Project Cost & Time Management

How to manage cost & time in a 1,500,000 sq. ft. construction project

Jan 30, 2020

We are a BIM modeling and construction project management firm. Our team composed of Construction Managers, BIM Coordinators, Architects, and Engineers work collaboratively to make the construction process efficient. The result is a reduction in construction costs.

The Construction Digital Prototype in a large-scale mixed-use development

The methodology of the Construction Digital Prototype (also known as CDP) has the main goal of ensuring deadlines are met as established. Also, it generates a better communication of document information between consultants and the job site. At the same time, it reduces the interferences that may be generated in a project.

It is no news to the construction industry that there are still deviations and delays generating exorbitant costs or extraordinary expenses. At Corbis, we are aware of this situation and, through the Construction Digital Prototype methodology, we can resolve or substantially minimize the impact of these deviations and delays. This is achieved through the pillars on which this methodology is based.

For example, our Quantity Take-Off processes generate a more precise cost-projection, and our Clash Detection processes solve the RFIs in the job site.

The development of these solutions and work methodology led us to work together with Grupo Proaco in a 1,500,000 sq. ft. mixed-use project: Pocito Social Life.

This project, located in a fastest-growing urban area, combines 3 residential towers, a mall, parking, and coworking space. Pocito Social Life will imply an investment of US$ 200 million.

Construction Digital Prototype Management: Construction Management Kick Off Meeting

The work experience of putting the Construction Digital Prototype into practice

CorbisStudio implemented the Construction Digital Prototype or CDP since day one in Pocito Social Life. According to our project management approach, the first thing we worked on was the layout of the tasks concerning Project Delivery and BIM modeling management

Two CDP core documents as the Project Quality Manual and the Responsibility Matrix were created. This process involved holding several meetings to define the final version of these documents. It served to clarify a lot of gray areas about roles and responsibilities, which were confusing at the beginning. 

At this stage, work teams defined the working modality, what meetings were necessary, how they would be held, and the work deadlines were established. 

The Management pillar of the CDP is essential to avoid interference later and serves as a solid guide of work both for architecture development phases up to the construction phase.

The next step starts when we receive all the necessary information from the architectural studio responsible for the project’s conceptual design. That's when the disciplines begin to be modeled to get the first clash reports as soon as possible.

Construction Management for a Mixed-Use project

First, before starting with the modeling tasks, the Quantity Take-Off is carried out, continuing with the Clash Detection process and project documentation.

Another aspect that aligns with our methodology has to do with the workforce. The professionals in charge of Pocito Social Life's job site are characterized by being critical of the documentation that arrives for the site. This gives us a good input to work our documentation with the CDP methodology and, at the same time, allows us to have a close collaboration with the teams on site.

Software development to solve construction project management challenges

The Software within the CDP plays a critical role. Because of that, we can have updated information almost instantly.

Through the use of BIM, any modification made to design also happens in the model and it automatically updates the Quantities Take-Off data and the information for the Clash Detection process. Otherwise, it would take a long time to make those changes manually. Besides, there is always the human error present that can cause some issues to be overlooked. This margin of human error just doesn’t exist in the CDP.

The use of technology, which we always encourage in CorbisStudio for all our projects, is vital. We aim to a working process on which professionals can work with any device and have instant and real-time information about the project. This saves a lot of project hours, especially when there are many actors from many disciplines involved.

Construction Management: Pocito Social Life Mixed Use

How to measure the impact of cost estimates in a large mixed-use project

The impact of the CDP on a project is better seen if we divide the process into preliminary project stages and construction stages. Out of the 100% investment that exists for a project, in general, Architecture and Engineering total approximately 7%. Of this percentage, 5% is for architecture and 2% for engineering, in terms of approximate amounts. The rest of the investment goes for construction.

If we implement the CDP methodology, the Architecture stage will probably involve an investment of about 2% more. This is because documentation and development take a little more time. BIM modeling is performed, quantity take-offs, among others. 

But because of this, construction itself reduces its execution times.

Then, an increase of about 2% in the preliminary stage ends impacting beneficially where the bulk of the investment is, and that is construction. Therefore, the savings are so significant that any previous variation is diluted to its minimum expression.

This is what we are going to measure in Pocito, which, while still in the early stages of the CDP, cannot be known exactly yet. It will be well reflected when the project enters the construction stage.

Making an estimate, in Pocito the preliminary draft stage will take 15% more time than usual. But worldwide metrics indicate that the impact of these methodologies on a project construction is very significant.

The scope of cost projection estimates through Quantity Take-Offs

The cost projection developed to date is only on the towers, which is what is defined at the moment. We calculate everything that can be modeled using Revit. We can’t say we are calculating the 100% of the construction cost, since there are things that are not modeled, for example, the handling of a crane. But we can calculate everything concerning furnishing, paint coatings, number of toilets, pipes, MEP, etc.

Partial results of the Construction Digital Prototype in Pocito Social Life

Although the project is at an early stage, some results or benefits can already be seen. For example, regarding cost management, it is possible to highlight how accurate the CDP is to forecast costs. You have to keep in mind that it has its tricks when modeling and that it is not a simple process. One cannot start a project and in the middle of the process decide to perform Quantity Take-Off because the information obtained from it will not be useful at that time.

Regarding that, our team made a very deep study of how each piece had to be modeled. They used the data for Pocito and the quantities gave precise results for the work at the construction site. 

The Construction Digital Prototype wipes out interferences in the cosntruction site

The Construction Digital Prototype features that get the attention of Project Developers

The cost calculation process and the clash detection they saw in Opera (another project in which we collaborate) was what caught their attention the most. In Pocito Social Life we are not at that point yet. But they are the pillars of the CDP in which they have shown more enthusiasm for the moment.

How and when can owners and developers implement the Construction Digital Prototype?

The ideal time to start is day one. The CDP is quite comprehensive not only from the technological side but from the Management side. If you do not start with an orderly project and with things clear from day zero, it will be difficult to rectify.

If modeling is not approached from the BIM side, knowing exactly what are you modeling for, the information generated will probably not be of much use.

Is there still room for improvement within the Construction Digital Prototype?

Beyond what Corbis has developed as a CDP, it can still be improved to make the construction process more efficient. There is always room for improvement.

For example, there is room to improve in terms of logistics. Through BIM you can work a lot of logistics and seek efficiency in that when it comes to building.

Another area of improvement is Facility Management. Once the building is already built, all the information on the model can be extracted and transferred to a Maintenance Software to make the management of this stage easier. 

The impact is very important. The useful life of a building is approximately 50 to 60 years. All the expenses generated throughout that time is 60% of the construction cost. There is also room to improve there.


CATEGORIES: CorbisStudio