November 30, 2012
October 8, 2012
BIM is being used to construct the West 7th Street Bridge project in Fort Worth, Texas, as shown above. Sundt is a recognized expert in applying BIM to horizontal construction projects, a process known as Virtual Design and Construction, or VDC.
Building complex, difficult projects is one thing. Communicating plans for those projects so that owners can visualize and understand them ahead of time is its own challenge – particularly when it comes to heavy civil construction such as roads, bridges, rail and other infrastructure.
Sundt is using building information modeling (BIM), a standard construction technology, in novel ways to solve this problem. By utilizing BIM as a communication tool during the proposal process, we have distinguished ourselves as an industry leader when it comes to innovation and creativity. The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore., is a great example of the innovative use of BIM in action.
This brief video, created by Autodesk (makers of 3D design software for the engineering, design and construction industries), explains how Sundt is pushing the capabilities of BIM beyond its original purpose.
August 10, 2012
Prefabrication – made possible through an innovative combination of BIM and Lean – saved the owner $2 million on ISTB 4.
Most contractors utilize Building Information Modeling (BIM) and many make use of Lean Construction (a scheduling approach that maximizes efficiency and minimizes waste – great for tight schedules), but not many integrate the two. The few that do, like Sundt, offer enormous advantages to their clients because the skillful integration of BIM and Lean translates to significant savings of both time and money that wouldn’t have been possible using just one method alone.
Sundt’s Director of Construction Technology, Dan Russell, provided a great example of the successful combination of BIM and Lean in a presentation he made recently to the Arizona Chapter of the Lean Construction Institute. In it, he showed how Sundt saved the Arizona Board of Regents $2 million on the recently completed Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB 4) at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. ISTB 4 is a $112 million, state-of-the-art research and educational facility.
“With Lean, instead of a superintendent creating a master schedule and handing it to the subs, he builds a baseline schedule with milestones and then works with the subs to complete the schedule through a series of pull-planning sessions,” Dan said. “It’s a very detailed process, but it’s invaluable for helping everyone understand where their piece fits into the big picture, who they affect and vice versa. It was especially helpful with ISTB 4.”
After creating the project’s schedule through Lean, Sundt’s team maximized the opportunities for off-site prefabrication with BIM, which Dan calls “a schedule compression tool.” Altogether, prefabrication saved $2 million in general conditions (money that went directly back to the owner) and eliminated 16 weeks of construction time from the schedule. The team was able to pre-fabricate:
- 100 percent of the ductwork and
- 30 percent of the plumbing working with Dynamic Systems, Inc.
- 90 percent of the fire protection working with RCI Systems, Inc.
- Five percent of the electrical working with Wilson Electric Services Corp.
- The building’s north and west facades were prefabricated off-site by KT Fabrication, Inc.
- Nearly all of the building’s laboratory components with its electrical, process piping and teledata interfaces were fabricated off-site by ISEC, Inc.
“Lean was crucial for developing the project’s ultra-aggressive schedule,” Dan concluded. “We couldn’t have met it without the prefabrication, and we couldn’t have done the prefabrication without BIM. Using BIM and Lean together was the perfect approach.”
August 8, 2012
DPR-Sundt, a joint venture, recently completed the new Health Sciences Education Building in Phoenix. The project allows the University of Arizona's College of Medicine to expand its student population, thereby helping relieve a national physician shortage.
Many of Sundt’s healthcare clients report that they are dealing with the greatest challenges the industry has seen in at least 30 years. Rising costs, reduced reimbursement, physician shortages, an aging nursing population and new legislated reporting requirements are just of a few of the hurdles they face. The upcoming presidential election adds to the uncertainty about the future.
One thing is clear, however: the delivery of healthcare is changing. The industry is developing primary care space and systems not only to accommodate rising demand, but also to reduce the cost of delivery.
Intense focus is also being placed on reducing the cost of healthcare while increasing its quality. As a healthcare construction expert, Sundt can help owners achieve this goal by reducing the construction costs and long-term operating costs of their facilities.
One way to do this is by reducing waste during the design and construction process through the use of innovative technologies and processes such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the Lean Construction Institute’s Last Planner® system. BIM offers numerous benefits to the design and construction process including the ability to pre-fabricate some building components, which moves the construction process from fabrication-in-place to a more efficient, off-site manufacturing environment. The result is improved schedule, enhanced quality and a safer project. All of this leads to reduced costs during construction and for the long term.
The Last Planner system takes the guesswork out of scheduling by engaging stakeholders (design consultants, owners, subcontractors, etc.) in our scheduling process. Sundt’s healthcare construction leaders hold collaborative meetings that “pull” scheduling and sequence information from designers, subcontractors and suppliers so we can develop the schedule within the required time frame. By engaging stakeholders in the development of the schedule, we also give all parties ownership and accountability to meet these commitments. It truly works!
Our country faces enormous challenges right now, but it also has some of the world’s best resources available to address them. Relying on the expertise of our nation’s top healthcare contractors is one way to ensure that we emerge from this difficult time with a healthier healthcare system.
January 17, 2012
An image from the animated VDC model of Sundt's Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore. The model shows the entire construction sequence and then pauses to demonstrate how traffic flows through the site.
BIM is to vertical construction as VDC is to horizontal construction. If this sounds more like an SAT question to you than a cutting-edge way to build better heavy civil construction projects, read on.
Virtual design and construction (VDC) can transform the construction of horizontal infrastructure projects like highways and bridges. Sundt has become an expert in the use of VDC and the many advantages it offers clients: better communication, fewer change orders and requests for information, the elimination of rework, increased productivity and quality, shortened schedules, creation of computerized as-built drawings and specifications, and – most importantly – reduced costs.
Want to know more? Eric Cylwik and Kevin Dwyer, two Sundt employees who have become leading experts on VDC, have authored an article on the subject that was posted today on the website of ENR magazine. You can find it here.
Dan Russell, Sundt’s director of construction technology, is one of the first people in the country to be certified by the AGC in the use of BIM.
Sundt is pleased to announce that Dan Russell, our director of construction technology, is among the country’s first construction professionals to receive a new national accreditation in the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) offered by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Just 34 people across the country tested successfully to receive the new professional accreditation, known as the Certificate of Management-Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM). It is the first assessment-based credential to recognize construction professionals on their ability to use the process.
“What I have always enjoyed about construction is working with different disciplines on the challenge of converting the intent of the design team into a physical building. With the emergence of BIM over the last few years, we now have a better tool to communicate the intent, work collaboratively as a team and deliver better projects to our clients,” said Russell. “Getting credentialed shows our clients, their designers and our subcontractor partners Sundt’s commitment to using innovative technology to provide the highest quality projects in a cost effective manner.”
Stephen E. Sandher, AGC’s chief executive officer, calls the new credential “a way to recognize professionals who have demonstrated a real mastery of the building information modeling process.”