“The innovative solutions provided by our Virtual Design + Construction team are transforming the way we approach planning, design, and construction on our projects today and the way we think about tomorrow.”

– Jeff Stone, Executive Vice President

All VDC Services

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Florida Hospital Apopka

Brasfield & Gorrie is fully compliant with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations required to operate UAS commercially and was one of the first general contractors in Alabama to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration Section 333 exemption to operate drones for business purposes.

Brasfield & Gorrie’s use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has given us an entirely new perspective on our projects. From simple aerial progress photos and video to rich 3D maps for quality control and inspection, the information provided by UAS is an increasingly valuable tool on our construction sites. Data acquired by drones enhances every phase and aspect of construction, from preconstruction to personnel safety. At Brasfield & Gorrie, this technology is not a future concept; it’s a part of our daily process, enhancing our project teams’ efficiency and performance in meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

During construction at Florida Hospital Apopka, our team used UAS technology to topographically survey the 60+ acre site in a matter of hours. The size of the site made it a great candidate for drone mapping, since measuring the elevations of the earthwork using traditional methods would have been expensive and time consuming.

Using a drone to map the area allowed the team to assess earthwork on the site much more quickly compared to traditional methods, while also providing a higher degree of detail. Overall, the use of drone mapping resulted in significant time and cost savings for the project.

Laser Scanning: Ronald McDonald House

At Brasfield & Gorrie, we utilize laser scanning to produce accurate, to-scale representations of physical work in the field, then overlay those representations with the virtual construction models we use to plan projects prior to construction. Quality control is one of the most significant reasons for our laser scanning efforts and the reason we implemented this process for the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta, Georgia. The three-story treehouse is supported by a steel structure surrounded by prefabricated CNC-cut wood panels that make up the trunk of the tree. To coordinate the work, the laser scanning was completed in three phases: before fabrication of the steel, after steel erection, and after installation of the prefabricated panels. The scans were used to finalize each panel’s shape to coordinate with the steel structure, existing building systems, fire sprinkler, and electrical work. In addition, capturing the space digitally through the scan and overlaying those images with the virtual construction models gave the team a powerful medium for visualizing the final aesthetics of the treehouse prior to installation, allowing time to adjust the construction to meet the intended design.

Spatial Systems Coordination:
Georgia Aquarium Sea Lion Renovation

One of the most complex types of construction, aquariums offer unique challenges for construction teams. For the renovation of the Georgia Aquarium’s Sea Lion exhibit, we used a variety of VDC services—including laser scanning, spatial coordination, 4D scheduling, site logistics, prefabrication planning, self-perform modeling, and robotic layout—to improve quality and execution. As a result, we identified an array of issues, inconsistencies, and conflicts, preempting problems that would have been discovered in the field and allowing the design documents to be updated ahead of construction.

This approach also provided the information our MEP/FP subcontractors needed to confidently and precisely prefabricate their systems as well as streamline delivery and installation.

The increased accuracy, efficiency, and productivity yielded substantial savings in time and money for all stakeholders.

Virtual Design + Construction Services

  • Model-Based Quantity Survey

    Model-Based Quantity Survey

    Brasfield & Gorrie is known for its preconstruction expertise, and VDC plays an important role in enhancing those services by helping to ensure accurate cost and schedule evaluations and to establish a plan for successful construction. We know that the project begins with preconstruction and that implementing virtual technology from the beginning increases the success of the project as it moves forward. During the preconstruction phase, Brasfield & Gorrie provides a variety of VDC services, from model-based safety reviews to scheduling animations of the construction process. We also offer quantity surveys from architect-provided models as well as models created by our VDC team. We can do this because we collaborate effectively with design teams up front, creating a seamless workflow. This is particularly beneficial in any work we self-perform, especially concrete construction.

  • Spatial Systems Coordination

    Spatial Systems Coordination

    At Brasfield & Gorrie, we understand that the construction or renovation of a building is just the beginning of the bigger picture: the functionality and maintenance of the building over the course of its life cycle. As a result, we have implemented a model-based approach to spatial systems coordination (SSC) to ensure that building systems are designed, coordinated, and installed in ways that support the long-term maintenance and service needs of each project while providing efficiencies in material use and installation practices during construction.

