When Turner Construction, a 110-plus-year-old construction company based in New York, was awarded a contract to build the new $26 million central utility plant for the Oakland International Airport in Oakland, CA, the reason was clear: Turner Construction had just been recognized by Building Design & Construction for having the largest volume of projects utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools.
Turner, which oversees about 1,500 projects each year and has 5,000 employees around the world, was one of the first construction companies to develop and use technology tools. BIM allows this global construction giant to improve project outcomes by developing information-rich virtual models that can address clashes before construction even begins.
The utility plant at Oakland, however, proved a mammoth challenge even for Turner. Its 8,300-square-foot-plant contained a complicated network of electrical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, all critical to the efficiency of a busy, 24-hour airport.
“Building (the plant) requires a complex coordination effort because the efforts of many subcontractors must be integrated,” said Lincoln Wood, engineer at Turner Construction Company. “Much of the equipment is interdependent. Everyone … must be in complete agreement. There is a lot of risk.”
That’s where BIM technology came in to play. Using Autodesk® Revit® Architecture and Autodesk® Revit® Structure software, Turner built a data-rich 3D design model. It wasn’t long before Turner decided that BIM-based collaboration should continue during the construction phase to help keep the project progressing on track. That’s why Turner leveraged cloud-based BIM with Autodesk® BIM 360® Glue. This software allowed a diverse team of subcontractors access to the 3D model from any time and place they had an Internet connection.
“Having Autodesk BIM 360 Glue on the iPad helps bring BIM visualization to the people who are actually building the building—they have great ideas, but have traditionally lacked a way to share them efficiently,” says Wood. “The mobile app is the next horizon of coordination and communication with the field. As a contractor, I think the field is in a position to really leverage this technology in exciting ways.”
Autodesk BIM 360 Glue helped Turner Construction streamline workflow, save time, and curtail expenses by enhancing collaboration and reducing guesswork.
Today, Turner has completed about half of the Oakland airport utility plant, on time and on budget. The company credits part of its success to the accelerated workflow and informed decision making supported by Autodesk BIM 360 Glue. Turner Construction Company expect to use Autodesk BIM 360 Glue for the next phase of the Oakland airport construction project, a retrofit of Terminal 1.
“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” says Wood. “The scope of work is much bigger and there’s going to be a lot of coordination. Autodesk BIM 360 Glue is not just visualization. It supports information collaboration and has improved our efficiency. The benefits are obvious to all of us.”
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