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Virtual Construction

The implementation of Virtual Construction through Building Information Modeling (BIM) software improves the construction process by increasing collaboration among the project participants, improving the means of sharing information, and enhancing the visualization of project attributes.

During the preconstruction phase, Mascaro has the ability to utilize BIM to evaluate what-if scenarios. Building materials can be quickly and easily interchanged to see how the project will be affected with respect to cost, time, and appearance. The accuracy of the evaluation is enhanced, as the quantities are automatically produced. The visualization of a change and its impact to the cost and the schedule allows an owner to make informed decisions quickly, which saves time on the overall duration of the project schedule.

As we approach the construction phase, we often utilize BIM to link the schedule to the model so that the building can be virtually constructed in numerous sequences. This results in advanced determination of the most efficient approach to building the project, which often leads to a reduction in the overall duration of the project schedule.

Mascaro frequently implements BIM to aid in the coordination of the MEP systems for complicated projects. Clash detection software can be used to discover potential issues within a virtual environment, rather than during construction of the project. This improves the overall project efficiency because it:

  • allows for revisions to be made prior to fabrication when the cost is negligible;
  • reduces the potential for re-work, saving time and money; and
  • allows for the potential implementation of prefabricated assemblies.

Mascaro implements a variety of software programs to support Virtual Construction activities, but is most familiar with DProfiler, Revit, and Navisworks.

DProfiler
DProfiler
DProfiler. Click the image above to enlarge.
The DProfiler program allows for the rapid creation of a budget based upon historical cost information. It gives us the ability to create:

  • a conceptual estimate and model when provided basic parameters for a project (i.e. building type, intended foundation system, superstructure material, façade materials)
  • a scale model and detailed estimate when provided floor layouts and specifications;
  • a basic energy analysis based on the properties of the façade materials;
  • a pro forma (life cycle) analysis for a given project; and
  • a Google Earth image based on its intended location.

 

Revit
Revit
Revit. Click the image above to enlarge.
Mascaro utilizes Revit for a number of Virtual Construction functions:

  • Estimating: When a model of sufficient detail is provided by the designers, Mascaro can automatically extract quantities from the model, reducing the workload of the estimators, increasing the accuracy of the quantities produced, and ensuring that the subcontractors are able to provide accurate quotations.
  • Logistics Planning: Mascaro can either create our own models for the purpose of site logistics planning, or add to the A/E provided design models to create a fully comprehensible site logistics plan that can be transferred to all members of the project team.
  • Schedule Linking: Mascaro can dissect and reconstruct the A/E provided design models to incorporate the schedule activity IDs into the properties of the modeled objects to allow the model to be fully linked to the project schedule.
  • Enhanced Information: Mascaro has the ability to incorporate design, construction, and as-built data into the modeled objects to allow for the transfer of information from the construction team to the operating team and/or integration with facilities management software.

 

Navisworks
Navisworks
Navisworks. Click the image above to enlarge
During the construction phase, Mascaro can utilize Navisworks to produce comprehensive 3D visualizations of the project, with the work of all project team members depicted in a single 3D federated model. At this stage of the project, Virtual Construction provides a higher level of communication and understanding of the documents to ensure that the final product meets the intended design. This helps to keep the trade contractors focused on a common goal, as they can physically see how their work impacts and/or is impacted by the work of others.