Giving project owners access to real life representations of a development through technology means siting necessary clashes and changes before construction starts, means saving time and money. Here Layton Construction proved it to save 90% of pre-construction costs.

Geier explains, “It’s not that technology has become less expensive, but rather, it has become good enough to utilize in lieu of something physical and that’s where the cost savings really comes in.”

Before, general contractors needed to have a big project with a big budget to warrant spending money on physical mock-ups, which are common in large-scale complex projects like skyscrapers and healthcare facilities.

For instance, while building a 485,000-square-foot, 280-bed medical center in Florence, Ala., Layton utilized VR instead of building 20 physical mock-ups in a rented warehouse for the owners and end users to experience, which would have costed about $250,000.

As a result, Layton decreased its mock-up construction costs by 90 percent and feedback from the VR experience allowed for design changes and prefabrication opportunities, which ultimately improved the project’s timeline.

From there, BIM 360 Field is used for the duration of the project by all the different trade partners and awarded subcontractors. That includes everyone from the structural and mechanical sides of the project to plumbing, electric and HVAC.

“The main reason you have BIM is the inherent problems with construction,” explains Geier. “The benefit of BIM is understanding where the issues are in a conference room with everyone before it’s a bunch of guys on the job site trying to figure it out in the field.”

With these technologies, superintendents and subcontractors are able to use tablets on job sites to collaborate in real time with architects, engineers, owners and other team members unlike ever before.

Since BIM appears to be here to stay, an assessment-based certificate credential called the “AGC Certificate in Management—Building Information Modeling” (CM-BIM) was created to denote knowledge and understanding of concepts related to BIM adoption, practice and process transformation covered in the AGC BIM Education Program.

Read More