Although Building Information Modeling began disrupting the construction industry decades ago, recent technological advances have seen more contractors and other industry professionals realizing the power of the process even today.
The Unified Group, a national collaboration of leading independent HVAC commercial contractors in the industry, provides value to its members by hosting six unique events each year that focus on creating efficiencies and opportunities — like this year’s 2018 BIM Process Forum in Atlanta. During the two-day forum, members of The Unified Group shared best practices on estimating, scheduling and effective tools to manage projects, spooling and job mapping from a BIM perspective.
“BIM saves time down the road on your labor by increasing efficiency in the field, which is more profitable for our company,” said Dave Cupp, CAD operator at Blauch Brothers Inc. in Virginia. “Although we’re still in the growing phase, we’ve had a few wins with overall coordination among other trades and getting everyone on the same page prior to construction. I feel I gained a wealth of information and some great contacts to reach out to as I grow this department for my company.”
The forum included a visit to Tebarco Mechanical, who hosted the session, for a first-hand Trimble demonstration at the company’s Atlanta Zoo jobsite. Later, the group toured the Tebarco facility and BIM Cave, where everyone was able to try their virtual reality headset.
Rene Ward of Trimble joined the group during the event to share the benefits of using SysQue software, and Chris Dysart of Building Point Southeast was on hand to answer questions about shooting Trimble points. Dzan Ta of Repro Products also spoke about Autodesk, AutoCAD and Revit, and shared valuable videos and information to help make members’ projects easier.
The Unified Group members benefitted from the many tips, tricks and new ideas shared throughout the session and learned they are not alone in their struggles as they implement today’s newest technology.
“The best part of the meeting for me was hearing that issues in my company are similar for every contractor,” said Jon Skoglund of Peterson Sheet Metal in Minnesota.
“When implementing BIM at my company, I had an idea of how it should be done, but seeing how other companies operate and the process they go through is eye-opening and gives a lot of different perspectives,” Cupp said. “Plus, none of the member companies are in competition with each other so we’re not giving away trade secrets during these sessions.”