Engineers, architects and contractors regularly work with two-dimensional drawing to complete projects. This is a skill that takes years to perfect and hone. For the lay(wo)man, two-dimensional, black-and-white drawing can be challenging to read or interpret and yet this is the phase in which clients are asked to make many important decisions.
In some cases a client may see a project as it’s physically coming together and realize it’s not as they envisioned, then adjustments must be made. Adjustments often mean added cost, as well as increased time to complete projects.
3D color drawings can answer questions and show clients more realistically what a proposed project will look like. Understandable drawings empower construction managers to communicate more clearly with customers. And we all know thorough communication makes for better outcomes.
“Three dimensional color drawings give clients the opportunity to provide meaningful input into their projects because they’re working with visualizations that make sense to everybody.” Tobin Robeck, SVP, PJ Callaghan
3D images aren’t just about helping clients visualize projects – they help us too. For example, the software provides clash detection to quickly identify potential problems very early in the construction process. Maybe a proposed electrical wiring placement clashes with an air conditioning duct. Catching something like that in the drawing phase takes a couple minutes to fix, catching an issue like that once we’re in the field costs more time and resources.
We see and hear of it too often – money wasted because the General Contractor was not involved at the initial stages of the construction process… Why is this important? What is the benefit of involving your general contractor early in the pre-design and planning phases? Senior VP Tom Burket says it can make-or-break project success.
“Preliminary stages in planning a new development are critical. These decisions can dictate whether a project moves forward… Fortunately, we’re seeing commercial developers and business owners recognizing this concept more and more.” A few tips from Burket:
Select a general contractor that has extensive experience in constructing Similar Types of Projects. The contractor uses that experience to provide valuable insight during planning phases that can help the customer decide whether their project is viable.
Consider a Design-Build Agreement. In this form of agreement, the contractor coordinates all aspects of the project; there is one source of communication, one source of responsibility; and the contractor has far better ability to provide value-engineering ideas.
Early involvement also provides a layer of assurance that the contractor Fully Understands Scope of the project. Later involvement can result in later changes, which are typically more expensive than early changes.
LEED Credentialed VP Tobin Robeck notes, “LEED Certificationrequires the GC involved in the planning stages because it makes for a more efficient building process with less waste.”
And in-house architect Jim Golden adds, “Value-engineering includes opportunities to review designs for a more seamless process, including accurate costing, and potential Cost Savings.”
By getting involved early in the construction process, P.J. Callaghan has provided value-engineering ideas that have saved our clients millions of dollars.
General Contractor, Design/Builder and Metal Building Specialist