Prefabrication And Modularity In Bim Construction

As Building Information Modeling continues its march through the AEC industry, its effects and advantages for construction management are coming more into the spotlight. BIM construction is a fundamentally different animal than past practices. In terms of the relationship between the owner, designer and builder, in how construction is actually accomplished, and in terms of the bottom-line, BIM construction is changing in subtle and radical ways how a project is executed. Construction managers are now included in the design process, prefabrication is increasingly used and build times, change orders and site logistics are all positively affected by BIM construction.

The construction industry has lagged far behind most other industries in leveraging modern technology for productivity gains.One of the most glaring facts about the construction industry as a whole is encapsulated by the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics finding that the construction industry has had continual losses in productivity since 1964, in stark contrast to all other non-farm labor, which has almost doubled productivity in the same 40 years.

One of the prime reasons for declining labor productivity in the construction industry has to do with the traditional process by which a project is conceived and delivered. The design-bid-build paradigm is a fragmented process, where the owner contracts with separate professionals for the design and construction of the project, and each phase follows the previous one. Any collaborative involvement between the design professionals and the construction professionals is highly limited, leading to change orders, errors and other issues when the best-made plans are confronted with construction site reality.

BIM construction provides the necessary platform and processes for reversing this trend. The National Research Council of the National Academies identified BIM construction enabled prefabrication and modularity as important components to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the US construction industry in a 2009 report. As 3D modeling and parametric design make constructability part and parcel of the design process, construction managers are increasingly brought in early in the projects design phase, to evaluate the practicality of a design. This involvement has driven what some call the oldest new idea in construction. Prefabrication, and modularity, bring to bear in the construction industry practices that Henry Ford discovered well over a hundred years ago. Fundamental to this is the decoupling of manufacture from assembly. Instead of costly, time-consuming onsite fabrication and fitting of parts, prefabrication in a controlled environment allows for a reduction in labor, faster completion times, less waste and change orders. This is particularly true in the finish and detail portions of a building, as well as the skin and faade systems.Modular components are then brought to the site for efficient assembly. This is neither new nor particularly foreign to the construction industry.

One of the earliest examples of modern prefabricated construction was the magnificent Crystal Palace in London, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Made of cast-iron and glass, the Palace was longer than Versailles and higher than Westminster Abbey. The building was completed in less than 200 days, from conception to occupation. 3300 iron columns, 2150 iron girders, 250 miles of sash bar, 293,635 panes of glass. The crucial detail is that these all conform to a basic 24 foot module, allowing the manufacture to be contracted to several foundries and glass factories. The entire structure was dismantled in 1852 and moved to another site, reassembled and stood until fire destroyed it in 1936.
The Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio was designed, built and occupied for the Texas World Expo in 202 working days! A 500 room deluxe hotel, still in use today, had each room factory built and placed by crane in 46 days.

Most recently, in Lin Gang Industrial Zone in Xiangyin County, a 17,000 square meter hotel known as T30 was completed in an astonishing 15 days! Over 350 rooms with restaurant, gym, swimming pool and underground parking, 93% of the building was pieced together onsite with premade assemblies. Earthquake resistant up to magnitude 9, the building boasts quadruple-paned windows, external solar shading, LED lighting and an innovative air filtration system.
One of the main challenges in prefabrication in BIM construction is the necessity for working with tight tolerances from the start of the design process. This is aided by 3D modeling, as BIM construction brings the trades in early in process, driving a new design philosophy. Instead of onsite builders building to the design, designers now design to the module specifications, achieving substantial savings and compressing construction schedules.

Another stumbling block is what is known as multitrade prefabrication. Common in Europe, but almost unknown in the US, this involves the creation of modular units with duct work, gas mains, hot water supply, electrical conduits and communication pathways built-in. Independent prefab firms in Europe have developed BIM construction software for these horizontal systems that convert the model into a bill of materials on a module by module basis. The need for multi-trade coordination in the design of these modules is obviously necessary.

