Within the industrial arena, owners today are looking to construction firms to provide a higher level of detail on the planning work their projects require. Graycor Industrial Constructors' investment in Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) technology has allowed for a more collaborative and integrated planning effort that is helping bridge the gap between initial planning and final construction.
Before construction work begins, the drive for cost certainty is making the planning process for industrial projects more extensive than ever before. Project stakeholders today want proof that the price submitted at time of bid will be the actual cost, and not just a ballpark figure. As Graycor's construction teams look for ways to more thoroughly document the resources and processes that will be needed for the many different components of a project, VDC is proving to be a powerful construction tool. Brent Genseke, Lift Engineer at Graycor Industrial Constructors states: "Today, we see a greater number of clients looking to us for more than just a price. There are times when we are expected to show very detailed plans that demonstrate how work will be performed, including what clearances will be available for our cranes and equipment and how site access will be addressed." Genseke adds: "With VDC, we can now take an owner's conceptual 3D model, import scaled construction equipment, and add scheduling and budget information to create a fully integrated construction planning tool." This tool can then be used to view 3D animations of the project construction, side-by-side with related budget and scheduling information to provide owners with a comprehensive look at the entire project and inspire confidence in schedules, pricing and approach.
The VDC process is proving to be valuable, not only for its planning power, but also for its benefits in managing the onsite construction of a project. The highly regulated nuclear industry has been especially supportive of VDC. The strict safety requirements and complex work authorization procedures that this industry requires have made VDC a powerful tool for managing construction work. Once construction teams have been chosen, project management personnel can review planned job site processes weeks in advance, even before arriving on site. This helps owners evaluate planned work procedures and help construction teams gather an accurate sense of their daily labor and scheduling needs, all while adhering to the strict safety procedures that accompany nuclear projects.
As VDC continues to develop, Graycor sees incredible value in its use as a comprehensive planning and construction management tool. The far-reaching benefits of the VDC today include its use for cost verification, visualizations and construction scheduling, but the technology continues to evolve and open doors to new opportunities. From the earliest stages of design, through the building process and into facilities management, construction and technology will continue to go hand-in-hand to safely deliver higher quality projects that are more cost-effective and schedule-focused than ever before.