Construction Trend: Virtual Construction

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Purpose:  To learn the technology needed to develop a virtual construction department.

Highlights:

  • The benefits of virtual construction.
  • The combination of technology that makes an efficient virtual construction department.
  • Which technology platforms should be included in a virtual construction tech stack.

What if I said you can underbid your competition and win more construction jobs with a small change?

Oh, also, you would make a profit.

This is possible with virtual construction.  By using virtual construction technology, construction companies can find the problems or "clashes" before construction begins.  That means less change orders, less budget overages, and less scheduling issues.  

What technology is needed for virtual construction?

Virtual construction only needs a few great tools to work effectively.

Autodesk Revit

Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology isn't new.  But when you combine Revit with other technologies, you get a virtual environment that takes away many pain points in the construction industry.

Revit is used to plan, design, construct, and manage building and infrastructure.

In Autodesk Revit, designers can design within the platform and allow contributors to share and save their work in Revit.  The platform encourages collaboration among the different disciplines that are working on the project.

 

Collision Detection

Collision detection is a feature that stops change order in their tracks.  When subcontractor drawings are overlaid, the collision detection will find points where pipes, ducts, or other construction items "clash" before the building is being built.  The drawing can be adjusted ahead of time, and no time or materials are wasted.  

Laser Scanners

Laser scanners scan the construction environment and deliver accurate 3D scans that are imported into the BIM modeling for the most up-to-date look at the site.  As the site evolves, the laser scanner will capture that.  Any construction changes that happened on the fly are then added to the drawing and updated. 

The laser scanner data then gets input into Revit.  At this point, the designers can now make adjustments to the drawings to ensure accuracy.

 

Project Management Software

Message tracking, file management, and data exchange between applications make a project management platform essential to virtual construction.  

Project managers can manage budgets easier because purchase orders and change orders are all tracked in once place.  All changes are tracked as well, so if a project manager needs to go back to a conversation to verify a decision, that can easily be done.

In Conclusion

Virtual construction will change the way your company bids projects.  It may take the same amount of time to build the project, but the build goes much smoother   While change orders, timeline changes, and budget overages were a regular occurrence pre-virtual construction, they are greatly reduced when virtual construction technology is employed.   

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