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Constructech Technology Day: BIM Beyond the Basics

TechDay_logo_2016-300x89Last week, I had the privilege of representing Faith Technologies at the Constructech Technology Days – an event geared at helping construction professionals utilize technology to reshape their organizations.

The day began with a panel of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who are not only responsible for new technology, but also for leveraging existing technology. Amongst many topics, they discussed how technology gets recognized, how companies can integrate it companywide (as opposed to focusing on a single departmental need), standardization, silo removal and education.

They stressed how even with buying and implementing the best technology, if you do not tackle proper integration and standardization, or work within all facets of our business and educate all to the process, you will see a modest ROI that will stay flat after the initial gain.

While all the sessions held valuable insight, I co-chaired one session with Dan Bayer, Director of Virtual Construction at Miron Construction, on the topic of ‘BIM: Beyond the Basics.’

Here the question was asked – how can we move BIM forward in the BIM industry? To me, the answer falls somewhere between mandate and education. When Faith Technologies was exploring BIM, our first jump into the world of virtual construction was in large part due to a few general contractors looking to find partners. Education from these companies helped propel our services at a faster rate than if we would have tackled them on our own. The first foray into BIM is usually for clash detection, and we have been happy to help our project partners as they move through the first phase of BIM knowledge.

Other questions asked were: What are the largest future opportunities for BIM? What needs to happen to get there? Although BIM has come a long way in the construction industry, it has plenty of room to move forward.

The “I” in BIM is where we will spend most of our efforts at Faith Technologies. Prefabrication, facilities maintenance, purchasing, estimating, and scheduling can be shared from/in the models we work in today. Facility maintenance can be passed onto the customer, who then has the information at the touch of a button as opposed to rifling through drawings and OEM manuals (7D). Purchasing can be pulled from models that can then be passed onto our Excellerate division for prefabricated opportunities, allowing for increased productivity. As we model, we can link our project schedules to the model (4D). Adding cost structure to our models now allows us to create conceptual estimates until final iterations can be created with a final estimation budget (5D).

Overall, the session was intriguing. It stressed how with silos removed, technology discussions need to be held with all stakeholders from estimating, preconstruction and operation teams, which is 100% true. Create a clearly defined roadmap to evaluate and refine technology for your company today.