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Viewpoint For Projects

This is the second post in Viewpoint’s new blog series by Richard Scott focusing on the Value of Mobile Field Technology. 

Successful Construction Starts with Usable Data

I was once told that successful construction is about effective communication and as the Field View product has evolved, this perspective has always been at the forefront of our strategy and development. That’s why when people declare, “It’s all about the data,” I emphatically respond, “Oh no, it’s not!” Data becomes useful when it is given context and has structure, or when it has transformed into usable information. “Ah, so it’s all about the information, then?” you ask. Well not quite; it’s about how that information is used to achieve the desired goal. And, in construction, that’s usually measured in terms of product quality, delivery, safety, environment, and cost. However you set about achieving these goals will be relative to your perspective, either operational or business.

The Operational Perspective
Since 2001, the Field View team has been focused on delivering benefits to the community that work within the bounds of the project. These are the people that I often refer to in terms of hard hats and muddy boots. They are the Project Managers, Construction Managers, Site Managers, Site Engineers, Quality Control Engineers and Safety Managers. These team members are primarily interested in how Field View can improve their day, allow them become more productive and provide better visibility into a project’s performance. These team members are tactical and would prefer to spend time out on the jobsite dealing with operational project issues rather than in the site cabin managing paperwork. Field View delivers productivity improvements that they appreciate and value; time savings, collaboration and project control are of the utmost importance.

The Business Perspective
With impressive feedback coming from the operational teams, it wasn’t long before Field View began to attract the interest of the broader business teams. We started talking to CEOs, CIOs, COOs and Directors who had a different view on the information they needed and the value it would bring to an organization. They talked to us about delivering process control and consistency, data integrity, business intelligence and a requirement to integrate with other business systems. They were looking at a bigger picture and wanted to know how Field View could be used to support the strategic interests of the enterprise as a whole. In 2008, we began the process of completely re-engineering Field View to address the needs of the enterprise community.

So how does Field View provide tangible value to both of these distinct groups? The answer lies in the history and experience built into the development of Field View. In my last blog post, I shared the lengthy history of Field View and the reputation we have earned. Field View is the result of 15 years of feedback and collaboration with the construction industry – listening, learning and innovating every day. Today, our enterprise customers have chosen Viewpoint to be their strategic technology partner and they realise that the value Field View brings to their business is actually greater than the Operational Value + Enterprise Value. Our Enterprise partners refer to Field View as a “Business process re-engineering tool.” I could not have defined Field View better myself and I think that demonstrates the power and versatility of Viewpoint’s products and services.

User Perspective Data Knowledge

 

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Contributed by Monike Oliveira, Viewpoint Lead Development Specialist, Australia

Sydney Build Expo 2016

This year’s Sydney Build, held the 10 -11 of March, was held in a beautiful industrial area just a 5-minute walk from Redfern Station in central Sydney –The Australian Technology Park (ATP). ATP is a unique place that reminds me of the Viewpoint office headquarters – a modern, renovated building in a booming industrial area located in Portland, Oregon – USA.

The weather during the conference was incredibly hot and humid. Nevertheless, that did not hinder the exhibitors nor the attendees’ commitment to the event. Sydney Build offered information on the latest construction projects, trends, developments and investment opportunities to be found in New South Wales and Sydney – the building capital of Australia.

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Key Happenings at the Event
During the “Meet the Contractors Workshop”, several industry leaders discussed the latest developments, challenges and opportunities in Sydney and for the Australian construction industry as a whole. Attendees included: Warwick Johnson, Director of NSW/QLD, Brookfield Multiplex Australasia; David Alessi, NSW Chapter President, Australian Institute Buildings & Business Development Manager; Greenpoint Construction Group; and Hylton Bloch, Projects Director at Lahey Constructions (a Viewpoint Construction Software customer).

Participants shared their insights, experiences and ideas of how technology is important and how BIM & collaboration tools and solutions are helping companies deliver higher quality construction projects in an efficient manner. The workshop covered the current construction market, as well as the future of the market and their commentary and insights made it easier to understand how technology plays a significant role in the construction industry. Lahey Projects Director, Hylton Bloch, offered: “I love the technology we have available at the moment.”

Additional topics discussed included BIM, going paperless, collaboration and GPS location defect management as well as 3D models, 3D printing, 3D scanning, drones, 3D Virtual Reality Construction Site, and prefabrication.

John Adams, Viewpoint Product Manager, Architect, and all round BIM & collaborative software solutions expert, participated in the BIM Open panel discussion. The panel discussed how important BIM & collaboration solutions are for this growing, global industry. John, who lives and works in the UK, shared his experiences on how the construction market in the UK is reacting and adapting to the BIM Level 2 mandate by the UK government.

