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Archive for the ‘Prefabrication’ Category

Customized Efficiency

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


The following is a reprint of a Compass: The 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine article by Vicki Speed.


The Permasteelisa Group, based in Italy, is a leading worldwide contractor in the engineering, manufacture and installation of architectural envelopes and interior systems.

Compass spoke to Permasteelisa IT project manager Federico Momesso and communication manager Massimiliano Fanzaga about how the company is adopting more standardized technologies and processes to better meet the construction industry’s growing demand for customized building systems on short timelines.


3DEXPERIENCE FORUM: AEC Industry Track Recap

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014


AEC leaders gathered in Las Vegas this week to take part in the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM, a unique event that explores innovation across a number of industries.

“It was valuable to listen to real practices.”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14

Collaborative Design and Industrialized Construction

The AEC track on the afternoon of November 11, 2014 inspired participants to take on industry challenges such as providing a high quality experience for tenants while completing under budgets, maintaining sustainability, improving project productivity and efficiency, and ensuring construction worker safety.

Attendees were also encouraged to envision the future of their firms by understanding how Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Product Manufacturers, and Fabricators can collaborate using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in a cloud environment to achieve efficient, industrialized construction practices and BIM Level 3 adoptions.

In the opening session, speaker Marty Doscher (Vice President, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) discussed how 3D adoption has spread through the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry and that now is the time to evolve to BIM Level 3.

This session explained how 3DEXPERIENCE Business Solutions provides the new and innovative scheme of design and construction processes delivering Building Life Cycle Management.

Industrializing Construction: Industry Solutions Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing

Peter Terwilliger (Solution Experience Director, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) demonstrated Dassault Systèmes Industrialized Construction solutions, featuring project modeling applications built on the cloud-based, collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform interface is beautiful and looks like easy to use”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14

The comprehensive project management and execution solutions leverage the power of 3D to efficiently and consistently cover construction project requirements end-to-end, from planning to fabrication.

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Spotlight on Morphosis Architects’ Kerenza Harris: Teaching the Value of Parametrics from Concept to Fabrication

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

MNS_RolandHalbe5 cropped

morphosis logo

Founded in 1972, Morphosis took its name from the Greek word meaning “to form or be in formation.” While the name alludes to the firm’s “dynamic and evolving practice,” today it might also apply to its innovative use of parametric design tools.

Since joining the firm in 2008, Kerenza Harris has been a key part of Morphosis’ development and integration of these new technologies into design work. Today, she is helping Morphosis to develop automation systems and parametric tools that can be integrated from the earliest concept design stages through fabrication.


Increasing Efficiency By Adopting Lean Construction Practices

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report on increasing efficiency through better practices.

Practices Adopted to Increase Efficiency

While taking a formal Lean approach is relatively new to the construction industry, many of the practices that are intended to increase efficiency have been adopted for a longer period of time.

A Lean Construction Case Study: How Saint-Gobain Increases Efficiency With Lean Practices

Thursday, July 17th, 2014


McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction.

Below is an excerpt from that report on how digital configuration multi-product assemblies are increasing industry efficiency at Saint-Gobain.

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Increasing Industry Efficiency With Digital Configuration Multi-Product Assemblies

Since 1988, building product manufacturers in the European Union have been working to comply with the “Construction Products Directive” (CPD), a piece of landmark legislation that “aims to ensure the free movement of all construction products by introducing a common technical language” to describe and define product characteristics.


Behind the Scenes: How SHoP Designed an Innovative, Modular Brooklyn Brownstone [VIDEO]

Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Last month, Fast Company named SHoP Architects as the world’s most innovative company in architecture of 2014.

This is no surprise to us at Dassault Systèmes. SHoP is a long-time customer and uses 3DS technology to develop high-profile projects such as the iconic Barclays Center in New York City, home to the Brooklyn Nets. Using the 3DS platform, SHoP designed and engineered the Center’s façade, then developed data for off-site fabrication and on-site construction coordination of 12,000 uniquely sized steel panels.

SHoP has always embraced the idea of a new challenge. So when approached to design and fabricate a four-story modular residence for Red Hook, an area in Brooklyn hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy, the firm was quick to rise to the occasion.

A Lean Construction Case Study: Planning and Coordinating Prefabrication at St. Elizabeth Hospital

Thursday, April 10th, 2014


McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is a case study from the report:

Planning and Coordinating Prefabrication to Increase Project Profitability

St. Elizabeth Hospital 5-Story Patient Tower and Connector Building in Appleton, Wisconsin

Tweet: Planning & Coordinating #Prefabrication for Project Profitability [CASE STUDY] #LeanCon @Dassault3DS @mhconstruction Boldt Company has been using Lean project delivery for over a decade, and they have been able to bring many of the lessons they learned from the industrial side of their business to bear on their general building projects, according to Will Lichtig, vice president of business and process development at Boldt.

As general contractors who self-perform many trades and work collaboratively with trade partners on others, prefabrication is one area where they have been able to find opportunities to improve cost, schedule and safety on their projects while sustaining or improving quality. (more…)

How to Use Prefabrication on a Lean Construction Project

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014


McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt we wanted to highlight.

Lean Strategies for Employing Prefabrication

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Lean design and construction focuses on improving total project performance, rather than reducing the cost or accelerating the delivery of single activities or phases.

While the use of prefabricated components and modular construction is not new to the industry, their application has increased dramatically in recent years.


Lean Works: Exempla St. Joseph Hospital Team Collaborates on Prefabrication to Improve Schedule

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce a research report on Lean Construction. The following is an excerpt from the report, illustrating how one construction team has benefited directly from Lean practices.

