VDC/BIM Fits Project Into Short Time Window

Our upgrade of the occupied Bio-Rad Woodinville facility had to fit within a narrow time window due to Bio-Rad's manufacturing schedule, and the related FDA validation approvals they depend upon. Virtual Design & Construction / Building Information Modeling (VDC/BIM) sped the design and construction, eliminated wasted effort, and provided the certainty we needed. 

Early in design, Lewis created a 3D model of the existing and new structural elements, architectural elements, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems in coordination with our design-build subcontractors Holaday-Parks and Prime Electric. The model was a design coordination tool as well as a base for coordinating the MEP systems. We used the model to finalize the casework layout, and worked with structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic who detailed all of the steel in 3D. 

The model allowed us to identify areas of the design that needed to be addressed by the engineers, such as connection points and dimensioning between architectural and structural elements. This helped the team avoid questions late in design, and speed installation. 

After modeling the walls virutally, we exported the model to AutoCad and sent the model to the surveyor to import into surveying software. This involved changing the units from architectural terminology to engineering terminology, and orienting the building in the model to better suit the surveyor's needs. The information was used to locate the foundations, column lines, and interior walls. 

Coordination meetings were expanded by using WebEx to allow full participation by partners at other locations, which helped the team coordinate the project virtually in three weeks. Our superintendent was able to view the coordinated 3D model on his laptop, and found the model an excellent tool for his regular foreman coordination meetings. 

During construction, Lewis linked building operational information to the model for Bio-Rad's facility management group. This is a living system for managing the building, with Operations & Maintainance (O&M) information as well as training summaries. 

A six-week modeling effort brought great value throughout the project, not just with efficiencies but in avoiding surprises that can cause delays. We completed the project successfully, two days early!