DPR Builds with BIM

November 06, 2009

Collaboration is a driving reason why construction companies are turning to new project delivery methods such as IPD (integrated project delivery). Technology has become a powerful enabling tool for IPD, particularly those associated with BIM (building information modeling).

Take for example, DPR Construction, www.dprinc.com, Redwood City, Calif. During construction of a university project, DPR used a combination of Tekla Structures, www.tekla.com, Espoo, Finland, and Vela Systems, www.velasystems.com, Burlington, Mass., so the information was available to all project team members. With this system, Vela Systems synchronized status information with Tekla Structures’ BIM models.

The Center for Integrated Facility Engineering at Stanford University, http://www.stanford.edu/group/CIFE/, Standford, Calif., identified the key benefits of using technology on this project. The research found the system saved 28 hours of recording, documenting, reporting, and communicating in the field and work productivity improved by 20%. Also, there was improved visibility of material availability and project progress and manpower could be instantly calculated.

This is not DPR’s only dive into improving team collaboration through the use of technology. This summer the contractor broke ground on a new medical center, and will use an IPD approach and BIM to enable model-based estimating.

In fact, this project was developed using an 11-party IFOA (integrated form of agreement) in which the owner, architect, general contractor, design consultants, and trade partners sign the IPD agreement to form the core team. IPD is a project delivery method that joins all project participants as early as possible to share risks and rewards.

DPR’s goal is to design and deliver a facility 30% faster than comparable projects. The technology will also help accelerate the construction process and schedule.

In recent news, the AIA (American Institute of Architects), www.aia.org, Washington, D.C., released the new C191-2009 Standard Form Multi-Party Agreement for IPD. This form provides the terms for a collaborative working relationship among all parties involved on a project, and initiates the IPD delivery model.

With this form, the architect and contractor earn profit through achievement of owner’s goals. It promotes ‘good for the project’ behavior and minimizes disputes, according to the AIA. Web-based collaboration technology can enable this type of project delivery style.