Improving Tower Crane Operations with Virtual Design and Construction

August 8, 2018


I recently represented B&G Equipment and Supply (BGES) at the Tower Cranes North America Conference, an event that provided a unique leaning and networking opportunity for the tower crane community. The event was held in Miami, Florida, and was organized by KHL Group and its magazines, American Cranes & Transport and International Cranes and Specialized Transport, and the partner association for the event, Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association. I had the opportunity to co-present at the conference with my fellow employee, Brasfield & Gorrie Director of Innovation Russ Gibbs.

The goal of our presentation was to share personal experiences about how we have implemented building information modeling (BIM) processes to better integrate crane operations with our preconstruction and construction teams. Increased awareness of the importance of proper planning and communication around tower crane assembly on construction projects is a strategic area of focus for us, and we hope that our success will help guide the entire crane industry in a positive direction.

Virtual Building

Piedmont Hospital: Virtual Building Process

The collaboration between BGES and Brasfield & Gorrie’s Virtual Design and Construction Department is centered around the concept of including actual crane models in overall project BIM simulations (overlaying in-house parametric crane models with project models and drone data). As the planning phase of a project begins, models, including all aspects of the construction process, are being created and shared by the design team to provide more accurate detail and planning. In the past, equipment was one of the last components to be considered in the planning stages of a project. The current intent is for equipment to be part of the initial plan.

The execution of these concepts involves all major stakeholders in the BIM process, which has in turn created increased communication, increased accuracy, and safer projects for Brasfield & Gorrie. Specifically, BGES has seen an impact in the areas of mobilization safety, tieback coordination, and efficiency of hoisting design.

Key software programs used in this process include Revit, Navisworks, BOX, Plangrid, Assemble Systems, DJI, DroneDeploy, Enscape, and VIVE.

To view our presentation in its entirety, click here.


JR Moran speaking at Tower Cranes North America ConferenceAbout the Author:

JR Moran started his career 14 years ago with B&G Equipment and Supply, a division of Brasfield & Gorrie, and currently serves as director of crane operations. He manages strategic industry relationships and oversees crane and hoist asset management for B&G Equipment and Supply’s fleet of 24 tower cranes, five crawler cranes, four hydraulic cranes, and 22 hoists. Moran graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2004 with a degree in Industrial Distribution and earned his MBA from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2015.