    As the foundation to Brasfield & Gorrie’s VDC process, SSC focuses on the planning and routing of building systems such as structure, building envelope, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection. With highly skilled VDC coordinators leading model development and coordination activities, we eliminate conflicts and ensure exceptional quality in a virtual environment before ever stepping foot on the project site. We also maintain a broad view of the project that focuses first and foremost on the needs of our clients.

  • Site Logistics

    Site Logistics

    Safety and communication are paramount on Brasfield & Gorrie projects. To help ensure safety on our jobsites, we design and clearly communicate each site’s layout through site utilization plans. These easy-to-understand visual plans are born during the preconstruction phase, when Brasfield & Gorrie begins determining how to optimize the jobsite for safety, efficiency, and organization. The plans are kept current throughout all phases of construction, with regular updates reflecting changes such as zoning, routes, and pathways. By calling attention to specific areas, including crane paths, delivery zones, chemical disposal and storage areas, jobsite boundaries, and parking zones, these plans help our workers to become familiar with the most relevant areas of a site quickly. In addition, with clear illustrations of the site, external personnel and visitors can find their way more easily and can quickly identify safety zones for emergency situations. To provide maximum clarity, our virtual models are often overlaid on satellite imagery for the most accurate visual representation of the physical environment.

  • Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality (VR)

    With virtual reality (VR), owners, architects, engineers, and project teams can experience the project as if they were physically present within it. This virtual firsthand experience gives all stakeholders a better understanding of the project vision, including details such as finishes and systems, ultimately spurring insight about the best way to build and deliver the final product. The simplest and most cost-effective of these technologies utilizes a smartphone in conjunction with a handheld viewer that utilizes a hyperlink to access the VR model, while more in-depth solutions include head-mounted displays that immerse users in fully detailed and realistic environments.

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

    Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

    Brasfield & Gorrie is fully compliant with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations required to operate UAS commercially and was one of the first general contractors in Alabama to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration Section 333 exemption to operate drones for business purposes.

    To better support our projects, Brasfield & Gorrie is equipped with a fleet of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones. These leading-edge tools enable our project teams to gather information rapidly during all phases of construction in a safe, economical, and practical way.

    Brasfield & Gorrie’s use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has given us an entirely new perspective on our projects. From simple aerial progress photos and video to rich 3D maps for quality control and inspection, the information provided by UAS is an increasingly valuable tool on our construction sites. Data acquired by drones enhances every phase and aspect of construction, from preconstruction to personnel safety. At Brasfield & Gorrie, this technology is part of our daily process, enhancing our project teams’ efficiency and performance in meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

    Our in-house UAS capabilities range from capturing general aerial photos and video to generating detailed 3D models of entire sites. Useful for safety, scheduling, and project management, these rich outputs provide a medium for immersive progress updates, low-risk quality control inspections, and information for understanding changing site conditions. With precise UAS mapping, our teams can collaborate around a simple web link, creating annotations and taking measurements that can be shared swiftly and easily. By capturing current conditions on the jobsite, UAS can give our project teams actionable insight to make critical decisions in real time.

  • Self-Performance

    Self-Performance

    Brasfield & Gorrie’s self-performance capabilities give us a competitive advantage and direct control over cost, schedule, quality, and safety. Brasfield & Gorrie provides models for a number of self-performance services, such as concrete and site utility work. Modeling projects for self-performance work begins in preconstruction and evolves throughout the life span of a project. Creating our own 3D virtual representation of what will physically be built allows us to track changes, divide models for sequencing and phasing, provide quantity takeoff for material orders, hold virtual constructability reviews, perform field layout, maintain historical data tracking, overlay laser scans for renovation or addition work, document and verify quality control efforts, and provide the model to the owner for as-built information at the end of the project. With this enhanced ability to control and manage our self-performance work, we can operate more efficiently and outperform our competitors.

  • 4D Modeling

    4D Modeling

    Brasfield & Gorrie combines planning, lean, and VDC expertise to enhance our accuracy and optimize workflow during construction. Four-dimensional (4D) scheduled models are imperative for site logistics planning, phasing visualization, detailed quantity and labor analysis, and progress reviews. We integrate our models with our Last Planner scheduling process, eliminating redundancies and ensuring that our projects are planned appropriately. All information in the field is tracked and integrated within our construction models so that these models can be fully utilized throughout the duration of the project and ultimately throughout the life cycle of the building.

