At Choate Construction Company, we make it our mission to build better projects through the use of innovative construction applications which enhance team communication, collaboration, and visualization. Our in-house VirtualWorks department pushes the limits of construction management, utilizing virtual construction technology throughout the lifespan of a project. Virtual models allow the entire team to weigh options, analyze potential impacts, and eliminate conflicts before field personnel step onto the project site — saving time and money while allowing for a quicker, seamless delivery.
The evolving use of social media and cloud-based technologies makes it easier for groups of people to effectively communicate and share information. Choate Construction uses these types of technology to keep all team members up-to-date in real time with the latest project information, documents, and data. Choate’s cloud based Digital Document Management System (DDMS) allows our clients, architects, engineers, subcontractors, and other team members to have instant access to the latest information either in the office or out on the construction site.
Choate’s creation and use of hyperlinked drawing sets allows operations staff and subcontractors to have the latest information instantly at their fingertips with the transfer of new information from the office to the jobsite. What took days can now take hours or even minutes, with documents and notifications quickly synced to the jobsite through ShareFile and construction-based smartphone apps.
Virtual Design & Construction
The use of Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) has changed the way architects, engineers, and contractors design and build projects. Through virtual design, Choate is able to virtually build various parts of a project on a computer before it is a reality. This allows us to detect and prevent potential errors, ensuring construction efficiency and minimizing cost or time losses.
Early in the process, we meet with the entire project team to develop a VDC Project Execution Plan. The Plan outlines the overall vision along with details for the team to follow throughout the project. A virtual model is beneficial to the owner on any project regardless of size and scope. With the variety of virtual construction tools available, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach; the entire team works collaboratively to decide which tools will be the best value to the client and project.
Virtual Construction Tools
Our VirtualWorks department transforms the way we communicate with our clients, design team partners, and subcontractors. These are a few ways how:
Spatial Coordination / Clash Detection: Once a model has been created, Choate uses software to verify, coordinate, and check the modeled building components and systems against one another. This process is typically done before the fabrication of components has begun, ensuring all parts of the building fit together correctly.
Model Based Scheduling: By combining building information models and the project schedule, clients are able to watch the schedule come to life through 4D animation. Once a 4D schedule has been created, the team can analyze alternative schedule paths to find the best method for the project.
As-Built Modeling and Facility Management Data: Building owners and operators can benefit from the project models and data collected during the design and construction phases. Information and data about the building’s spaces, systems, assets, and components are recorded and updated during the construction process. This data is then passed along to the owner to import into their own facility management (FM) software. The information contained in as-built and FM models are a considerable time saver and can revolutionize the way owners own and operate their facilities.
Constructability & Waterproofing Models: The VirtualWorks team creates individual 3D computer models of detailed project areas to study constructability. These highly intricate models allow the entire team to understand how the pieces fit together and are used as a way to communicate about a specific part of the project with designers and subcontractors.
Model-Based Digital Layout: Using BIM, we are able to push VDC to the field through model-based layout. This process allows for the placement of any modeled building component with extreme accuracy, resulting in near watch-maker precision and the highest levels of quality control when coordinating critical components and/or equipment.
3D Laser Scanning: 3D laser scanners allow Choate to precisely capture as-built conditions by recording all elements of the building and translating them into point clouds. These point clouds are then used in conjunction with our models to help understand the new design within its existing context or to verify installed components.
Maximizing Sustainable Attributes: Any project pursuing LEED certification strives for the highest amount of sustainable features possible. A virtual design allows for early decision-making and adjustments to increase environmental aspects without compromising building function. The model provides quick assessment of energy analysis, solar studies, and material changes to ensure the project achieves or exceeds LEED certification goals.