Steve Ross, Chief Information Officer | EXP
Technology continues to transform the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. With new global challenges, businesses and industries have been forced to become nimbler and lean on technology for improved quality, value, cost-saving and operational efficiency. We’ve welcomed new opportunities and teams have embraced the shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to dynamic project delivery models utilizing new technologies to bolster collaboration and deliver integrated solutions.
The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been a factor in coordinating teams across disciplines and markets. Over the past decade, the ability to create virtual models for cross-disciplinary collaboration served as a game-changer and its early adoption allowed for process improvements among architects, engineering, clients, stakeholders and general contractors. Today, as projects scale in size and complexity, the full potential of BIM is realized to achieve infrastructure projects.
The early years of BIM came with hesitation. The need to work effectively in a singular environment posed questions of productivity loss and momentary gains versus long-term success. However, as the technology evolved, opportunities for intelligent model-based designs to support constructions and operations and maintenance functions downstream outweighed concerns. Now, the digital twin, a virtual representation of real-world products or systems, is helping to meet the needs of the evolving AEC industry with digitalized and interactive solutions.
EXP works with multiple clients who want and require Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD), the use of high-quality digital technologies to connect stakeholders throughout the built environment’s project lifecycle. IDD builds off BIM’s momentum and provides additional information to improve the intelligence of a model to ensure the designer’s intent and aid in construction and operations.
The delivery of the IDD and the digital twin, a real-time, virtual representation of an asset or system throughout its project lifecycle, can be a new concept for project owners. The observation is, “How do I implement this into our operations environment?” To enable this, we work with clients to envision their projects and discuss the influence of digital transformation, optimization and cost impacts.
Over the past several years, EXP has established an IDD team in-house. Our experts assist in the development of the BIM approach and stakeholder responsibilities and coordinate digital delivery to match our client’s exact needs. They have been instrumental in raising the bar for quality and competency with 3D design tools. To determine if the application could be used seamlessly, the tools were distributed across the firm to establish global and digital environments for EXP’s largest and most significant projects, as well as for clients. The team then regroups with clients to determine a path of understanding and application to yield the most beneficial results using a seamless IDD process.
The creation of the IDD team has resulted in innovative solutions that have been applied to complex design-build programs and transportation infrastructure for communities around North America. In these scenarios, EXP, partners and stakeholders, advance their team’s capabilities in a singular work environment, due to complex workflows, data management systems and technologies. It also creates opportunities to incorporate additional technologies into projects such as laser scanning and unmanned aerial vehicles.
BIM’s promise to revolutionize processes continues to reshape the AEC industry. The benefits of implementing a digital twin and advanced technology across teams allow for increased quality, cost-savings and productivity gains. Information Technology is no longer a service within an organization, it is the backbone. Given the ongoing advancement of technology and its role in the built environment, it is beneficial for Information Technology experts to be involved early in processes and connected with clients to assess opportunities. We have learned that the status quo for infrastructure, buildings, energy, operations and program and project delivery is no longer satisfactory. Realizing technology’s promise and implementing it is central to change.
To learn more about how EXP’s technology experts can support your next project, contact Chief Information Officer Steve Ross.