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BuroHappold looked at a variety of options and found that a lean software setup with BIM 360 could allow its colocated teams to collaborate on project models and files from multiple offices at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. “BIM 360 Design made sense once we cost it,” McGilly says. “It was a fraction of the cost of Panzura, for example . . . probably 10% of the cost.
“Teams can connect into the project models in BIM 360 Design and feel as if they're actually working with us in the same office,” he adds. “And if we have any requests or design changes we want them to make, they can make them instantaneously.”
As a global practice, BuroHappold is able to use cloud-based BIM collaboration to tap into the skills of engineers in its offices around the world. For example, the firm can use highly specialised engineers in its Los Angeles–based offices for speciality work without spending thousands of dollars to colocate them in New York for months at a time.
Being able to share data seamlessly was a game changer for BuroHappold's project team. Using the BIM 360 cloud platform made a huge difference in the work-life balance of the engineers, yielding a 20% time savings.
“BIM 360 Design was a fraction of the cost of using Panzura, for example . . . probably 10% of the cost.”
The firm was able to integrate model co-ordination and clash detection into its project workflow with BIM 360 Glue. Construction managers would co-ordinate the clash-resolution process by prioritising clashes, then communicating to design engineers or trade partners what needed to be resolved and when. Trade partners used the BIM 360 Glue app on-site, making the build process more efficient.
“Using BIM 360 Glue, the designer and trade partner would receive clash reports from the construction managers, highlight issues in the model, send it back to the contractor, sit with the engineer or architect and make design changes with the design engineer, who would then send it off to the contractor,” McGilly says. “It allowed us to walk right into the model and zoom into a problematic section, resolving conflicts as a team and analysing the environment.”
“Teams can connect into the project models in BIM 360 Design and feel as if they're actually working with us in the same office. And if we have any requests or design changes we want them to make, they can make them instantaneously.”
Almost 100 participants from the project's architecture, engineering and trade firms used BIM 360 during project ramp-up. Tight real-time co-ordination helped trade partners work closely with BuroHappold engineers on piping and ductwork systems that were especially complex, given the nature of the educational research facility. The ability to control and streamline co-ordination during design helped reduce the total number of change orders.
Overall, cloud-based BIM collaboration gave BuroHappold a time savings of 20% and a cost reduction of 90% on the Brown University IPD project. With this success, BuroHappold has made cloud-based BIM collaboration technology a core component of its design and detailing workflows. The firm now has seven projects on the BIM 360 platform. That could expand to 10 projects this year – and that is only in the New York office. With offices in Europe now being introduced to BIM 360 Design, that number could easily double.