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Benefits of Digital Tools to Contractors and Trades: On time On Budget – Yes!

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FutureCite:

So now that we’ve covered the DPD skills your team uses, what are the digital skills that contractors and their sub-trades will need to realize benefits in the costing and bidding process, and then in constructing the building  –  time and on budget?

Roddy Handa:

Well, I think that the answer is essentially the same as the skills our team requires. It’s, again, just really understanding the process, and understanding where information is coming from, and trying to supplant the information you traditionally get from consultants with information that you can provide through your sub-trades. It also means that, as a contractor, you need to try to get into these projects earlier and change the procurement model from a design-bid-build project to more of a collaborative design-build or construction manage-IPD project.  This will allow you to realize the benefit of everybody’s collective experience throughout the entire process – saving time, resources and cost.

FutureCite:

In benefiting from the collective experience, then you mean that the design and construction team members need have these same digital skills?

Roddy Handa:

Again, the software skills are secondary, but no less important.

It is important to understand the capabilities and limitations of software with the broader goals in mind. Therefore understanding how to use the software, to navigate it, and to extract the needed information at the right point in the collective digital experience are the important digital skills.

One of the more common pieces of software used by the construction team, more so than the design team, is Navisworks. Navisworks more in the construction scheduling, phasing, estimating side of things so that you can make sure that the thing can actually be built within certain construction tolerances, and installation tolerances. It works with many of the same tools we’re using on the design side so an understanding of each other’s digital capabilities is important to leverage the information.

FutureCite:

You mentioned IPD in our earlier conversation – what is IPD?

Roddy Handa:

IPD is integrated project delivery. It’s a procurement model that originated, I believe, in California, that returns to the concept of a master builder who is responsible for all the components of delivering a project, right down to consulting.

So, using that philosophy, they’re talking about bringing a project team together that essentially is one entity, and that’s not really the reality in our construction climate, but what it means is you take out the risk of suing each other, and you share the risk, and you share the reward. While IPD isn’t always the best answer, you can borrow concepts from it in any procurement model.

FutureCite:

Hmm. Ideally the Digital (DPD) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) processes will give rise to new ways to infuse more excitement into the types of buildings that are created, and with full understanding of the costs, and as well, the effective and efficient use of materials to reduce construction risks and material waste. The owner and the community also benefits.  It’s seems like a win/win/win process!

Roddy Handa:

And what that does is it makes everybody in the practice want to deliver a better project for the benefit of the project, and for everybody’s collective benefit, rather than the current adversarial design-bid-build procurement models, which say get your money and get out, and make it somebody else’s problem. So it really incentivizes coming to a solution rather than passing the buck off to somebody else.

FutureCite:

In short, we are talking about a smart investment that will yield additional benefits down the road, and as well in the life cycle and the value of the projects – numbers that matter to the real estate developers and their clients.  Roddy, we look forward to covering this in our next chat.

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