November 12, 2013

Virtual Construction: Upfront Internal Efficiencies

The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology in our industry has drastically grown over the past few years. Staying abreast of the latest virtual construction and technologies and trends has equipped us to better serve our customer in the design and completion of several projects.

Whenever BIM technology is discussed, the process of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) typically is too, where we are able to provide input to help the owner achieve the most value for their electrical budget dollars. The “MacLeamy Curve” is used to illustrate the advantages of the IPD process (below is an example). It outlines the cost of project changes at the beginning and end, as well as the reduction of those changes at their highest cost points, which is very beneficial.

MacLeamy Curve MacLeamy Curve

Engaging all of the project team members in the planning stage of the project creates a greater impact at a more favorable cost. The benefit of getting all project stakeholders involved right away for clarity of the project is represented in the “preferred design process” trend of the MacLeamy Curve illustrated above. Prefabrication opportunities can be discussed early (e.g., hangers, speed pulls, room in a tote, etc.), and processes can be laid out by the detailers working in conjunction with the electrical field leadership. This can then be passed on to the prefabrication department who can begin work offsite as soon as all designs are final.

Recently, Faith Technologies’ work at Mercy-West Health Hospital, located in Green Township, OH, was featured in EC&M Magazine. Early engagement and the utilization of our prefabrication department resulted in a fifteen percent savings on this project.

The discussion for the layout of the project roadmap is definitely worth having, as it can lead to greater efficiency, reduce cost, and save time. Years ago, the promises of BIM and IPD seemed unrealistic to construction veterans. As the process continues to evolve due to the market’s continued demand for lower-costs, and faster, more efficient solutions, however, the options are now endless, so we’re constantly examining “what else” these niche processes can allow us to do.