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Saturday, November 7, 2009

BIM helps identify mistakes early on in construction at Woodstock, Ontario hospital – Daily Commercial News

Repost: http://dcnonl.com/article/id36022

Woodstock General Hospital

WOODSTOCK GENERAL HOSPITAL

Paul Loreto is working with EllisDon to develop a BIM model for Woodstock General Hospital.

BIM helps identify mistakes early on in construction at Woodstock, Ontario hospital

WOODSTOCK, Ont.

The use of building information modeling technology is becoming more commonplace but most using it are not putting enough information into the model, says the chair of the Canada BIM Council.

The ability to create a live database of a building’s structure is BIM’s main advantage, says Paul Loreto.

“You can be as definitive as right down to the brick coursing if you wanted to model it that way,” he says, admitting it would be highly impractical.

However, a high level of detail does create advantages ranging from costing and quantity surveying “right down to showing clients low level pretty pictures.”

Loreto’s London, Ont. firm is working with EllisDon to develop a BIM model for the new Woodstock General Hospital, which broke ground in 2008. The $160 million, three-storey, 350,000 square foot multi-service facility will have room for 178 beds when completed 2011.

“We started off being a virtual general contractor where we would build the hospital virtually with the same methodology as the contractor would in reality,” says Loreto, noting the model was begun shortly after ground was broken.

It has been used to flush out problems “so that the contractor can proactively resolve these before they become issues on site in reality.”

The building’s long-term facilities manager, Honeywell Systems, will also use the model to track the life cycle of mechanical and electrical systems.

Alfonso Balassone, EllisDon’s southwestern Ontario operations manager, says all the manufacturing information for the different components can be imbedded into the model, including manufacturers’ websites to facilitate parts ordering.

Working with other computer programs, the model can even track how long a particular component has been in operation and automatically estimate when its parts need to be replaced.

Balassone says design teams incorporating BIM methods would hold advantages for future design-build-finance-maintain infrastructure Ontario projects.

The information can be distributed to sub trades, manufacturers and suppliers so they in turn can work to develop details “so that inconsistencies and gaps can become more readily apparent in the shop drawing review process.”

Previously in construction, there was only one opportunity to build something right, he notes. BIM technology means another opportunity, only it’s in a virtual world where problems are a lot less expensive to fix.

In future, trades may even see documents given to them on a media format such as a flash drive or a memory stick that contains a three-dimensional model that can help them not only calculate the quantities needed and develop an estimate but also develop logistical sequencing of a job.

The technology benefits everyone involved in a project, he says.

“It’s about utilizing everyone’s time efficiently because someone’s done it so you’re going to benefit from the person before you doing the work to give you the information you need instead of having you spend a lot of time calculating all that quantity – it’s already been done for you by the previous person that’s worked on the model.”

Familiarizing the sub trades with the approach, and conveying the message they don’t need to redo the model in two-dimensional drawings is what Balassone anticipates will be the greatest hurdle in the wide scale adoption of BIM. The London District Construction Association is launching a BIM training program aimed at sub trades and suppliers’ detailers.

“That’s the biggest challenge right now, the people challenge.”

Source: BIM helps identify mistakes early on in construction at Woodstock, Ontario hospital – Daily Commercial News

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