With major infrastructure investment underway, delivering higher performing transportation and utility systems is a major priority. Owners face increasing pressures to meet sustainability requirements, prove the value of infrastructure investments, and demonstrate more accountability and transparency throughout the asset lifecycle. That means they’re increasingly looking for partners that can implement data-driven practices.
For that reason, more and more owners are turning to digital project delivery to ensure data continuity and visibility throughout the entire construction process. Digital project delivery is the use of digital data to design, construct, inspect, and record as-built conditions during the delivery of a construction project. It encourages individual firms to adopt technologies that will support collaboration and provide owners with the information they need to meet the pressures they face.
The Value of Digital Project Delivery
Digital project delivery provides structure for the use of technology on large capital projects. Instead of individual firms adopting point solutions that only meet their needs, they approach technology with collaboration and information sharing in mind. With this approach, a number of benefits can be realized throughout the project lifecycle.
- Higher levels of BIM maturity: Whereas BIM models are primarily used for design, digital project delivery extends its usage throughout the project lifecycle. That means that designers can incorporate higher levels of detail in their models and convey their intent more effectively.
- More efficient construction processes: With all stakeholders having access to the same information, it’s easier to collaborate and identify conflicts before construction begins, leading to fewer RFIs.
- Better asset handoff to owners: When owners begin the operations phase of an asset, they receive accurate, up-to-date information on how it was designed and built, enabling them to make more informed decisions.
Embracing digital project delivery enables engineers to be better partners to everyone involved in a project. And considering that the design process plays a crucial role in the creation of project waste and inefficiencies, any effort to improve is welcome.
Digital Project Delivery in Practical Terms
So what does it look like to embrace digital project delivery? According to McKinsey, data-driven projects need a shared platform that supports integration of project teams and data.
The project-technology platform should enable real-time visibility of progress, facilitate collaborative design and problem solving, and enable data-and insight-driven decision-making.
–– McKinsey, Why the time is right to reinvent capital-project delivery
Using a common data environment that can also support content-enabled models is a good place to start. For instance, teams are using Trimble Quadri to share and collaborate on models in the design phase of the project. Quadri supports the development of a continuous model that can be used throughout the construction process. As the project unfolds, various teams can pull and append data to it, so that project data is centralized and put in context. That same continuous model can be used to create digital as-builts, which owners can use to access data (like the location of drainage features) to streamline operations and maintenance decisions.
To view and validate the model in the field, mixed reality (MR) technology allows design professionals to see their models superimposed onto the physical world. Using a tool like Trimble Connect AR, which allows you to view the model using your phone or tablet, you can perform walkthroughs of the job site with construction crews to give them a better understanding of the model. MR tech makes clash detection faster and easier, ultimately leading to fewer RFIs and change orders, and less rework.
Dig Deeper into Digital Project Delivery
These examples only scratch the surface of what can be accomplished with digital project delivery. As owners continue to feel the pressure to maximize infrastructure investment and be more transparent to the public, they’ll be on the lookout for partners who can support those goals. Because design plays such an important role in the rest of the project lifecycle, engineers who proactively understand these pressures stand to gain an edge.
To hear how fellow AEC professionals are implementing and benefiting from digital project delivery, watch Unleashing the Power of Collaboration and Data for Digital Delivery.