Early BIM Adopter Evaluates Best New Solutions for the Industry
(POMPANO BEACH, Fla.) — NEWS: Current Builders (www.currentbuilders.com) was one of the first construction companies to embrace BIM (Building Information Modeling), now the innovative construction company is evaluating a variety of advanced tech tools, seeking the best new solutions to improve productivity. The award-winning company, based in south Florida, recently opened a new office in Sarasota. This expansion has fueled the need for even more advanced software, wearables and robotics to effectively enhance integration and coordination.
“Current Builders’ Innovation Team evaluates the newest tech advances and determines which products we should incorporate on our projects,” explained CEO Michael C. Taylor. “Recently, we invested in several new platforms to increase our productivity and support our company’s expansion.”
Current Builders has incorporated several new programs including Tekla Structures, MWF Pro for wood framing, Open Space AI, Procore Coordination Issues, Panels Plus semi-automated wall panel equipment, and the Trimble Robotic Total Station.
“Powerful and collaborative platforms that solve industry issues in a dynamic new way intrigue me the most,” said Kar Ho, BIM / Virtual Design & Construction Manager.
Tekla Structures appealed to Ho because it helps the company be faster and more accurate with its estimation process, while also allowing team members outside the BIM realm to use the program.
“This 3-D structural program allows accurate modeling before the construction phase,” he explained. “And now, we can react faster to required changes while we are still in pre-con, saving us time and money.”
Current Builder’s expansion to the west coast of Florida meant a dramatic increase in wood frame construction. To better support this, they have been utilizing MWF PRO, a new modeling software.
“This Revit add-on gives us an increased level of detail, which is necessary as wood is much more sensitive than our standard concrete forms,” Ho explained. “What we have found particularly beneficial is the intertrade clash detection. Now, our trade partners are well-aware of wood components and can coordinate their vertical penetrations to avoid wood studs. It also allows us to create accurate cut and count estimates for the reduction of wood cost and waste.”
In addition, Current Builders has purchased semi-automated wall panel equipment from industry leader Panels Plus. Prefabricated wall panels produced in a controlled environment are an excellent alternative to traditional stick framing as they shorten the production schedule, reduce material waste and lower on-site labor costs.
Another tech addition inspired by the west coast expansion is the use of Open Space AI. This 360-degree camera is installed on a team member’s hard hat, and as he walks around, the job site is fully captured and mapped to the plans automatically.
“This tech tool allows us to manage field-to-office communication in a much more efficient manner,” said Ho. “Now, we can document the site frequently with ease and see what has been accomplished every day. This provides upper management with faster access, allowing quicker decisions based on field conditions.”
Another software advancement the team has been employing is the Coordination Issues tool from Procore, a popular software utilized by Current Builders and throughout the industry. This new add-on graphically organizes every documentation about an issue with the click of a button.
“Before we had to sort through numerous documents, now all of that is synched and stored in one place so we can see every issue and its resolution status,” he said. “So, if there is a wall with a clash regarding the HVAC, we can see everything about this issue at once, saving us a tremendous amount of time. The biggest time saver is being able to set a pin on a plan so the superintendent can figure out where the issues are graphically and not have to search amongst hundreds of documents to find it.”
Saving time is one of the key reasons to implement new tech and for Ho, the Trimble Robotic Station is a terrific tool especially on massive projects such as the Uptown Boca development, which features both retail and residential components being built simultaneously.
“Once all the buildings are uploaded into the model, the robot will find anything you are looking for. At Modera Cornerstone, we are using precast panels on the garage. These panels slide in and are held in place with big bolt imbeds, but the bolts are installed in dirt long before the panels arrive, which can make them difficult to locate and install especially with an installation tolerance of 1/4 inch. But the Total Station can find them easily, saving us time. On that project, we did not miss one imbed location which is usually par for the course in that kind of construction.”
For Ho, the rapid advancement of new tech is making the construction industry one of the hottest fields of the future. “The evolution of construction over the next decade will truly be historic,” said Ho. “While there will be many futuristic-style advances, the growth of software platforms that support pre-construction and site coordination are also revolutionary. Being part of the process of evaluating what applications will be most beneficial and cost-effective for our company is truly exciting.”
For more information please visit www.currentbuilders.com
About Current Builders:
Current Builders is an award-winning general contractor, established in 1972 with average annual revenues in excess of $250 million. The firm specializes in multi-family residential projects, healthcare facilities, office/warehouse buildings, commercial distribution facilities, parking garages, interior build-outs, interior and exterior renovations, all included as turnkey projects inclusive of the construction of the buildings and related site work.
Related link: http://www.currentbuilders.com/
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