Virtual Construction Approach
C.D. Smith utilizes a variety of virtual construction software programs and practices to blend modern technology with the construction process while adding value each step of the way. Our virtual construction process is provided in various stages, from a simple 3D model to an all-inclusive record model complete with schematics, manuals and exact locations, all bundled in a 3D virtual replica of the completed project.
C.D. Smith’s Virtual Construction process is focused on providing comprehensive technology based solutions that produce efficiencies beginning in the earliest pre-construction phases all the way through completion.
C.D. Smith’s Virtual Construction Practices Include:
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
BIM is the practice of creating a 3D construction model of a project that incorporates various aspects of the pre-construction design including: site layout; architectural/structural drawings; mechanical/electrical/plumbing/fire protection systems; interior finishes and in some cases interior equipment and property.
This model is utilized throughout the entire construction life-cycle for planning, visualization, clash detection, phasing/sequencing and estimating. As decisions are made and data is implemented, the model grows into a predictive tool for the entire construction process, reducing the possibility of construction conflicts and schedule setbacks.
Documented Benefits Include:
Utilizing the Building Information Model, rendered images are produced to convey the design intent. These high quality images allow end-users an accurate depiction and even an animated walk-through of what the finished project will look like. Visualization can assist with developing project buy-in, improve project marketing and help to gain community support.
Visual Scheduling (4D)
4D is taking a 3D building information model and attaching the fourth dimension of time to it via a construction schedule. This creates a visual progression of images that demonstrate the phases and sequencing of a project over the course of time. Visual Scheduling provides non-technical stakeholders a clear understanding of what the scope of the project is, when they can expect finished buildings to open and how their current operations might be impacted by the construction.
The benefits of Visual Scheduling are both tangible and intangible. While the savings in cost and schedule, risk reduction, improved quality, reduction of RFIs and claims are tangible, an important intangible gain seems to be in using the models to communicate project parameters to non-technical stakeholders and aid in achieving their buy-in. Communicating changes and exploring viable alternatives is much easier and more comprehensive with the utilization of 4D.
Site Logistics/Utility Relocation/Safety Planning
An added benefit of Visual Scheduling is the ability to implement detailed site/logistical planning, utility relocation planning and the identification of potential safety issues. With an astute understanding of traffic patterns, site and utility layout, modeling can be used to establish guidelines and procedures that will eliminate any unnecessary downtime while protecting on-site personnel and adjacent public/pedestrian traffic.
Simply stated, a more defined model will yield a more accurate estimate. Exact data, including lengths, quantities and counts can be extracted and estimated quickly, providing precise numbers based upon the actual material requirements.
Design Phase Clash Detection/Trade Coordination
After preliminary clash detection, C.D. Smith utilizes the design model as a base. Each individual trade’s model is then integrated with that contractor’s information and adjusted to meet construction compliance. All team members participate in the process, resolving any trade conflicts and ensuring any off-site fabrication is completed accurately the first time. The entire process saves resources and ensures a seamless construction process.
A comprehensive review is completed to ensure that the project’s original design intent is intact while verifying that the owner’s best interests are accounted for. Variables reviewed include: material selection; economic viability; project schedule and completion of all construction documents.
Completed Model of Record
Finally the model serves as an information and reference tool for the life-cycle of the completed building. All data is provided to the owner for ease of facility maintenance, testing and balancing. The completed model may include structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing locations; specifications; and OEM manuals, which may assist in operations maintenance, strategic planning and documentation of the manufacture’s requirements.