Digital Transformation of Project Delivery
TAM America had the privilege of conducting interview with Jorge Quiroz, Founder & CEO at PDBM Consulting, and is pleased to share his perspectives in improving project delivery using innovative digital tools.
Please tell us about your unique background and experience leading to founding PDBM Consulting. What are your goals with this organization?
I am an architect by trade, but I have been involved in engineering for over 20 years. I have the luck to work for a consultant company in NY based at The Port Authority of NY & NJ, managing their BIM/CAD Group in the Engineering Department. This operation was huge; they used to have around 350 architects and engineers from all trades, working with around 300 consultant companies and developing an average of 1500 projects a year that would go from repairing a whole in the George Washington Bridge to building a new airport terminal. The challenge of working in an Agency like this was that they dealt with multiple infrastructures, such as Airports, Ports, Tunnels, Bridges, Trains, and the World Trade Center.
This is where all this started; the challenge we faced those days was bringing all the project stakeholders to work together using different pieces of software, producing, and sharing information consistently. So, we came up with the idea of documenting how different software (Revit & Civil 3D) will interact with each other by developing a document that includes workflows, processes, procedures, and best practices, which we ended up calling our BIM Standards.
PDBM Consulting was founded based on that experience and convinced that a robust set of standards/protocols can help all project stakeholders at different phases take advantage of the information they produce. Over the last few years, those sets of standards/protocols have changed quite a bit and have gotten way more robust, including things such as BIM Contract Language, Criteria to Select Projects in BIM, and Modeling Techniques, just to name a few.
We are proud of what we do, but mostly, we are proud of our team. We believe that what we deliver to our clients is a solution that will help them reduce time and cost in their projects along with preparing the data gathered during design and construction so they can use it in Operations& Maintenance.
Our goal as an organization is to keep expanding our footprint of clients and keep growing along with our partners and clients.
What is Building Information Modeling (BIM), and how can it improve design, construction, and project delivery?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building or infrastructure. It's a comprehensive process that involves creating and managing digital models of a project, from its conceptual design through its construction and operation phases.
BIM gives project stakeholders better predictability, and that is a keyword since knowing in advance what can happen in your project gives you the tools to address it before it actually becomes a problem. For example, by having a 3D model, people can understand better how the project looks. BIM can help get more accurate quantity takeoffs and, therefore, better estimates of the project cost. BIM can help you identify what conflicts (clashes) might exist before you find them in the field, where it costs more. The same thing with linking the model with the construction schedule; it helps you visualize better the construction process and compare the baseline schedule with the actual schedule.
Last but not least, all the data gathered during design and construction, such as assets and attributes, can be organized during these phases to feed an enterprise asset management system. This process can significantly reduce the cost of operations and maintenance.
What is Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and how can it reduce project risks to improve project performance?
Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) is a comprehensive process and methodology used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. VDC leverages digital technology and Building Information Modeling (BIM) to improve the design, planning, construction, and management of building and infrastructure projects.
VDC can reduce project risks and improve project performance through early issue identification, improved collaboration, clash detection and resolution, cost estimation and control, risk assessment and mitigation, schedule optimization, quality control and sustainability and environmental risks among others.
In summary, Virtual Design and Construction contributes to improved project performance, including reduced delays, cost savings, and better project outcomes.
How are BIM and VDC related, and how do they impact the construction and delivery of capital projects?
VDC is a process that uses BIM models and related technology to improve project planning and execution. It involves the application of BIM in various stages of a construction project, including design, pre-construction, construction, and post-construction phases.
VDC aims to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and collaboration within the design and construction process by simulating and analyzing different project scenarios.
In summary, BIM is a technology and methodology for creating and managing digital representations of a building's information. At the same time, VDC is a broader process that leverages BIM to improve the overall project lifecycle, including planning, coordination, scheduling, cost estimation, and construction simulation. VDC is a way to maximize the benefits of BIM throughout the construction process, making it more efficient, cost-effective, and collaborative.
What are some of the best practices you have observed in planning and delivering capital projects?
Critical for the success of a capital project includes having the following set in place before you start:
- Have Upper Management buy-in
- Identify key people within your organization
- Establish a Technology Committee
- Have BIM Contract Language for Design and Construction
- Develop a robust set of Standards for building and/or infrastructure projects
- Have Training and Technical Support
- Monitor the effort on a regular basis
These seven (7) steps will ease the burden of failure and will help improve the project outcome.
What is your message for project developers seeking to improve procurement, contracting, and project delivery to ensure successful digital transformation?
Plan ahead of time; that is key. If you are in a “reactive” mode, the risk of failure is huge. Being in a “proactive” mode will allow you and your organization to plan ahead of time.
Another very important factor is to empower somebody within the organization to lead this effort and provide him or her with upper-management support and necessary funding to ensure continuity.