The Product of BIM and Prefabrication

BIM team member working at computer

There is one formula that directly impacts project success for trade contractors:

Success = BIM x Prefabrication

High-quality BIM and well-executed fabrication mitigate many project risks and remove variability in the construction process resulting in success.  One thing you can do to ensure BIM and Prefabrication work together is leverage technology to connect them.

The quality of project coordination and planning efforts (BIM) and the prefabrication plan are directly related to the success of any project.  A project will be most successful when both BIM and prefabrication work correctly.

A high-quality BIM and poor-quality prefabrication plan will result in wasted effort (and money) on the coordination plan.

A poor-quality BIM and high-quality prefabrication plan will result in wasted effort (and money) in the field cutting and reworking parts that should be installed the way they are drawn.

Leveraging Workflow Management

One of the most important things a business can do to ensure the BIM effort and prefabrication plan are aligned is to leverage a workflow management technology platform.  Workflow management platforms can connect BIM from the coordination team to project management to the shop floor and to the field.  McKenney’s uses GTP Stratus to manage project work from preconstruction through installation.  This provides three key values compared to traditional BIM and prefabrication coordination.

Advantages of GTP Stratus

  1. Stratus provides better collaboration between the BIM/coordination team, project managers, field leaders, and the shop. There are quality assurance and quality control tools that support high-quality BIM outcomes.
  2. Stratus provides a truly paperless environment on the shop floor.  Each prefabrication station can access a fully interactive 3D view of each piece of work to ensure it is built right the first time.  The pipefitters in the shop love having digital drawings.  Removing paper makes the workspace safer and also reduces the risk of building work from superseded drawings due to updates or changes.
  3. Stratus provides real-time feedback for project managers and foremen.  They can view the status of their project visually and see the status of orders with increased transparency.  This directly connects BIM to prefabrication to installation.

Enhanced collaboration and feedback result in better BIM outcomes and prefabrication success.  This success contributes to better overall project outcomes.  Rather than merely adding components and systems to your workflow, developing connections between BIM, prefabrication, and installation multiplies your team’s time and effort. Leaning into this formula results in consistent success.

Success = BIM x Prefabrication

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About Dan Cotton


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Dan Cotton is the manager of Virtual Construction at McKenney's and is responsible for our BIM and CAD modeling teams. He has been a member of the LEAN Construction Institute (LCI) since 2011 and is currently a core team member of the LCI’s Georgia Community of Practice. Dan holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Georgia Tech and led the LEAN efforts at McKenney's from 2010 through 2013. Prior to his involvement in Virtual Construction and LEAN, Dan was a project manager in the McKenney's New Construction division for six years.

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