Sydney Build 2016 provided a well-organized event that brought together many skilled, experienced and knowledgeable people under the same roof to understand how we all can work together for the betterment of the construction industry in Australia.

 

 

 

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If there was one single place I’d recommend anybody starts when beginning the journey to become 1192 compliant I would recommend the naming convention.

The naming convention has been around since 2007 when BS1192 was first released and it sets out how we’re supposed name everything – documents, drawing, models and data files. If we can start to adopt a common naming convention across the industry it will actually be an enormous advantage – clients will instantly understand what something is and who has done it, from job to job to job. In the industry, it will save us an enormous amount of time that we currently spend on bespoke company inductions and training because everybody will turn up already knowing how it is that they’re supposed to label everything and communicate what they’re doing – and of course, with Viewpoint For Projects being a Common Data Environment (CDE), we absolutely love it because as we head towards a data-centric world, it is the meta-data which these filing and naming conventions provide that will allow us to do much more intelligent searches for information, not just on a single asset, but across multiple assets – so it’s really important going forwards.

So, what is the PS1192 naming convention? Well, this is it:

PS1192 naming convention

Yes, it’s long and yes it looks complicated – but actually, when you start to break it down it becomes simpler. And in fact, these parts are optional:

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So in most cases, this is actually what it is going to look like:

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But it’s still long and it’s still complicated, so let’s break it down and explain what each part actually means. So the first part is the projects number which needs to be from two to six characters in length, in letters or numbers.

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This format is to be used by everybody on the project – gone are the days when each consultant has their own number for the project, so it’s probably initiated by the client within the EIR – but if it’s not, the information manager on the project must convey to all the parties what the project number is that you’re going to be using. If you must maintain your own project numbers as well then do so separately, because the numbering system will not work unless it is the same across the project for all parties.

The second part is who the originator of the information is – in other words – this is your company, or the code that represents your company.

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And this code needs to be from three to six characters – again in letters or numbers. It must be unique to your company as this is the reference that states which party is responsible for creating the data that this particular tag relates to.

The next characters relate to the volume or system. It’s important to state that this must always be there even if there is only one volume. This reference relates to a logical portion of the work. If a piece of data or model relates to all of the volumes on a job it is to be given the reference ‘00’. The volume or system designation is one or two characters in length and again is letters or numbers.

The next portion relates to levels and locations.

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It is always two character of letters and/or numbers. If it’s multiple levels, then the designation ‘ZZ’ should be used. If no levels are applicable then the designation ‘XX’ should be used. ‘GF’ relates to ‘Ground Floor’, ‘00’ relates to the base level of a building (or linear asset). Floors above the Ground Floor are 01 for First Floor, 02 for Second Floor etc. Mezzanine’s have the prefix ‘M’ and ‘M1’ would mean Mezzanine above Level 1 etc. All levels below the Ground Floor have the prefix ‘B’, for example, B1, B2, B3 for each basement floor.

The next portion of the naming convention relates to the type of information that has been provided.

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Shown above are the codes for the file types that relate to drawings and models – for example M3 relates to a 3D Model file. Below are the codes that relate to documents, for example, ‘SN’ is a snagging list.

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The next portion relates to the role – what your company does – and each organisation must be allocated one or more role within the project, and here is a list of what they are:

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Remember that you might have several different architectural companies working on a large project, so the company designation (second portion of the naming convention) differentiates the companies but the role is this penultimate portion.

Finally we have the number. It’s always four digits:

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This number should always be used sequentially with leading zeroes.

But what do those optional bits do? Well let’s have a closer look. In most cases, these won’t actually form part of the base numbering system.

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The first part relates to classification. So in this case it maybe UNICLASS 1.4 or perhaps UNICLASS 2015.

You also have a suitability status:

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The suitability status is absolutely crucial – but does not have to make up the base numbers. In fact, it’s this field that drives the workflows within Viewpoint For Projects.

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Above you can see how these breakdown – from ‘S0’, the initial WIP status and ‘S1’ through to ‘S7’ for ‘Suitable for Sharing’ etc.

And finally, you have the ‘Revision Status’ and this has a prefix of ‘P’ for all preliminary revisions.

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During WIP, a decimal may be used to indicate items going through company approvals processes – e.g. P01.01, P01.02 and so on.

And ‘C’ is used as a prefix for revisions to all completed work (e.g construction status) and would look like C01, C02 etc.

So that is the BS1192 numbering system. Even if you don’t like it, it’s a standard and what else do we have that has been agreed industry wide that we should use? We know that we need a convention for the labelling of our documents, data and models across all of the items within a project no matter who they are being produced by – so let’s use it.

