Each year, the companies and organizations that are utilizing digital design solutions in creative and innovative ways are recognized and rewarded with Autodesk AEC Excellence Awards. The award categories include infrastructure, construction and building design, with small, medium, and large size project awards.
According to Autodesk, these awards are intended to “…recognize projects and people around the world that embrace the future of making with the use of innovative technology including Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Autodesk software in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry.” And the winners of last year’s awards certainly fit that description.
In previous posts on the GovDesignHub, we sat down with 2018 AEC Excellence Award-winner, Skanska, to talk about how their use of BIM solutions enabled them to add on to an existing, operating hospital without impacting the delivery of care to patients. We also talked to BuroHappold about their award-winning BIM usage, which enabled them to embrace a new and innovative approach to project design and construction.
Most recently, the GovDesignHub had the opportunity to sit down with another 2018 AEC Excellence Award-winner when we talked to Helga Christoforatos, the Director of Marketing at Miller Electric Company.
Miller Electric received their AEC Excellence Award because of their exceptional use of BIM to enable the creation and implementation of prefabricated modular assemblies and conduits during the construction of the Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center in downtown Jacksonville, FL. All told, the utilization of BIM solutions and prefabrication enabled Miller Electric to work more quickly and meet the expedited construction timeline of this state-of-the-art medical facility.
Here is what Helga had to say about this exciting project:
Helga Christoforatos: Baptist Health, which serves North Florida and South Georgia, and MD Anderson, the largest freestanding cancer center in the world, joined forces in 2015 to create a new joint cancer program in North Florida. The new 330,000-sq.-ft. freestanding building and associated 250,000-sq.-ft. parking structure situated across the street from the existing facility increased Baptist MD Anderson’s capacity to deliver cutting edge cancer treatment to those in the Jacksonville area and beyond.
The project began on July 11th, 2016 and was completed on July 30th, 2018. As with many of Miller Electric Company’s projects, there are significant challenges that must be addressed throughout the entire construction process. In a healthcare facility in particular, these challenges are met with a higher degree of urgency from all contributing partners. The immediate need for this state-of-the-art cancer facility in the City of Jacksonville required an expedited construction schedule in an incredibly short timeframe.
When construction began, the team did not expect to be sidelined for several days preparing for and dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which flooded most of downtown Jacksonville.
Because construction of this facility took place on one city block of populated space, our team dealt with congestion on the jobsite along with minimal to no laydown storage space. This magnified the need for just-in-time delivery, creating the challenge of coordinating carefully with other teams responsible for the success of this project.
The MD Anderson Cancer Center not only serves the community with the best care imaginable; it stands as an iconic building in Jacksonville’s skyline with many high-end finishes and complex designs. Designing a Medical Office Building (MOB) capable of meeting Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) standards while also planning infrastructure for future expansion, sets this project up to be one of the most high profile facilities this city has seen in a long time.
GovDesignHub: Why does Miller Electric utilize BIM solutions – specifically Revit – for these types of projects? What benefits do they deliver?
Helga Christoforatos: Our BIM team is a cross-functional group comprised of individuals with varying skill, education, demographic, and age levels. The different perspectives provide a remarkable outcome, but can create complete chaos in the absence of healthy and timely communication.
As we developed our standards, we first studied all forms of communication and specifically honed in on each exact point of knowledge transfer. Applying a “5 Why” principle to each, we learned that problems could be solved by modifying our workflow and with the complete utilization of Autodesk products.
Today, we utilize Revit Worksharing, C4R, BIM 360 design, and many other packages to keep the communication protocol we’ve designed operating fluidly. Within these packages, we model, coordinate, clash detect, and signoff as normal. We also create and house all shop drawing packages, spool drawings, as well as track and monitor the process for complete communication through project and field management. Advanced visualizations allow this communication with project and field management to be highly informative for non-BIM staff.
Adoption of our advanced and innovative solutions have been widely and surprisingly accepted. The adoption of innovative solutions can only be driven through the proper formulation of a problem and the clear and constant communication of the prescribed solution. Our workflow and Autodesk products are the key ingredients in this success.
GovDesignHub: Why does Miller Electric use off-site, prefabricated conduit for projects like these? How does Revit make that possible?
Helga Christoforatos: In order to combat congestion and a lack of laydown storage space, creating a workflow that allowed us to ship our prefabricated materials in sequential order according to the construction schedule became our main focus.
On this project, structural and architectural models provided a base for electrical design allowing us to use Autodesk Revit and Schneider Electric’s LayoutFAST Revit plug-in to design the large, modular assemblies. After the modular assemblies were designed in Revit, we used Navisworks to coordinate with our trade partners so that we could anticipate and eliminate potential clash and interference problems before construction in order to minimize expensive delays and rework.
Navisworks’ simple integration with BIM 360 Glue allowed us to upload all of the models to the cloud – making it easy to share our data and workflow with other contributing partners. Recap Pro helped us create a scalable 3D point cloud from our scan data so that we could measure, markup, and communicate throughout the point cloud data and share it with collaborators.
Finally, we used Autocad Point Layout to add coordinate systems that matched the job site and to transfer that data to the robotic total station and our construction field management software. We repeated this process for each area, which allowed us to achieve a workflow that followed the aggressive construction schedule.
GovDesignHub: Where did the concept to utilize prefabricated assemblies come from? What role did Autodesk Revit play in making it possible?
Helga Christoforatos: Before this project began, the VP of our Preconstruction division asked his team “If my son can take a complex set of instructions from LEGO and build a 3,000-piece warship, why can’t we do the same with BIM on our projects, since we’re skilled adults?”
The idea of letting BIM drive prefabrication is the cornerstone of the innovative campaign we used on this project. Because the 3D visualization was so detailed, and our installation tasks were clear, our entire team was able to realize the benefit of having the right approach.
We could not have embraced this approach without Revit because it let us create the building information model we needed. On this project, we were not going to model anything we were not going to prefab, and we were not going to prefab anything that had not been modeled. This allowed us to completely model an area and then visually communicate our expectations. Because we had the building information model, our prefabrication resulted in a 100 percent success rate, simply because the information was so good.
The modular assemblies were prefabricated off-site in ideal conditions at our prefabrication facility just 20 minutes from the MD Anderson jobsite. We were actually building the building at a different time and in a different location, and then spinning it to the jobsite in work packages. Then the material was delivered in large pieces and fitted together just like the blocks in a LEGO set.
Because we are often the last ones to arrive on a jobsite, the new approach we took on this project allowed us to get there sooner – which did wonders for efficiency and safety. When we’re last, we’re dealing with trash and debris and congestion, basically a sloppy environment created by others, and that makes it unsafe. For so many reasons, it was really important for us to get on this jobsite early so that we could control our own destiny.
For additional information about the MD Anderson Cancer Center project, click HERE. For additional details about Autodesk University 2019 and how government users can utilize DLT’s GSA schedule to get discounted passes, click HERE.