Last month, DPR Construction announced it is piloting an online software program designed to streamline the firm’s use of BIM technology.
BIM Track is a web-based issue tracking platform that allows multiple stakeholders to coordinate on BIM-based projects. Issues can be questions, comments, clashes, RFIs and more. The program is compatible with several existing BIM software platforms including Autodesk Revit, Tekla Structures, Navisworks, AutoCAD and Procore products.
DPR’s BIM Track pilot began about a year ago, according to Hannu Lindberg, DPR’s national VDC director. Lindberg said that the firm's use of the software has grown in that time period and that DPR has utilized BIM Track on close to 200 projects.
So far, DPR has used BIM Track across many market sectors, in big and small projects from health care and life sciences jobs to tenant improvement renovations.
He said the software creates a kind of “virtual big room” in which key players come together around the design coordination process. Used by DPR and other large construction firms, a virtual big room is an on-site space where designers, builders and often facility operators work together.
“If we can’t work on a project face to face, this allows us to collaborate using a solution that helps identify where the issues are,” he said. “It really helps us to bridge the gap between the field and office.”
BIM Track provides project-wide visibility into the status of issues and team accountability of assigned tasks, according to John Barkwell, director of business development at BIM Track. The platform allows for online communication and analytics geared toward decision making.
The tech partnership with BIM Track is DPR’s second such recent agreement. This summer, DPR signed an enterprise agreement with Australian-based software provider HammerTech that will allow the contractor to standardize safety processes across all U.S. projects.
DPR employees, partners and clients have found many benefits to the system: Most importantly, it gives them access to the latest, centralized information on a given project, Lindberg said. Subcontractors can access files for free, he added.
In addition, the use of BIM Track has led to fewer RFIs on the back end, Lindberg said. Having information centralized and accessible hasn’t saved DPR a specific measurable dollar amount, he added, but it has allowed construction managers to avoid issues that could be expensive and time consuming and to keep on schedule.
"This is not just about technology,” he said. “It’s another medium to help us guide the design process.”