Virtual Collaboration Networks & Integrated Logistics in Construction(VIKOP/BAULOG), 2002-05
VIKOP/BAULOG was funded by the State of Bavaria between 2002 and 2005. Since then it has been running as a non-funded project. The project was funded through a program called High-Tech-Offensive (HTO) Bavaria. On December 6th in 2001 the project partners received a letter of confirmation by a representative of the State of Bavaria in the parliament building of Upper Franconia in Bayreuth.
The VIKOP/BAULOG project consisted of 11 single projects with each being accomplished with one industrial partner. The projects were carried out by two executive partners while the Chamber of Crafts in Bayreuth acted as the administrative partner. globe-PM (at that time "The Construction Competence Center of Upper Franconia") was in charge of the management of the whole project. The second executive partner was the Business Research Center for SMEs in Bayreuth (BF/M).
Logistics for ready-mixed concrete
Concrete is an upscale material. Deficits in the just-in-time delivery can lead to expensive material losses. The supplier shall be well organized in order to react quickly to spontaneous changes in the production process on the site. It is also necessary that the foreman on the site communicates regularly with staff from the concrete plant to get the arrival of trucks managed in an efficient way. With the use of navigation equipment the communication between plant, foremen and the trucks can be optimized.
Mobile Devices - Quantity Take-Off with a PDA & Facility Management with Touch-Pads
A construction manager of Schwender SHK (Thurnau, Germany) is using a PDA to measure the as-built quantities on a construction site near Bamberg (left picture). The billing process is optimized and shortened as it is easier to determine as-built data directly on site without taking it from plans in the office. The goal of the project was to find out whether a PDA is the right tool for collecting as-built data on construction sites. Today the company is equipped with high-tech mobile devices in the vehicles of service technicians to document service jobs.
After the first experiences with PDAs the employees asked for more sophisticated hardware with larger screens and online capabilities. The possibility to print service reports immediately and hand it over to the client was one of the requests from the service technicians. With the chosen hardware the service technicians have the ability to communicate via internet with the server in the office. The process of executing a job at a client's house was re-engineered the paper-free way. Additionally the mobile computer is used as a communication toolbox for Instant Messaging and work reports. The technician is able to inform all service technicians immediately if an urgent problem occurs at a client's facility. The system can also visualize the position of the service technicians and make it possible for an employee in the office to oversee the jobs and distribute new work assignments as needed.
Contractors enter the world of 3D
Which is the best method to determine quantities for a bid? To answer this question we compared two different methods for quantity determination in cooperation with a local contractor. On the one side we used a digital board together with a 2D plan to digitize the plan for use with the computer. On the other side we used a building information modeling tool (BIM) to build a 3D model in the computer and determine the quantities with the 3D model. We trained an employee in the use of the software and documented the digital lifecycle of the project. In the end we interviewed both users and asked for their comments. Although both users were beginners in the use of these tools the success was very promising. Today the company is using BIM technologies for the design of their own projects.
The pictures above show the virtual model and it's corresponding part in reality. All quantities for the bid have been taken from the virtual model. Although it is quite an effort to build the model it is without doubt a great added value for the owner, the contractor and also during the phase of use. The contractor will profit from very accurate quantities that might result in the small lead needed in order to win the bid. The owner will have a 3D model for the future that documents how the house has been designed. In bigger projects the 3D model can be used for facility management. Apart from this, in modern applications 3D parts are stored in a database which allows plenty of statistical analyses.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) - more than playing around with 3D
The picture below shows a plan that has been part of a claim. The contractor wanted to show that the quantity of excavated soil derived from the estimated amount. For this reason the contractor needed to bring in more concrete than planned which caused additional costs. With the design below the contractor was able to show the calculation of the additional amount of poured concrete - absolutely crucial for a successful claim management.
Other applications refer to the technical equipment of a building. It is much easier for craftsmen and service technicians to understand the positions of ducts, cables and hardware if the owner can provide them with a 3D picture of the whole system.
The picture from the small house shows the amount of brick stones used in this model. It helps craftsmen to quickly understand how much material is needed and where it is needed.