Ehvert leads the mission critical industry in innovation.  First is innovation in technology by use of extensive BIM and construction simulation with V/R.  Second is through advanced site tools such as Augmented Reality, laser scanning and site layout services. 

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Technology and Innovation in Construction 

The construction industry lags nearly all other industries in the adoption of technology and innovation.  The adoption of BIM and Virtual Construction has been slow and innovation in project delivery has also been even slower.  Stakeholders in construction projects remain highly specialized with each stakeholder trying to implement technology within their own silos of work.  Except for a few instances, innovative process changes, including those related to a new division of labor to maximize technology use, have not occurred. 

In most construction projects, architects are limited to code compliance, functional reviews, designing of spaces and architectural elements; design engineers are specialized within their own fields of civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, security and communications.  These designers are specialized to the point that they are only responsible for part of the design and leave the detailed design with respect to fabrication, construction and operation to other specialists including other engineers who work for fabricators or manufacturers.   This is evidenced by the requirement for stamped engineering drawings from the structural steel fabricator as just one example.  

Cost and schedule overruns continue to occur even though there has been a much larger BIM adoption in the last decade.   

Although there have been some process improvements through Design/Build, Lean Construction, Integrated Project Delivery and Public Private Partnerships, in most cases, the major efficiency gains have not been realized. 

Project managers, architects, engineers, construction managers, subcontractors, fabricators, manufacturers and operators still have very narrow ‘silos’ of responsibility.  Whereas architects and engineers do high level design, the detailed design (routing, fabrication, and means and methods) is left to construction managers, subcontractors, fabricators and manufacturers.

Improving the Traditional Construction Process 

The opportunity to optimize construction safety, cost, quality, and schedule is much greater during conceptual and detailed design phase, than is during the construction phase of a project. 

It is best to move significant portions of the BIM process, specifically 3D LOD 400/500 along with partial 4D, 5D, 6D, 7D and 8D BIM into the planning, conceptual, and design phase of a project where these modelling exercises can have a more significant improvement on project outcomes. 

New processes and technology can reduce site labor by up to 50 percent and management and supervision labor by up to 70 percent. 

Accurate engineering, fabrication, construction sequencing and bills of materials allow for optimization of performance, cost, and schedule.  More accurate procurement strategies can be developed, construction processes can be proactively managed and detailed simulations can be used to optimize construction and operations, thereby greatly increasing the likelihood of a successful project outcome for all stakeholders.   

Additional benefits include improved visualization of the project and communication of adherence to the design intent, improved multi-disciplinary collaboration, a drastic reduction in initial work, and a dramatic reduction in rework. 

Waste in labor, materials, equipment and other resources is greatly reduced through accurate design which incorporates the construction and operational requirement of the facility and these efficiencies can be simulated using the models. 

Construction costs due to re-work are virtually eliminated.  

Building information models allow all major systems to be instantly and automatically checked for interferences. For example, this process can verify piping that does not intersect with steel beams, ducts, or walls. Based on industry data from the American Institute of Architects and Association of General Contractors, clashes, including those from fabrication and manufacturing, are estimated to have an average cost of $1,500 per instance. On traditional consultant-level architecture/engineering drawings we find there are usually no less than 500 significant clashes per 150,000 sqft site.  If each has a cost of $1,500, this savings in clashes alone would result in a $750,000 gain.  This does not include further savings from optimizing the design to reduce material and labor costs. 

For specialized facilities, the typical consultant’s mechanical drawing package leaves too much of the design finalization and coordination for the installing contractors.  This not only makes it very difficult to get accurate and competitive pricing on the design package but also increases the risk to project budgets, schedules and quality of installation. 

From this experience, we determined that our designs should not end at the standard consulting level of development but continue to complete the remaining design work that the subcontractors are often forced to complete on a project.  The result is a design and tender package that includes a coordinated (with other disciplines) BIM model and drawings, detailed bills of materials and fabrication level drawing information.