Leveraging BIM to Drive a Collaborative Preconstruction Process

Brasfield & Gorrie was recently awarded Georgia’s largest healthcare project to date, the 874,000 sq ft Piedmont Atlanta Tower. With the aid of innovative technology, our Preconstruction Department took a unique approach to estimating the first phase of the project. A strong integration of virtual design from the start, a highly effective collaboration effort, and an emphasis on self-perform are driving efficiency and accuracy on the massive project.

At the outset, Brasfield & Gorrie’s Virtual Design + Construction (VD+C) team maximized the use of building information modeling (BIM) technology to produce estimates by collaborating with our Estimating team as well as Uzun+Case Engineering and HKS Architects. Together, the project team integrated software systems Autodesk A360/Revit, Assemble, and iSqFt. They divided the BIM models into very specific, usable views that would help estimators and subcontractors collaborate. This level of integration at the project outset is on the leading edge of technology trends in construction.

“The first thing we like to do is understand the constructability of the job,” said Senior VD+C Coordinator Contessa Hayter. “We used the models to create multiple views in the Assemble platform. By doing this, we were able to generate model-based quantities and create visuals to help the client understand what was represented in the estimate.”

The collaborative project team loaded various 3D model views to iSqFt’s Bid Management platform. This allowed them to share the views quickly with their preferred subcontractors and work together to derive a more accurate estimate. The 3D models identified several locations where materials were omitted in 2D drawings, and the team was able to make adjustments before submitting the estimate.

While surveying the scope of self-perform concrete on such a large-scale project, the team used the models to understand lift and pour sequences and create drawings to involve project managers, superintendents, and field engineers as early in the process as possible.

The VD+C team is also coordinating with the project team to implement other frontline technologies on the project, including integrated drone flights; parametric, in-house crane models for site logistics and safety planning; and virtual reality for patient room mock-ups and structural review.

With innovative technologies helping along the way, construction is in full force on this new hospital tower, which will be the future home of the Marcus Heart and Vascular Center and will be completed in 2021.

Brasfield & Gorrie team members shared in-depth insights about how BIM helped drive a collaborative preconstruction process on this project during a webinar from Assemble Systems and iSqFt. View the webinar to learn more.

View a fly-through of the new Piedmont Atlanta Tower