Following the old adage “measure twice, cut once,” Batson-Cook’s VDC team leverages BIM – the practice of creating 3D models of buildings prior to construction – to facilitate construction, trade coordination, team collaboration, preconstruction quantification, building analysis, and construction sequence optimization. This results in projects that are cost and time efficient because potential field issues are resolved prior to the start of construction, which can dramatically reduce RFIs and change orders.
Our expertise in BIM technology combined with more than a century of knowledge and experience is a formula for a lean and successful project.
At the core of BIM are 3D models, which are digital representations of the building projects. Batson-Cook uses the conceptual or schematic project drawings to creates 3D models in-house. These are used for several purposes, including: photorealistic renderings; 3D site logistics layouts; 4D scheduling; constructability reviews; and BIM coordination of MEP/FP systems. These models are available to our field teams through web-based software that allows them to view and navigate through the 3D model on their hand-held devices. This helps the team to identify issues and ensure quality work on the site.
Batson-Cook continually strives to improve our processes to ensure that we deliver the results our clients expect and do what we say we are going to do: deliver projects on time, on budget and accurate to the contract documents. One of the many tools that we use to accomplish this is 4-D scheduling. By integrating the construction schedule with comprehensive 3-D BIM models, we provide detailed visual representations of the construction sequence that assists owners in gaining a better understanding of the project and the schedule. The 4-D schedule also assists our field team and trade partners with site logistics planning and can also be used to track construction progress and provide a snapshot of where construction should be at any point during the project.
As part of Batson-Cook’s commitment to quality, BIM coordination – or clash detection – is performed on projects prior to the start of construction. Models either built in-house or received from design teams, are combined with 3D shop drawing files produced by our trade partners to create a coordination model that is then used to analyze the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems. Any conflicts between these systems are identified and resolved prior to fabrication. We also provide this coordinated model as part of our close-out documents to our clients if they so desire.
Batson-Cook leverages today’s technology of models, drones and, satellite imagery to enhance and more accurately plan the most efficient and safe approach to constructing our client’s projects. The VDC group works close with operations teams, pre-construction, to layout crane locations, delivery routes, public safety initiatives, job site boundaries, and the overall flow of the job.
Metal Wood Framer, known in the industry as MWF, is a Revit add-on tool that gives Batson-Cook the ability to coordinate projects in our wood-frame division during preconstruction. This powerful tool has the ability to allow us to lay-out every framing member across the entire job.
Batson-Cook’s VDC group is directly tied into the company’s in-depth Field Engineering program. The VDC group provides the field engineers the training on the most up-to-date equipment and CAD software to streamline layout and work verification. This guarantees a higher quality final product at turnover.
With current technology there are a wealth of ways to capturing the built environment, from 360 cameras and drones to laser scanners. Batson-Cook has vast experience utilizing all of them on projects. All these forms of reality capture serve different purposes, but all are very relevant to the construction process. 360-degree photos provide a great way of capturing as-built conditions in a quick and easy form for preconstruction or project closeout. Drones offer a different perspective in documenting the construction process by providing aerial photos, as well as progress modeling using a technique called photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is simply taking many photos of a project from all different angles and stitching them together to produce a model and point cloud. This gives us a unique opportunity to track progress, as well as complete quantity takeoff of earthwork. Laser scanning is another tool that can be used in conjunction with 360-degree photos and drones. The result is a very detailed and accurate point cloud. With this point cloud, we can measure as-built conditions, create as-built models from the point cloud (scan-to-BIM), as well as document what we install as as-builts for future reference.