January 14, 2020

If there is one main lesson DPR has learned on its multi-decade digital transformation journey, it’s that the implementation of technology alone cannot deliver the level of results the industry has come to expect or desire. To be successful, you need to:

1) identify the problem you’re trying to solve,

2) look at process and workflow issues,

3) research and pilot digital solutions that can help, and

4) create a plan for training and scaling

According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, digital transformation in construction can result in productivity gains of 14-15 percent and cost reductions of 4 to 6 percent.

Eric Lamb, DPR Construction, took the stage as a keynote speaker for Autodesk Forge DevCon in Las Vegas, to share lessons learned during DPR’s multi-decade digital transformation journey and how the organization continues to test, invest and scale digital solutions aimed at not only improving productivity during project delivery but also optimizing building performance throughout its lifecycle for customers.

“Driving digital transformation at DPR really means we are pushing the power of BIM data and workflow optimization to the edge of our network,” said Lamb. DPR began using BIM in the 1990s for 3D visualization and to coordinate design and production model clashes virtually, before they became problems in the field, and has progressed to a Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) process that allows for digital fabrication/prefabrication directly from the model and the creation of a digital twin that can be used for facility management.

Digital Fabrication with Digital Building Components

By digitally fabricating building components through Digital Building Components, DPR transforms design and construction BIM and CAD/CAM drawings directly into precise-to-spec digital models of the products that are installed during construction. From these models, DPR optimizes installation sequencing and product delivery logistics. This strategic sequencing approach based on prefabrication helps to build faster projects at lower cost and provides a higher level of quality.

“By leveraging our expertise as a builder and staying at the forefront of tech, we are addressing problems, updating workflows and improving productivity significantly to fix our customer’s pain points and deliver more predictable outcomes,” said Lamb.

According to Lamb, integration of every data point and detail into a 3D model allows placement with well over 99% accuracy, for a third of the cost and makes the process a lot safer.

Building the Digital Twin with VueOps

DPR has taken the model with integrated data one step further through VueOps. Utilizing the Autodesk Forge platform, VueOps creates a facility digital twin that captures and integrates FM data and turnover documents for building locations, equipment, and systems. Facility managers and operators can then manage and integrate the information with the owner’s work order and energy management systems.

VueOps helps building owners achieve their own digital transformation to more effectively operate their buildings through the collection, quality assurance, integration and visualization of building data from capital projects for FM uses. Facility up time and productivity are mission critical to revenue especially in life sciences and healthcare facilities. With VueOps, FM can now be a key strategic player in optimizing building performance. The ability to access and use the integrated data set ultimately improves the owner’s CapEx ROI and OpEx efficiency.

For example, a healthcare customer reported a late-night drain/waste line leak that impacted a first-floor cafeteria in a hospital. The leak occurred in a 2h rated vertical shaft. To contain the problem, the facility engineers located the control valve for the line within one hour using the BIM. The valve was only accessible from an operating room (OR), two floors above, that normally generated revenue of $10k/minute. Engineers were able to get the OR and cafeteria up and running before 7am the next morning, with no loss of uptime. In contrast, a similar incident at a different healthcare provider that had no model to facilitate rapid containment and repair, incurred over $20M in down time and repair costs.

This customizable digital solution helps building owners and facility managers maximize how their facility is managed after construction and throughout the entire lifecycle of a building.

By taking advantage of the latest in data management and visualization, VueOps gives clients faster and more accurate information about the sources of building problems and their resolution. In addition, clients achieve faster responses to regulatory agencies, longer equipment lives, and lower energy use to power better building performance.

Digital construction technology and transformation has not been elusive for DPR, as it has arguably been for other construction companies throughout the years, due to long term commitment to innovation and investment. As DPR continues to capture the value of technology, it is making a positive difference, improving performance and delivering greater benefits.