Posts Tagged ‘bim’

Top Graduates by Design

Monday, August 7th, 2017

With an increasing demand for drafting, design, and project management to be completed in-house by one contractor, educational institutions and contractors are adapting to meet this need, including Dunwoody College of Technology’s Electrical Construction Design & Management (ECDM) program.

In 2015, Nick Bohl, Dunwoody Senior Instructor took over the ECDM program and wanted to incorporate more hands-on project management training. As the only two-year program of its kind in
Minnesota, it was vital that the curriculum of the ECDM program continue to provide what the industry needed. He reached out to former graduates of the program, and current Egan employees, for thoughts on improvements.

Initially, the program provided students an overview of the skills needed to tackle complex electrical construction projects. With course topics on electrical installation, CAD, Revit, and cost estimation, the ECDM program provided students a theoretical overview of what it’s like to be on an electrical construction project team. But it was largely hands-off and taught more traditionally.

“Egan has a bit of a soft spot for Dunwoody,” said Dan Ford, Egan Company Project Systems Supervisor. “We hire many Dunwoody graduates, and it’s in our best interest to help them create the best possible designers, drafters, and project managers. If we help them, it helps the industry, which ultimately helps us.”

Ford graduated from the ECDM program in 2008, and Bohl sought his advice in helping to add improvements to the program. The goal was to provide effective, hands-on training so these future designers, estimators, and project managers are better prepared for the realities of the construction industry.

Egan has gone above and beyond to help. Their enthusiasm and knowledge greatly benefit the students, and I know I can trust them in helping to educate the next generation of this industry.

-Nick Bohl, Dunwoody College of Technology Senior Instructor

“In a classroom, there’s one right answer for everything, and it can cause culture shock when you realize it doesn’t really work that way in the real world,” Ford said. “Projects can go places you don’t expect, and that’s just the nature of construction.”

But just how do you provide more hands-on learning in a traditional classroom setting? Using an existing Egan project, Ford and Bohl worked together to show students how to take a project from estimating to design/drafting to budget control/analysis to commissioning – all with real hands-on work.

“It’s one thing to talk about construction in theory, but it’s another to see it in practice,” Bohl said. “Learning from experts who do this every day gives them a more realistic idea of what it’s like to work in this industry.”

In the new program, students complete a mock estimate and go on jobsite tours to provide a real-life example of how estimating, design, and drafting are applied to an actual construction project.

For Travis Northway, Egan Company Assistant Project Manager Intern, his experience at Dunwoody was invaluable. After graduating in May 2017, he attributes much of his success to the ECDM program and Egan’s active involvement in helping to train future industry leaders.

“The ECDM program really opened my eyes to all the opportunities available in the electrical industry,” Northway said. “Since the program is driven by input from the industry, the topics covered prepared me for what I’ve experienced since working at Egan. It also helped me discover my learning style, and apply
that at work. Despite not having a construction or electrical background, I feel the program helped me hit the ground running.”

With these improvements, the program creates better and stronger employees for the industry, and Egan will continue to collaborate with Bohl and Dunwoody to add more elements to the program every year.

*Pictured (above right) is Dunwoody’s ECDM Class of 2015

Trending Project Technology

Monday, March 9th, 2015

161024_Egan-Marketing_L_279_0670Staying nimble and accurate is crucial to success, and Egan Company project managers are seeking every edge available to make sure they’re prepared to fulfill customers’ needs. One strategy paying off exceptionally well is the use of tablets equipped with construction apps on project sites.

With this technology, field personnel are able to access accurate drawings and other important documents while looking directly at the feature of which they correspond. The tablets are also connected to a cloud-based server, meaning everything the foremen or installers are looking at is 100% current. As soon as an Egan Building Information Model (BIM) engineer adds a change or addendum, the information is automatically updated to the tablets.

There are several key advantages to adopting this technology. The first is the organization and spread of information is completely streamlined; there’s no need to wait for new drawings or walk back-and-forth from a table to the building feature. The construction apps, like PlanGrid, also show what our field employees need to avoid when installing.

“The crew can actually fly through the model as if they were standing in the building,” said Marty Verduzco, Egan Company Senior Project Manager. “It even shows the features from other trades where they will need to work around.”

The benefits in time management and organization are substantial, but they pale in comparison to the technology’s biggest advantage – reducing the risk of mistakes.

Oftentimes, renderings on paper will be very large and have to be located on a table away from the actual building space, or on a computer hidden away in a trailer. With tablets, there’s no need to piece everything together by memory. And with instantaneous updates, there’s no re-printing, no delivery, and no change-of-hand-process. The risk of having outdated materials lying around is virtually removed – literally.

There are few things more frustrating than installing a day’s worth of material only to realize some small detail had changed and you need to re-do everything. By reducing mistakes, installers can help eliminate the possibility of re-work.

Since Egan began work at the 3M 280 Lab Building in Maplewood, Minn., there have been 37 addendums made to BIM drawings during the installation phase.

“Without this technology, it would have been practically impossible to get all the changes to the field efficiently,” Verduzco said.

The tablets work as tools to strengthen the connection between the installers/foremen onsite and the BIM engineers in the office. Right now they are being implemented sparingly, but as more positive feedback rolls in, the trend of usage will likely spread.

“Having this technology onsite helps to realize the full potential of our BIM engineers and our CAD software,” said Nick Ziegler, Egan Company BIM Group Manager. “It makes communication easier, and the easier an installer/foreman and an engineer can understand each other, the better a project can move forward with speed and surety.”