Whitepaper: 04.24.2013

Adding Value on the Jobsite

How Technology Is Revolutionizing Construction Jobsites to Streamline Processes and Engage Teams

Technology is revolutionizing the way construction teams work together by streamlining processes, ultimately saving time and money on jobsites. McCarthy is leading the way through the use of Autodesk’s BIM 360 Field program, which can be accessed online and also with tablets and smartphones in the field.

As recently as a few years ago, 90 percent of technology purchased for construction sites was housed in the construction trailer on-site. With the increased prevalence of smartphones and tablets, that paradigm is shifting, according to the Construction Industry Institute.

“Through the use of BIM 360, we are linking all of our subcontractors to our project at no cost to them,” said Andrea Ramos, McCarthy project manager in Phoenix. “This summer, we’re doing a fast-tracked 42,000-square-foot renovation at Cartwright Elementary School while the students are on break for eight weeks. Our subcontractors are currently establishing accounts online, and we are building out the document library for the project with plans, renderings and models. This work on the front end will save us time when the project starts.”

Last summer, McCarthy successfully completed Holiday Park Elementary, also within the Cartwright School District, in just 54 days – three days ahead of schedule – giving teachers more time to gear up for the busy start of the school year.

“The use of technology and efficient preconstruction planning is enabling McCarthy to fast-track projects within our district. This has proven to be less stressful on students, parents and staff and has saved our district on transportation costs we would have incurred if we had to temporarily relocate our students,” said Dr. Jacob A. Chávez, Cartwright School District superintendent.

Safety First
As a true builder, McCarthy places the highest priority on safety, resulting in McCarthy achieving a safety record four times better than the industry average.

BIM 360 technology streamlines the safety work McCarthy teams perform on each and every jobsite.

“The software lets us use our iPads to immediately identify safety hazards and send a notification in real time to the team noting the safety issue that needs to be corrected,” Ramos said. “The team members then have to respond back explaining how and when the issue has been corrected. It expedites the process because we don’t have to rely on email, and the program tracks the issue and what has been done to resolve it.”

The technology is also always improving. Because McCarthy has partnered with Autodesk at the corporate level, project managers in the field are able to recommend improvements or identify any glitches that they are experiencing.

“Our corporate team takes our feedback and reports directly to Autodesk,” Ramos said. “Just like you get software updates to your iPhone, Autodesk is able to send out updates that improve the software on an ongoing basis, and it’s customized to meet McCarthy’s project needs to benefit our clients.”

Focus on Quality
BIM 360 is also being used on McCarthy jobsites for quality control. The program allows specific locations to be added for each jobsite, enabling precise tracking. When a McCarthy project manager spots a quality issue, he or she immediately takes a picture of the quality issue with an iPad or smartphone and pins it to the plans. The project manager is then able to add notes and identify what’s wrong, so subcontractors not only get a description of the issue, but they also get a visual in real time.

“It eliminates the potential for miscommunication. In the past, we relied mostly on written or verbal communication. By pinning a picture of the issue to a specific location on the plans, we’re streamlining our quality control process,” Ramos continued.

The team is also able to capture real-time feedback explaining what has been done to resolve issues that were identified. Prior to implementing this technology, team managers would often get responses like, “Yeah, it’s taken care of,” but since the program tracks issues, it holds subcontractors more accountable, requiring them to provide a specific explanation about what was done to resolve an issue and log when it was resolved.

Using QR Codes
In addition to BIM 360, McCarthy has also been using QR codes for mechanical systems to provide added value to clients. The QR code (short for Quick Response Code, a matrix bar code) links building system maintenance logs and product data to codes on corresponding equipment, allowing owners to access equipment data, information and maintenance history at any time by scanning the code on a smartphone or tablet. It also eliminates the need for traditional product manuals.

Through the use of tablet-enabled technology like BIM 360 and QR codes, McCarthy project teams are able to track progress, resolve jobsite issues, manage punch lists, and complete equipment and safety inspections, all in real time. Entire project teams are linked, resulting in more efficient team collaboration, structured workflow, better tracking and performance analysis, and facilitating owner participation.

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