Another challenge is the task of lifting and manipulating these large modular units on the work site. With stick-built construction, only raw materials are handled by individuals or well-developed machinery systems. New systems and logistics will now need to be devised to transport, store and place the multi-ton, large-dimension assemblies that are a result of BIM construction prefabrication.
On the flip side, the advantages of modern prefabrication and modularization in BIM construction are overwhelming. So much so that the McGraw-Hill SmartMarket Report: Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry reports that their survey shows that 98% of all architects, engineers and contractors expect to be using prefabrication and modularization to some extent in the projects. Healthcare facilities (49%), hotels and motels (11%), commercial warehouses (11%) lead the way in using BIM construction driven prefabrication. The building elements most conducive to prefabrication and modularization are building superstructure (27%), MEP systems (21%) and exterior walls (20%).

The reasons listed in this report for using prefab and modular systems include: improved project schedules, reduced costs and budgets, site safety improvements and green building/waste reduction.
The ability of modern prefabrication to provide a spectrum of customization possibilities is an important part of the new surge in acceptance of BIM construction modularization. The maturation of the manufacturing industry now provides sophisticated understanding and processes of the customization spectrum which can translate to the burgeoning sector of BIM construction prefabrication.

The terms made to stock (MTS), assembled to stock (ATS), made to order (MTO), and engineered to order (ETO) are used in manufacturing to define the extent to which a product is customized. This is generally considered proportional to the cost and lead time necessary for production.
This allows owners to achieve both a uniquity of design along with the savings of prefabrication. No longer does modular and prefab mean drab and boring. In the modern era one no longer needs to sacrifice aesthetics for the efficiencies of factory production.
BIM construction, in and of itself provides many benefits to the AEC industry. But its ability to lay the groundwork, along with IPD and new contractual landscapes, for modern prefabrication and modularization, heralds an almost revolutionary change in commercial building.

For more information about BIM construction visit ODonnell & Naccarato BIM:
Dennis Mordan ([emailprotected])
Jon Brazier ([emailprotected])

Construction Takeoffs From Pdf Drawings

Todays construction estimator does the majority of their estimates by measuring directly from PDF drawings. Blueprint measuring used to be primarily from paper plans and was measured typically by hand or by using a GTCO digitizer. When plans switched to a digital or PDF format, companys like Tally Systems, Inc. transitioned to PDF plan takeoff using the mouse on the estimators computer. Construction estimating software comes in a shapes and sizes but the simplicity seems to be the growing trend in the construction software industry. Dominated by Microsoft Excel, products like QuickMeasure OnScreen help construction estimators measure directly from PDF plans and eliminate the need to print PDF blueprints to paper. The advantage of doing takeoffs from PDF plans with software like QuickMeasure OnScreen is the ability to zoom in on the drawing to see small detail and improve the accuracy of the measurement. With the majority of construction estimators relying on Excel as the primary piece of software to build estimating templates, a program that feeds takeoffs into an estimators existing spreadsheet has become key.

With the emergence of online plan rooms and emergence of general contractors who distribute their plan by linking subcontractors to plans stored on their servers, the ability to download and begin measuring from a PDF image instantly becomes more important. Since the estimator no longer is working from paper blueprints, the ability of software to calibrate using a known dimension from the PDF drawing is crucial to generating an accurate takeoff. Companies like Tally Systems have integrated high accuracy takeoffs with simplicity to give the estimator full PDF plan takeoff capabilities while working within Excel the estimator has designed in-house rather than purchase a construction estimating software package that was designed the way someone else estimates.

The other advantage of using PDF plans for blueprint takeoff is that it eliminates the expense of printing plans to paper. This saves not only on wasting paper but the wasted time of driving all over town picking up blueprints. The ability to measure on the screen of the computer is really an exciting technology and will be the standard for construction blueprint takeoff for some time. Those who think that paper blueprints will make a comeback are hoping for something that will not happen. PDF blueprints and other digital plan formats will continue to dominate and those who dont migrate to digital plan takeoff software like QuickMeasure OnScreen will find themselves wasting time and money doing takeoffs manually.

