Blog written by Josh Baysinger, Findorff Virtual Construction Manager
The way organizations do business is changing. In today's digital age, information is easily accessible and digestible, requiring organizations to change the way they communicate. At Findorff, we are experiencing this firsthand. Our in-house Virtual Construction team has helped us adapt, allowing us to view what a space may look like before a shovel hits the ground.
Not so long ago, having digital plans in our hands through a tablet was mind blowing. We could virtually manage a building's construction without pages and pages of blueprints. Digital plans are still part of our job, but we have evolved. Today, virtual construction is comprised of innovative practices, ranging from building information modeling (BIM) to augmented reality (AR), helping us coordinate building systems and analyze data.
To make this possible, we strategically leverage our top five virtual construction methods, which are:
- Look at virtual construction from different perspectives: Findorff's virtual construction team is comprised of a diverse group. Our team has registered architects, licensed drones pilots, video-game technology experts, and those with direct field experience. Such expertise offers various insights into the construction process.
- Follow an integrated process: Through BIM and cross-functional collaboration, our data has a role in budgetary decisions, concept visualization, safety awareness, and field production. By integrating all steps, we are able to educate owners and facility staff about their new spaces.
- Use virtual construction throughout all project phases: From preconstruction to project turnover, virtual construction plays a major role. Early on, we create realistic visualizations that help building owners understand their facilities in terms of form and function. By the time construction is underway, we perform everything from sequencing studies to coordinating mechanical systems. This ensures our projects run efficiently and on schedule. Even after punch lists are complete and owners are ready to occupy their facilities, our team uses various tools to help building owners operate and manage their spaces.
- Create added value through technology: In today's digital age, technology is king. By utilizing tools such as drones and advanced software, the value added can range from strategic site utilization to schedule analysis. In turn, we are able to foster efficiency and accuracy throughout design, construction, and operations.
- Collaborate with building owners and key stakeholders: Through virtual construction, we are able to develop renderings and animations, plus use AR. These practices allow building owners and key stakeholders to visualize their buildings. For example, we used AR for Pope Farm Elementary School in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. In the image at the top of this page, the School's future principal was able to preview a model of the space she was standing directly in during construction.
Using our methods with virtual construction can provide significant ROI, such as:
- Accurate estimates and potential reduction in construction costs
- Increased engagement with clients and industry partners for a better understanding of project goals
- Ability to anticipate building issues, which allows for solution planning before construction starts
- Visualization of a facility's design to identify any necessary changes
- Seamless project delivery throughout the entire construction process
- Increased safety through the analysis of site conditions before and during construction
Such benefits can help your project stay on schedule and within budget. In the digital age, we are continuing to evolve, with the goal to be a valued resource and collaborative partner.
Want to learn more about how virtual construction is used in the industry? Check out this blog!