There was a time when digital designs and project models resided on individual desktop computers or servers. Back then, sharing models with anyone outside the office was especially challenging. Building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design and construction (VDC) managers were responsible for checking out every clash, big or small, during coordination meetings. The manual process was time-consuming for everyone.
Considering new consumer demands around sustainability and safety, as well as rapid changes in innovation, labor shortages, and supply chain issues, construction projects are becoming more complex every day. Streamlined workflows are key to keeping projects within tighter schedules and budgets. Cloud-based solutions, like the Unified Platform from Autodesk, are an important and necessary component for making this happen.
Access to real-time data through a cloud-based project gives teams the ability to make better-informed decisions on a project. In a McGraw Hill SmartMarket report entitled, “The Business Value of BIM in North America,” about three-quarters of contractors using cloud-based tools reported better collaboration and two-thirds reported improved productivity.
Model coordination in the preconstruction workflow ensures that the design intent can actually be constructed. It includes aligning multiple disciplines to coordinate a construction project so schedule and cost overruns can be avoided. According to the “Sixth Annual JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report,” more than half of general contractors believe model coordination is one of the most important benefits of using a BIM process in the project workflow.
Rework on the typical construction project can account for 20 percent or more of the total cost of completion – cutting into profits. But research has shown that cloud-based construction technology can be the key to reducing rework.
Focusing on continuous improvement can help reduce rework, as described in “A Guide to Construction Rework Reduction,” by the Construction Industry Institute. The guide lists the steps as:
1) Tracking and evaluating rework and the reason behind it
2) Making a plan for corrective action
3) Integrating changes into the project management system
According to a recent JBKnowledge Construction Technology Survey report, fewer than 25 percent of companies use project management software to collect information from the job site, even though data collection on construction projects is critical.
According to the FMI Construction Disconnected Report entitled, “The High Cost of Poor Data and Miscommunication,” mobile devices, apps, and software on construction job sites have resulted in the industry being, “ripe for digitization,” which could improve productivity. The report explains ways technology can reduce the miscommunication caused by poor project data that accounts for up to half of the rework on projects.