Where is construction estimating and blueprint takeoff going from here? BIM takeoff is on the horizon where the architect will design a building that contains a list of the material quantities but until that technology becomes more commonplace, PDF plan takeoff software will be a staple for every estimator.

d Construction Planning For Building Information Modeling Services

Construction projects for 4D construction planning are scheduled according to availability of resources and depend on many external factors. As the time progresses these parameters also change and hence it is important to keep a check on activities to finish the project without any significant delays. The popular 4D building information model does not help in establishing relationship between the schedule and sequence of construction activities to be carried out during the project execution. A 4D model incorporates time as added 4th dimension and hence improves quality and accuracy of the entire building life cycle management.

BIM 4D Modeling makes a reliable digital representation of the building available for design decision making, high-quality construction document production, 4D construction planning, and performance predictions, and cost estimates. Having the ability to keep information up-to-date and accessible in an integrated digital environment gives architects, engineers, builders, and owners a clear overall vision of all their projects, as well as the ability to make informed decisions faster.

To get clear idea one has to link 3D model of the structure and construction schedule of the project, so that the status of the project can be easily reviewed in the form of 3D model at any instance of time. The model so developed can assist the planning members in visualizing the details of the construction work at any point of time. This can help them to take better decisions both during the pre and post construction stages. 4D-model construction planning provides a comprehensive information platform for project schedules and site plans to serve the objective of site management and construction planning.

There are various debates in favor and in against BIM but the actual fact is that it introduces an exceptional opportunity for design industry to create a cohesive, holistic virtual building model, information-rich with the emerged contribution of all disciplines. It removes the conflict among services and quick changes as all the engineering information is comprised already within the model.

Outsource Construction Documents Bolsters To The Growth Of Construction Business

Architectural drafting service has gained great momentum in the outsourcing sphere. The architecture and planning industry is crowded by numerous architects and architectural firms. They are competing for large multimillion dollar commercial, residential, and institutional projects. And often they are not ready with the resources required to execute and deliver the large projects on time. To support their sudden and unplanned needs, there is an alarming raise of architectural design support services providers architectural drafting and modeling studio – across the nation. Individuals having expertise in architecture design software platform are starting up drafting and rendering studio.

A new concept is quickly catching up the architecture and construction industry design-build concept. Owners and developers are looking for one-stop solutions provider who will transform their concept into reality.

To meet the raising demands of developers and owners, architectural firms and construction companies are collaborating with architectural drafting services provider. Architecture firms of all sizes, predominantly from the West and other developed countries, are shipping off the drafting phase of their construction projects to architecture design support services providers in India.

There are a considerable number of construction documents services providers in India, and BluEnt is internationally acclaimed construction documentation and architectural design support services provider. BluEnt provides construction document sets using the latest architectural drafting and modeling tools like Revit, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Customized CAD, Navisworks, Google Sketchup.

BluEnts CAD drafting service gives designers and developers the ability to outsource their CAD construction documents and redline markups. Types of sheets include details, sections, and elevations, plans, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural. Architectural design firms and construction companies submit their design development sketches, architectural design sketches, and as-built drawings to be redrafted as AutoCAD, Revit or Vectorworks files.

Redlines are received from the clients as hardcopy markups or in PDF format. BluEnta experienced CAD drafting operators analyze the Redlines carefully, and incorporate them into new construction documentation sets accurately using desired platforms.

To know more about architectural CAD drafting and Revit drafting services, and how architectural drafting companies like BluEnt, BluEntCAD and BluEntBIM can help you execute and deliver more architectural projects, you are requested to contact architectural CAD drafting or architecture BIM services division.