C+S January 2023 Vol. 9 Issue 1 (web)

The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for commercial devel - opment has become a global standard in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. By digitizing the design and management of a building project, professionals can more easily track changes, material requirements, budgets and timelines. However, utilizing this technology for residential purposes is occurring at a slower adoption rate despite the advantages of applying its insight and savings potential throughout the project lifecycle. BIM for residential offers advantages to both for-profit and non-profit organizations. It can help retain budgets, manage homeowner and con - tractor changes, visualize final builds, and reduce material waste. As urbanization continues to push cities to their limits, this technology will be essential to crafting efficient and affordable housing. Rochester, NY-based Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH) be - came one of the first organizations in its area to utilize cloud-enabled BIM and laser scanning for building and rehabilitating residential housing. FCHH decided to take the first step in its digital construction journey by employing BIM and laser scanning technology to stream - line the building lifecycle and allow all project documentation to be stored in a single, accessible format. The affiliate builds new homes, rehabilitates existing homes and offers repair services. While housing prices in Rochester are relatively af - fordable compared to larger cities in the region, household incomes are also lower with most housing stock priced high or in need of significant renovation. Locally, there are more than 6,000 abandoned homes and vacant lots, making the financial return on investment in many neigh - borhoods difficult to achieve without subsidy assistance. In 2021, FCHH partnered with area contractor TiverBuilt to provide BIM services to help execute the design and construction process so that more houses could be renovated or built in a single year. TiverBuilt offers 3D laser scan and BIM coordination services to the residential construction market. Use of this technology allows for the creation of an as-built model that can be updated in a virtual environment. “I have been with FCHH since 2013 and up until now, we’ve con - ducted business as usual,” said Matthew J. Flanigan, FCHH MPA & CEO. “The BIM technology that TiverBuilt proactively brought to us was unfamiliar, but it resonated with me immediately. Some of the big - gest challenges we experience, BIM has solutions for.” Autodesk’s Technology Impact Program , which grants its software Digitizing Non-Profit Construction Projects Leads to Residential Revitalization By Flower City Habitat for Humanity, TiverBuilt, and Microdesk

to nonprofits and startups using design and engineering for social or environmental impact, provided FCHH with 80 three-year subscrip - tions for multiple BIM software products to retain the master model and store all associated documentation. Then, Autodesk Foundation training partner Microdesk, a global business and technology service provider for the design and construction industry, was enlisted to assist with onboarding BIM 360 to the cloud for optimized collaboration. “TiverBuilt is focused on providing BIM to homeowners, so our mis - sion aligned seamlessly with FCHH,” noted Lindsay Prichard-Fox, TiverBuilt CEO. “We also knew that to achieve the goal of full 3D BIM coordination, we’d need more support. Connecting with the Mi - crodesk and Autodesk teams really gives us the tools we need to get more families in homes, faster.” The FCHH team was eager to trial the new software on a project from start to finish. A rehabilitation project on Child Street offered the per - fect testing ground. A smaller build in comparison to previous work, the 1,000-square-foot property contained one bedroom and one- and one-half baths. The abandoned house was covered in asbestos and needed to be fully remediated before remodeling could even begin. While the FCHH team did not lack in enthusiasm for a new take on their usual project workflows, they knew they required training to leverage BIM technology to the fullest. FCHH would also need to replicate the processes going forward, which called for mentors who could train the group on best practices and guidelines, allowing them to take full ownership of future residential projects. “This technology helps make our construction staff more efficient, more able to focus on the primary or obvious skills we need them to bring forth such as people skills; teaching untrained volunteers on a daily basis is its own ‘art,’” said Flanigan. “These gifts that have been brought forth will allow our teammates to do less back-office paper - work and that’s a very, very positive and welcome change!” The goal was to form a complete, modern project team, including technology partners to complement FCHH’s local construction team of crews and volunteers. Laser scanning was integral early in the project development to achieve this goal. The project partners, structural engi - neers, architects, consultants all volunteering their time and often work- ing remotely, used laser scan technology to ensure accurate information. One of the key benefits of scanning was identifying structural weak - nesses in need of reinforcement. Prior to submitting for permits, the project team was able to work with the City of Rochester to review the design overlayed with laser scans. This information improved the confidence of the consultants and streamlined the approval process. “Making broad changes to large existing systems within the construc - tion industry can be very difficult, while scaled introductions can be more effective,” said Prichard-Fox. “It’s our core belief that these smaller projects actually create a good opportunity to implement new methods, identify challenges, and demonstrate how to pivot or make adjustments efficiently and quickly.”


January 2023 csengineermag.com

Made with FlippingBook Annual report