  • Laser Scanning

    Laser Scanning

    Understanding in detail what is within an environment can be the key to accurately and efficiently recreating it, re-envisioning it, and working within it. The technology behind reality capture, otherwise known as laser scanning, has advanced tremendously over the past few years, and Brasfield & Gorrie has been on the forefront throughout its evolution. We own and utilize a variety of scanners to assist in many different areas of our work. With an extensive list of applications, realty capture can add value in every stage of a project. From coordination, QA/QC, and as-built conditions to safety, insurance, and structural member analysis, our uses for laser scanning continue evolving as we examine each project to determine where the technology can provide the most value and tailor our solutions to optimize it.

  • Safety

    Safety

    Because safety is Brasfield & Gorrie’s top core value, we use all our resources to enhance the safety of our projects. In an initiative that we refer to as Think Zero + BIM, we utilize the model for safety planning from the preconstruction phase throughout construction to ensure a safe and efficient working environment. During preconstruction, the Safety Department uses the model for visualization in planning meetings, hazard forecasting, site logistics planning, and traffic pattern planning. Once construction has begun, the model is also used for site-specific safety training, underground utility coordination and strike prevention, and overhead coordination safety planning. With a continual emphasis on employee and site safety, Brasfield & Gorrie’s Think Zero + BIM initiative provides another vehicle for implementing safety best practices on every Brasfield & Gorrie jobsite.

  • Research and Development

    Research and Development

    As a leader in our industry, Brasfield & Gorrie continually looks for better, safer, and more efficient ways to build our projects. To find and develop new and creative solutions for adding value for our clients, we ask ourselves, “How can we look at construction differently?” Finding answers to this question has positioned us at the forefront of many leading-edge areas of construction technology, such as virtual safety walk-throughs, robotic construction layout, virtual and augmented reality, and unmanned aerial systems. As a self-performing contractor, Brasfield & Gorrie evaluates concepts and methods with a field-ready lens because we understand the feasibility and practicality of jobsite implementation. We assess the needs of our field operations teams and the available technology to find optimal solutions for a better way to build.

  • Prefabrication Planning

    Prefabrication Planning

    Like lean construction, prefabrication and pre-assembly are quickly becoming prevalent in the construction industry. Brasfield & Gorrie strives to produce the most efficient and timely product possible, employing all three of these methods to increase productivity. Prefabrication and pre-assembly can refer to many things, from bundling materials to pre-assembling overhead corridor rack systems to installing pods that were manufactured completely off site. We perform many of these tasks in a controlled environment, where the elements are not a factor. Determining which components to prefabricate or pre-assemble and the time frames necessary for production and integration takes substantial planning and coordination. To achieve this, we utilize a virtual process to coordinate all prefabricated systems and develop a plan that allows our team of project managers, superintendents, and subcontractors to communicate the vision to the entire team. This plan is then executed through model-developed shop drawings, communication, and complete team buy-in. The use of the virtual model to achieve a plan to prefabricate any component of the project is critical to the success of the prefabrication process.

  • Model-Based Layout

    Model-Based Layout

    Brasfield & Gorrie provides field personnel with the tools and training necessary to leverage BIM to efficiently build our projects and verify the work through our quality control process. Once our project teams have optimized a project’s design for construction through BIM, we translate the coordinated design to our field operations. By providing our field engineers with an accurate model for point layout, we save time and eliminate errors via more efficient workflows. The use of advanced modeling software and field equipment allows our field engineers—armed with only the 3D model on a tablet—to place precision points on site. With its accuracy and economic benefits, model-based layout drives our construction process and ultimately improves the way we build.

  • Graphics, Rendering, and Animation

    Graphics, Renderings, and Animations

    In construction, it is critical that all stakeholders understand the intent of the design. Brasfield & Gorrie provides powerful graphics to our project teams to communicate the design intent and to clearly illustrate plans for construction both internally and externally. We render photo-realistic images, generate video fly-throughs, animate construction schedules, and provide immersive 3D virtual reality mock-ups. These graphics are used for scope clarifications, photo-realistic architectural renderings, site logistics, and phasing plans. We also provide other more complex resources, including digital mock-ups to illustrate the constructability of complex systems and options analysis models to assist in value planning. These rich formats not only help our teams better understand constructability, but they also encourage a collaborative spirit to help solve problems more quickly. Additionally, these resources ensure that our clients fully understand important aspects of their projects so that we can ensure that they are thrilled with the results.

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