How and Why to Achieve Connected Construction
12 April 2023autodesk, Autodesk Construction Cloud, BIM workflow, Connected Construction, Construction, Digital TransformationApplied Software, BIM, BIM Collaborate, BIM coordination, Collaboration, Common Data Environment, Cross-site Collaboration, subcontractors
Construction projects take place on a timeline that is artfully coordinated to bring the entire project to completion according to the design and schedule agreed upon in a legally-binding contract.
A project timeline might be similar to the following:
· A designer works with an owner to plan the design.
· The owner approves the design, and it is provided to the chosen general contractor (GC).
· The GC divides the design into tasks and specifications.
· The tasks and specifications are provided to the chosen subcontractors.
· The subcontractors implement their tasks at their appointed point on the timeline, working skillfully in cooperation with others on the project.
· The final project as originally designed is delivered to the owner.
But there are construction challenges that can throw a wrench into the timeline: complexities, delays, clashes, and sourcing the specified materials at the right price in the right timeframe. There are multiple project participants: architects, engineers, BIM modelers, supervisors, multiple contractors, suppliers, inspectors, and a host of others. Coordination and cross-collaboration among the various teams can become a challenge as well because of the shifting mix of roles and responsibilities.
The interaction among teams needs to be efficient – and that efficiency can be achieved by connecting them. For instance, when approvals are streamlined, communication improves, and delays and information deficiencies can be avoided. Products on the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform can help with improved communication. By using a product like BIM Collaborate, for example, costs, technical details, safety, compliance, and jobsite progress can be transparent and optimized.
Learn how to deliver better projects in the guide, “Ways to Deliver Better Projects Using BIM Collaborate Pro,” by Applied Software, Graitec Group.
Most teams realize their information is valuable to others on a project. But they need a way to communicate that information. When a project is connected – relying more on confirmed information in models and databases and less on paper drawings – the connection is valuable to everyone involved and improves project success overall. The results can be:
· Better coordinated jobsites.
· Improved use of information collected.
· Connected data and workflows.
On a connected construction project, when everything is linked, there will be one set of plans/instructions accessible by architects, engineers and potentially dozens of subcontractors. They can all work in close collaboration from a single source of truth for model coordination and document management. Changes and updates will result in a change to the entire model, and production workers can access the changes in real time.
Even though teams and tasks may be dispersed, all the participants can communicate with each other in a timely manner when they’re connected. The disconnected alternative almost always results in subs working on different versions of design drawings, with work that may not align with the overall project. Tearing out and reinstalling work is an all-too-common waste of time and materials. Even workarounds – those extemporaneous onsite inventions – result in waste and uncertainty. While a project with workarounds might be close to the original design and plans, its undocumented inconsistencies can result in trouble eventually.
On the other hand, when BIM Collaborate is used for project management and delivery, multiple teams and companies can connect, share and work on projects at the same time.
Connected platforms like Autodesk Construction Cloud are sure to be at the heart of future construction. They provide greater access to jobsite information, which can be relied upon as the project’s single source of truth. Everyone from the owner to the field workers can be confident they are working from the same information as the project comes together.
Learn more about Autodesk Construction Cloud in the free Applied Software, Graitec Group eBook: The Importance of a Common Data Environment.