Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at Skanska USA Building and to the Vela Systems team for winning a coveted 2011 Fiatech CETI: Celebration of Engineering & Technology Innovation Award in the Intelligent and Automated Construction Job Site category for the James B. Hunt Jr. Library project.
The uniting goal at Fiatech is to “…make step change improvement in the design, engineering, construction, and maintenance of large capital assets.” Striving toward that goal brings Fiatech’s diverse members together, to share ideas, exchange information, discuss and debate possible solutions, all in the open forum provided by Fiatech to improve the capital projects industry.
The CETI Awards recognize significant achievements in technology research, development, and implementation in the capital projects industry. Fiatech established the awards in 2006 to promote and showcase such achievements. An annual award, the CETIs recognizes organizations and individuals: organizations for implementing new and emerging technologies, and individuals for making significant strides in advancing innovation in research and development.
The Hunt Library project at North Carolina State University involved constructing a 250,000 square-foot steel frame facility. Unique systems presented high levels of risk for construction. The first is a curtain wall system comprised of over 800 units, each unique in size, color, and glass type. Next, the building uses chilled beams and radiant panels for heating and cooling, unusual in the high-humidity of the southeastern U.S. The building interior has cutting-edge technologies: micro-tile displays and interactive exhibits. Finally, the library has no stacks, but instead features a fully automatic book delivery system—a 50-foot pit housing approximately two million volumes.
The Skanska team approached the project with a critical eye on technology: using BIM in estimating and preconstruction, visualization and smartboards, logistics planning and 4D scheduling, field mobility and mobile electronic resource stations (MERS), material tracking, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing coordination, and as-built BIM handover.
For the curtain wall system, supply chain management called for barcoding each curtain wall unit, tracking them from fabrication through installation, and linking them to the BIM model. Another critical aspect revolved around iPads and MERS. MERS allowed subcontractors to view all RFIs and ASIs as well as the BIM model, which provided huge benefits in visualization.
A Skanska innovation grant resulted in a detailed ROI study. Time and motion studies determined the change in 28 specific work processes after adoption of technologies on the project. Results showed an overall reduction from 62 hrs/wk to 54.5 hrs/wk on average. The team also analyzed the benefits of time and efficiency gains on avoided rework.
Again, kudos to our friends and colleagues at Skanska USA Building. We look forward to continuing to partner with them to leverage innovative technologies that unlock new forms of value for Skanska and for Skanska’s clients, owners, and stakeholders.
Watch this video featuring Will Senner, a Skanska Project Engineer, showing Vela Systems software on an iPad for issues tracking, commissioning, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) at the Hunt Library project.