A construction project begins with a vision, a concept that slowly takes shape with contributions from a set of professionals, bringing their own expertise into the fold. To ensure a project comes to fruition, collaboration between different disciplines with varying skill sets is instrumental, which includes building owners, architects, engineers, contractors, electricians, and other professionals. The challenge in this process is keeping everyone on the same page. This is where the value of visualization comes in.
Defining construction project visualization
Construction project visualization is a visual representation of where a construction project stands at any point in time. Here are a few ways visualization helps during the stages of your construction project, from conception to the post-construction stage:
In this stage, visualization helps the owners and other key stakeholders share their vision with the overall team, including architects, engineers, and construction professionals.
Once the project’s overall concept is shared, a preliminary design is drawn up, which will then be revised based on feedback from all stakeholders. A key challenge in this stage is collaboration. Internal Teams comprised of Architecture, Engineering & Construction professionals leverage the power of the fully integrated design and data platform Revit. External Teams consisting of building owners and non-AEC project team members are forced to use offline and outdated PDF CAD diagrams and Excel spreadsheets. Since External Teams have no real-time access to the building model, they cannot directly collaborate on the design, leaving them to manually reconcile their working files with the AEC team’s most recent exports. However, by using a real-time visual platform to interface with Revit, users on both teams – AEC and Non-AEC alike can collaborate and work on the most current model in a unified platform.
When the construction project commences, it is important to track the project’s progress against the final design. Here, visualization plays a multi-faceted role for the construction team as they use visual data to guide their operations, plan resources, and manage overall coordination.
Post-construction, the visualization of the building acts as the foundation for space management, facilities management, and overall building operations. Many organizations face significant challenges simply because they do not have this “single source of truth."
The “data” effect: Why visualize your construction project?
A construction project is a labor-intensive undertaking. The core objective is to ensure timely and on-budget construction delivery. To achieve this, it is essential that project stakeholders have complete visibility and access to accurate, timely data to make the right decisions at the right time. Little things like identifying the precise placement of a power port, which, if not captured early, can create a domino effect during construction, impacting delivery time and installation.
For Non-AEC project teams, the biggest challenge is the dependence on standalone industry tools such as PDF floor plans and spreadsheets, which are not updated in real time. Each of these tools lack the capability for users to provide timely feedback to AEC professionals based on the current building model, leading to an information gap between the two teams.
Compounding this challenge is decentralized data spread across multiple teams of contractors and specialty contractors, which results in individually managed processes that do not align with each other. This leaves project teams with the laborious task of finding connections between the floor plans they see and volumes of tabular data.
Although traditionally presented in an excel sheet, data works better when presented visually on a web-based environment. This is especially important during construction projects, where project teams can visualize, plan, and map each object directly on floor plans to collaborate better as a cross-functional, multi-dimensional team.
Why use SpaceRunner for Construction Project Visualization?
SpaceRunner acts like a lightweight Revit editor, with real-time integration to Revit, allowing both teams to visualize and collaborate on a highly configurable, web-based solution that does not require specialized training. The AEC team can empower external project team members to annotate and update the building model by quickly distributing the most current versions amongst the larger team.
The powerful platform supports greater collaboration with features like markups and integrations with other platforms such as Excel. These integrations ensure that any data change in one platform will be automatically reflected on the other, eliminating the need for manual data entry and rework. Here are a few benefits:
Supports feedback loop from building owners
One of the key factors that cause project delays is the lack of clear communication between AEC teams and the building owners. SpaceRunner offers a suite of features to support feedback from business owners by delivering a visual platform to plan, review and validate changes in the building model.
Helps Filter and Organize Large Data Sets
Visualization is a great way to see potential problems before they occur. With access to the entire layout of your building, comparing notes and troubleshooting problems on the same platform becomes more efficient. SpaceRunner allows different users to work on a single platform, with the ability to filter data using custom views. This allows users to see different layers of data in isolation. For example, users can create a custom view to see where the power ports are placed and share it with relevant team members for accurate installation.
Reduces errors using live design updates
A key challenge faced by construction project teams is the lack of visibility to real-time design updates. Access to the updated building model before the point of construction ensures work is done accurately, eliminating costly rework. Project architects can use SpaceRunner’s Revit Add-in to distribute the current version of the BIM quickly and automatically amongst the larger team, cutting down on any version control issues.
Visualization facilitates overall communication between the entire project team. SpaceRunner combines both visual and data elements, allowing the whole team to review and validate designs, manage quantity takeoffs, plan for equipment, assets, and other objects based on a complete, real-time view of the building model.
Better collaboration leads to reduced errors. When the whole team has access to updated, real-time information, troubleshooting becomes more efficient, leading to drastic cost efficiencies.
For a closer look at how you can view, edit, and collaborate on your Revit BIM model across your project team, schedule a demo here.
Construction project management has its own set of unique challenges. Learn how to overcome those challenges with specialized project management software, designed to ensure the project progresses smoothly — and every contractor and on-site crew remains on schedule.