but about the whole challenge of enabling collaboration by connecting people and sharing data from a multitude of different applications, operating systems and devices. We are, of course, some distance from the utopian vision of seamless exchange of the right information at the the right time in the right place and on any device, but the industry has at least started to make steps on the journey, it seems, though I think the speed of that journey may also vary between the US and the UK.

SmartMarket report

A survey of 300 contractor firms in the US construction sector undertaken by McGraw Hill Construction has been published this week, and I listened as Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights & Alliances, presented some of the research findings from the new SmartMarket Report this morning (click here for report). Contractors are benefiting from increased information mobility, he said, but significant gaps need to be overcome for the benefits to be widely achieved across the industry.

Overall, the most highly reported benefits are better team collaboration (reported by 76%) and improved productivity (reported by 68%). Bottom line benefits, such as shorter project schedules, lower project costs and increases in project ROI, are significant for those that are tracking the benefits. However, only half (51%) are tracking information flow at all, and only 20% are tracking the flow of their information outside their own firms—a significant need in the industry in order to understand and improve the flow of information. There are proven results in the value of information mobility investments, with contractors reporting shorter schedules by 9%, project cost decreases of 10% and increases in project ROI of 2%. We need to encourage the industry to track and report these benefits so they can justify investing in information mobility, thereby improving their profitability. Another challenge is determining access to data and information—ranked as one of the most important factors driving investments in information mobility. While the industry has made significant improvements in information flow within or outside an office, only 37% report that their workers onsite can access information outside the trailer. The two most important functions of information mobility reported by contractors are gathering real-time data from the jobsite and conducting analyses of those data.

ProjectWise

As you might expect at a Bentley conference, ProjectWise is widely discussed, and you almost get the impression that no other online collaboration platforms exist (though I did hear Crossrail’s Neill Pawsey talk this afternoon about connecting third party tools such as Aconex and Asite to Bentley’s eB system). Certainly, ProjectWise has become a pervasive tool within the Bentley ecosystem, and Bentley CEO Greg Bentley has highlighted that more than half of UK Bentley users now collaborate via ProjectWise. Extending this collaboration beyond the site office, though, is still seen by the US survey respondents as fraught with difficulties, particularly relating to document security, secure access and version control.

Crossrail lessons

Bringing the Bentley conference to London, however, has (I think) opened some US delegates’ eyes to the great strides that the UK industry is making with building information modelling (the original BIM) and the smaller but still significant strides that organisations such as Crossrail are making with use of mobile devices (see May 2013 post). Neill (who I know well through COMIT and as a fellow member of the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Information Systems Panel) talked about use of Apple tablets in the challenging underground environment of a major tunnelling project. While some contractors ban mobile devices completely, he suggested there could be exceptions.

He compared the safety of using a conventional paper notebook within a live site’s ‘safe zone’ with using a tablet in the same place; he also pointed out “Paper tends to lose all integrity in wet weather” and argued that an encased tablet would be a more than adequate replacement, particularly if you could overcome its vulnerability to knocks, etc. Crossrail had learned from using an application called Formotus on iPads to rapidly capture and centralise engineers’ observation reports, and he also said viewing building information models in-situ often helped explain construction methodologies better than any paper drawings could.

Currently, though, mobile devices still tend to be used predominantly to share PDFs and electronic versions of paper drawings and documents – according to the SmartMarket report – and, perhaps surprisingly, the US survey respondents were not predicting increased mobile use of digital model files. I expect if the same survey was undertaken in the UK, where BIM adoption and interest in BIM on mobile devices is exploding, the results would be very different.

Source: BIM = Better information mobility? By Paul Wilkinson. Extranet Evolution. October 30, 2013.

Our Portfolio

  • Delta - Linden Series
  • Northshore Glenbrook Hospital
  • Salvador Metro
  • Child Development Center at Fort Knox
  • Target - West Loop Store
  • Milgard - Aluminium Series Windows
  • Brigade Transformation Battalion HQ
  • Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility
  • Western Maryland Hospital
  • Clemson Bioscience / Life Sciences Building
  • HQ at Fort Lewis
  • Prudential Lighting - Aparia Series
  • Palos Community Hospital
  • Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
  • Cardinales II
  • Armstrong Ceiling Systems
  • Blood Donor Center at Fort Benning
  • William B. Ogden Public School
  • VCU Critical Care Hospital
  • Philadelphia College of Physicians
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital
  • Sparrow Health Clinic
  • Saint Jude Medical Center
  • Marathon Oil Headquarter
  • Milgard - Quiet Series
  • St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center
  • Arica City Center
  • Lodi Memorial Hospital
  • Georgia BioScience Training Center
  • Teknion Furniture & Furniture Systems
  • T&S - Plumbing Fixtures
  • Aria at the CityCenter
  • SMART Technologies - Interactive Whiteboards
  • Teknion Altos-Optos
  • Northlake Data Center
  • Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • Department of Defense – Washington Headquarters
  • HQ & TEM Facility at Fort Riley
  • World Largest Tech Company’s New Corporate Headquarters
  • ONEC1TY
  • St. Peter’s New Parish House
  • Alto Palermo
  • Milgard - ADA Doors Series
  • Sutter General Hospital
  • EAB 48 Man Barracks
  • Northshore Skokie Hospital
  • Midmark - Modular Casework System
  • Emerald Point
  • North Carolina State - Centennial Campus Parking Deck
  • HAAF 72 Man Barracks
  • Gerber - Lavatories and Water Closets
  • Silver Cross Hospital
  • Promedica Toledo Hospital
  • Milgard – Tuscany Series
  • Cleveland Clinic - Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute
  • Rush Medical Center (Part 1)
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • World Trade Center Memorial
  • Rush Medical Center (Part 2)
  • Sonoma State University - New Student Center
  • Pittsburgh VA Hospital
  • Wesley Long Hospital
  • Harvard Dunster House
  • Recabarren Business Park
  • Embraco – Compressor Manufacturer
  • American Dryer - Automatic Hand Dryers
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • University of Massachusetts - Claire T. Carney Library
  • Anaheim Kraemer Medical Office Building - Kaiser Permanente
  • The Palazzo Podium
  • Cooper Bussmann - PS and PMP Series
  • Astellas Pharma Company Headquarters