I believe if you do start to use this standard you will fully understand it within a week. More importantly still, most of the numbering system remains the same from issue to issue. For example, the project number, who your company is, what role your company takes and actually whether it’s a model or a schedule, for instance, will remain the same from issue to issue. So actually all you’re probably doing is changing the revision status or perhaps the next iteration – so it’s not that complicated.

Once we start using this it will be fantastic because we will have this meta-data across all the items on our projects and we will be able to make those great searches, not just on one asset, but across all assets.

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CONSTRUCTION PROJECT OWNERS- ARE YOU LEADING HIGH PERFORMANCE CONSTRUCTION?

What is your 2016 strategy to improve project performance

Posted by Sue Dengenis, Synchro Software, Viewpoint Development Partner

Owners- you have the power to improve your construction project performance and to support your contractors’ success by requiring new performance standards.   Improvement and innovation is win- win.  Yes, projects are increasingly complex; yes, supply chains are global; yes, the design world has advanced technologically. This is reality; the only certainty is that change will continue and the pace will increase.    Recognize that owners’ specifications drive innovation and progress.   Technology for design has improved significantly, primarily due to Owner’s specifying new BIM standards of practice from their design teams.  It is time to expect contractors’ project management tools to also significantly improve in order to keep pace with industry needs. Construction teams need tools that provide insight and digital integration from design through construction and into facility operations.  Read the rest…

Synchro High Performance Infographic Feb 2016

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Back in 2007 BS1192 set out the processes to be followed within a common data environment (CDE) for collaboratively sharing information.

The PAS for 1192-2, the CAP-EX (Construction and Design period) or for PAS1192-3 the OP-EX (the strategic and operational period) both refer back to 2007 and say that the same process must be used for sharing information within the common data environment – and that information is not just models, it’s everything – documents, drawings, data and model files.

The following diagram shows the process to be followed:

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Everything starts with Work In Progress (WIP) – and this is only viewable to you and your company. But the standard is very clear that this information should be loaded onto the CDE and this is because the checks and processes of approval within your own company should still be recorded so if at any stage in the future there is a problem it is possible to go back and examine whether those processes actually took place.

Once WIP gets a ‘shared’ status other members of the Design and Construction team can see your work – it may be shared for coordination and clash detection (or any process that requires input from somebody else). You’ve also got the possibility to make your work ‘Client Shared’ – which means that this particular piece of work which is not the finished article is visible to the client for approval or comment.

Once a piece of work has been through the ‘Shared’ process, everybody has made their comments and the work has been coordinated and clash detected it may become suitable for publishing. ‘Published’ means the work is the finished item of work relating to a specific client deliverable – such as a planning application, a construction status document, model or drawing – or any of the other deliverables as defined by the client.

The work could also go to the ‘Client Published’ status which means that it is actually passed over to the client’s asset information system. Or finally, it could go to ‘Archive’ which is when a piece of work has become superseded or out of date.

One of the most powerful tools we have within ‘Viewpoint For Projects’ is our Work Flow Tool and it’s commonly used by design teams and contractors for approval processes and lean work flows too – some of them very complex – and of course we can use it for the 1192 workflow as well.

We’ve worked closely with Mervyn Richards, the author of BS1192, to make sure we have workflows in place which can take you through those various stages – WIP, Shared, Published and Archived. Each uploaded item (model, drawing, document or data) is given a BS 1192 suitability status by the uploader and these link the item to the appropriate workflow.

So here is the WIP workflow:

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You can see that the first thing an uploader does is confirm that they have linked a particular item to the Task Information Delivery Plan (TIDP) of that particular company – meaning it is visible to your team members. There are then two checks – a check for suitability in terms of your CAD Standards and for the suitability of the content – once those checks have been made the item remains on the system as WIP.

This next work flow takes an item which has been given a ‘Shared’ status through a ‘Shared’ or ‘Client Shared’ work flow.

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The first node asks somebody to determine whether it should go to ‘Shared’ (your team members will see this) or ‘Client Shared’ (your client will see this too) and then again there are a series of approval stages to go through. At the conclusion of these approvals, a link is made between the particular item being dealt with and the Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP) – so now everybody knows that this particular item has been delivered at a ‘Shared Status’ to the MIDP – it’s visible to everybody.

Once an item has been through the ‘Shared Work Flow’ it will become visible either to the other members of your Design and Constriction team or if it’s going through the ‘Client Shared’ to the other members of the Design and Construction team and the client.

The next workflow takes a similar process for an item to come through to ‘Published’ – either published as the finished article for your team or published and passed over to the client:

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At any stage within these processes, a particular reviewer can reject the item – in which case the uploader will get a notification and will be asked to make certain amendments to that item.

Finally, we have a workflow to take items through to archive:

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At the completion of the workflow, each item is linked to the work stage in which it relates which makes for quick and easy viewing.

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