CASE STUDY: Collaborating on Prefabrication to Improve Schedule

Exempla Saint Joseph Replacement Hospital
Denver, Colorado
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Faced with a daunting state-imposed deadline, the new Exempla Saint Joseph replacement hospital project in Denver needed to be on an extremely fast-track path.

To meet the challenge, the project team devised a highly collaborative strategy that leverages multi-trade prefabrication and modularization to shave schedule.

The plan would enable the team, led by Mortenson Construction, to deliver the 831,000-sq-ft facility in 30 months—five months ahead of an estimated traditional schedule.

“Prefabrication had to be a significant part of this strategy,” says Bill Gregor, construction executive for Mortenson. “It was the only way to meet the schedule restrictions.”

Gregor says the team needed to fast-track both interior and exterior elements to keep everything moving ahead quickly. The team focused its efforts on four main elements for prefabrication—exterior wall panels, multi-trade corridor racks, bathroom pods and headwalls. By accelerating the exterior panels, crews could enclose the facility quickly and help the team maintain pace with prefabricated interior elements.

That process was enabled, in part, by the contractual framework. Although the project uses traditional contracting methods, integrated project delivery concepts were implemented. Stakeholders committed to a collaboration agreement, which includes incentives, as well as a BIM execution plan to map out the process.

Collaboration proved critical. To accelerate the schedule, designers and contractors worked together in the schematic phase—or earlier—to minimize redrawing.

“Early on we had prefabrication charrettes,” Gregor says. “There were brainstorming sessions with a lot of the players involved to work through all of the ideas of what we could accomplish.”

Prefabrication and Modularization

For the enclosure system, Gregor says a joint venture of two local contractors were brought in during the design development process, allowing the design team’s work to be informed by the prefabrication process. “[The design team] drew it knowing how we would fabricate [the panels] so they could create modules in their drawings.”

Contractors prefabricated 346 exterior panels—most of which measure 30 ft. by 15 ft.—at a warehouse within five miles of the project site. Five to six panels could be brought in per truck for just-in-time delivery. Each panel was picked directly from the truck, lifted and installed. “On our best day, we placed 26 panels,” Gregor adds.

To help expedite the hospital’s 640 bathrooms, the team decided to create 440 of them as modular pods. The original design included 75 different bathroom configurations, but the team was able to rework it to establish 15 standardized pods. The custom pods were designed to a schematic level and then handed off to the manufacturer. “The manufacturer drew it, designed it in the model and transmitted it back to the design team as an element to insert into [the design] model,” Gregor explains.

Multi-Trade Prefabrication

One of the more unique aspects of the team’s overall approach is the use of multi-trade corridor racks. Only a few hospital projects had used this technique prior to the Saint Joseph’s job, but Gregor says Mortenson saw significant potential given that schedule was a primary driver. The 166 corridor racks, which measure roughly 25 ft. long, were constructed in a rented warehouse close to the site. Although each rack contained unique elements, the team worked to standardize and streamline the design as much as possible to improve efficiency.

Mechanical and plumbing contractor U.S. Engineering took the lead, first building the steel structure, then adding ductwork, piping and related elements. The racks were on wheels, enabling crews to move them from station-to-station within the warehouse. After U.S. Engineering’s work was done, the rack was moved over to the electrical crews from Encore Electric to add their work. From there, insulation, drywall and framing were also added.

Dan Strait, vice president of project development at U.S. Engineering, says that compared with traditional methods, the multi-trade racks required significantly higher levels of collaboration and coordination, particularly in terms of logistics and constructability. “How do you, from a constructability standpoint, connect a rack to the lower wall sections?” Strait says. “From a logistics standpoint, how does that workflow go? Is it a benefit or not? There are a lot more conversations like that.”

Strait said the trades created digital models for coordination and fabrication. U.S. Engineering could also generate a bill of materials for each rack as well as a set of instructions for crews from its models.

The team also created a production schedule that allowed for a steady flow of racks. Strait says crews created the racks slightly ahead of construction, storing up to two weeks of racks in the warehouse. By using this method, Strait says contractors could maintain steady manpower needs, avoiding peaks and valleys. By allowing some limited storage, the team could accommodate for fluctuations in field installation.

Once shipped to the field, crews could install up to five units per day, creating roughly 125 feet of corridor space.

For the final piece of Mortenson’s strategy, the team is creating 376 multi-trade headwalls, which include piping for medical gases, electrical, framing, drywall and finishes.”


The project, which topped out in April 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in late 2014, is ongoing and Mortenson does not have final metrics in place, but clear benefits are emerging.

As of October 2013, the project was a month ahead of schedule, five months ahead of a traditional schedule. Gregor also notes that, with so much prefabrication being done in warehouses at ground level, the work is exposed to much less risk. There were no recordable incidents on the prefabricated work, as of October 2013. Gregor notes that in some ways elements, such as the multi-trade racks can cost more in terms of direct costs, but that it is made up in other ways, such as reduced overall schedule. “We’ve been able to identify that it is cost-neutral,” he says.

Strait says he also sees significant benefits to the schedule. U.S. Engineering and Encore Electric partnered on multi-trade rack corridors for another project in Denver that completed this year, and they were able to build upon their collaboration in this project and work together effectively. He says that the team was able to install corridors on that project in one third of the time it would take for a traditional job.

“It’s a great concept,” he says. “The collaboration is a benefit in itself. It brings the team closer from both a cost and construction standpoint. You get just as good quality, if not better, and it’s leaner construction in terms of workflow.”

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Tweet: Hospital uses prefab to get 5 months ahead of schedule [Case Study] #Leanconstruction #AEC @Dassault3DS


Download the full report, with our compliments.

SOURCE: McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket Report, “Lean Construction: Leveraging Collaboration and Advanced Practices to Increase Project Efficiency”


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