Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming increasingly process-related and software use is becoming democratized within our operations staff. Engineers are taking on tasks previously completed by construction modelers, and recent construction management graduates likely already know how to use BIM software and tools before they begin their careers.
The adoption of the latest Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies is widespread at PCL.
BIM tools address traditional construction tasks, but in a new medium. Construction project teams need to stay lean to remain competitive and, at PCL, we are pushing more of this work to the engineering staff. I am not saying there is not a role on a project for a BIM manager—large projects especially require a full-time BIM coordinator or manager—but the day-to-day tasks of lift drawings, MEP coordination, etc., can now be allocated among the engineering staff. Traditionally, these are tasks are championed by field and project engineers.
EASING THE PAIN OF CHANGE
At PCL we have begun implementing a training and development program to integrate BIM knowledge across the scope of our project teams. New applications, tools, and workflows automate much of the project start-up and maintenance of model and digital document management. These apps will streamline mundane work, setup, and file management that accompany the use of Revit, AutoCAD and Navisworks. We are also developing construction templates for our project teams, alleviating the need for our staff to be Revit experts. These changes increase the efficiency of all our project teams.
TRAINING THE ENTIRE TEAM
We recently hired a Virtual Construction software specialist to serve our entire organization. He will develop and deploy training and teach our engineers to use BIM software packages and to understand the workflows associated with them, along with other applications that have been developed in-house at PCL. Technical training will include point and click, process-oriented training for software and applications. We are starting with Navisworks (building systems coordination), Revit (model management and work package creation), and Synchro (4D) for our custom training development. This approach to change management is the most effective way for our operations to become even more proficient with BIM technologies and to supply our organization with a level of quality and standard operating procedures on how to employ them.
Education is critical for any cultural change to be successful. To that end we have recently developed an internal training curriculum for our employees that discusses what is taking place with technology in the construction industry and how PCL is responding to and guiding the change. It explores what these changes mean for the design community, the various roles at PCL (from field engineer to vice president) for our PCL projects, and the technologies, processes, and cultural shifts that are central to this change.
Technology is changing fast and we have to be able to respond to it quickly and effectively.