AEC Excellence Awards 2018

BIM keeps cranes and helipad operating

The University of Virginia Hospital

Model-based collaboration helps hospital safely operate helipad

The University of Virginia (UVA) Hospital is a trauma center and receives up to 20 patients by helicopter every day. The 440,000 sq.ft. expansion brings much-needed capacity, but operations must continue during construction. Skanska USA, and Perkins+Will, used 3D models to keep the helipad operating safely.

Image courtesy of Perkins+Will Architects, Skanska USA

Design models used to execute the project

Safety: A top priority on the ground and in the air

UVA chose Skanska USA because of the firm’s commitment to safety and its use of model-based collaboration to coordinate with the design team during design and preconstruction. They adopted construction techniques and planning that nearly eliminated the use of ladders, the root of many construction injuries.

Image courtesy of Skanska USA

Team ensures Level 1 Trauma Life Flight team had safe path

Skanska USA made safety the project’s guiding principle but had to ensure that the project accounted for the safety of more than just construction workers and construction-site visitors. The team had to plan for the safety of—and ready access for—faculty members, hospital staff, ambulances, and patients. Plus, the team had to ensure that the UVA’s Level 1 Trauma Life Flight team always had a safe path to land and take off—even with cranes working close to the helipad.

How the team used Autodesk Software

“We used BIM tools—including Revit building-design software, Navisworks project-review software, and BIM 360 cloud services—to model and plan construction,” says John Calvin, Project Executive for Skanska USA’s building operations in Virginia. “Navisworks helped us sequence and plan construction to minimize the impact to hospital operations. We showed the executive team 3D sequences of how we planned to deliver the project. Using those same types of 3D Navisworks models, we worked with the helicopter pilots to develop a plan to keep them safe. They could see the landing pad in relation to the cranes before encountering them during landing and take off.”

Team using virtual reality to visualize the design

BIM in preconstruction accelerates the schedule

Early on, Skanska USA, UVA, and the design team coordinated to avoid construction issues. BIM 360, Revit, and Navisworks were key. Stakeholders used aggregated, cloud-based models to eliminate construction clashes. They also pushed design models to the Revit Live architectural visualization service to use virtual reality so medical teams could see and improve equipment placement.

Image courtesy of Perkins+Will Architects, UVA Health System, Skanska USA

Laser scanning reduces cost during preconstruction

The team spotted several opportunities to reduce project cost during preconstruction. For example, the team took laser scans of the existing building processed with ReCap reality capture software and blended them with the Revit design models. This helped the team eliminate a new shaft that was going to be placed near an existing shaft. The combined ReCap and Revit model showed that the existing shaft could handle the increased load, saving $200,000.

Construction models stay close with tablets

Using a connected-BIM approach to share 4D project schedules, Skanska USA took the insights gained during preconstruction onto the jobsite with BIM 360. Tradespeople in the field accessed construction models with on-site tablets. They could see the schedule, communicate issues, and visualize the next steps instead of physically going to a construction office. Using BIM 360 to analyze crane operations, the team was able to maximize crane picks, radius, weight, and sequencing for efficiency. The similar study helped sequence steel and concrete construction to eliminate more than $1 million in bracing costs.

Tablets are becoming a necessary tool

“Today, tradespeople are as likely to have a tablet on the jobsite as they are to have a hammer,” says Cody Holder, Skanska USA Senior Project Engineer. “It’s something you can take advantage of by using BIM 360 for coordination, scheduling, and more. They access the latest information in the cloud instead of accessing potentially outdated models. Tablets and BIM 360 connect people who spend most of their time in the field to BIM.”

Checking the safety box every day

The construction team focused on planning for safety as part of its preconstruction modeling. How is the team doing? With more than 1.3 million hours logged on construction, the team has lost zero days due to incidents. In a single day, as many as 20 Level 1 Trauma flights landed safely. Perhaps most impressively, the Skanska USA team estimates that heavy BIM preconstruction project analysis and planning will cut the project schedule by as much as months to years as compared to a traditional process that doesn’t involve early construction team involvement.

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