CRB is a global design, construction, and consulting services firm with over 30 years of experience. Their ONEsolution™- an integrated approach from planning to handover to deliver better project outcomes and reduce risk - leverages cloud-based collaboration on design and build projects. Working on various project delivery types across several industries, CRB utilizes lean construction and construction quality management to reduce costs and improve deliveries across the board.
CRB provides design-assist services that bring every contractor, subcontractor, and stakeholder into the cloud-based collaboration process from the very start. This approach requires a shared virtual environment where information can be exchanged and worked on collaboratively.
For CRB, Autodesk Construction Cloud™ forms the backbone of a common data environment for cloud-based collaboration. The platform also integrates with the many other tools that CRB uses so that nobody has to download or upload files from multiple tools.
With BIM 360 as the common data environment, CRB can ensure teams have access to real-time data for design coordination and review, which streamlines the process and helps projects be more efficient. The team also uses Assemble to see how they’re tracking against estimates and using it as an interface to generate earned value metrics for construction progress.
With PlanGrid and BuildingConnected, information is centralized and shared in a digestible way with all users. With BuildingConnected and PlanGrid, CRB can seamlessly transfer complex data from the design and planning phase into workers’ hands on the site.
BuildingConnected, in particular, has allowed them to build their network and establish deeper relationships with trade partners.
“We use Autodesk Construction Cloud, including BIM 360 Design. We vet and onboard trade partners early on in the preliminary design process and co-author models together. This method provides shared ownership of design, which is a big key benefit. But then it also allows us to leverage all the other tools within the ecosystem, including BuildingConnected, PlanGrid, and Assemble.”
Co-authoring via cloud-based collaboration tools also cuts down on time to fabrication. By bringing specialty contractors in earlier and having them author inside the fabrication suite, the mechanical design team can also offer up their parts, and everything becomes seamless.
It also improves budgeting and budget tracking. For instance, in the old way, you might have to give a plus or minus 10% estimate for piping, not knowing exactly how many feet of pipe would be needed. With the piping contractor assisting with design, this can be determined from the beginning and budgeted more accurately.
“Over the last year, we’ve been able to convert all paper reports into electronic reports. This is one example of how we’re able to take the integrations with these tools and realize real savings with time and material.”
Going lean requires substantial planning and co-authoring and collaboration upfront, but the cloud-based collaboration must also be carried through every stage of design, build, and maintenance to yield the greatest benefit.
With BIM 360, CRB has found many opportunities to save time, money, and rework by resolving clashes before they become issues during construction. The transformation has led to less finger-pointing and more collaboration between project teams as everyone has access to real-time project data in one centralized platform.
Before implementing BIM 360, conducting model coordination was time-intensive, as CRB had to share through an FTP site and did not have a common data environment. Having a centralized platform where all project stakeholders can upload models allows coordination to happen more organically, so teams always coordinate rather than periodically - which is a significant value. CRB estimates this integration will save them at least two weeks of work on each project and improve communication with their subcontractors.
For a global company with projects worldwide, the ability to coordinate multiple aspects of the job in the cloud is critical.
CRB’s innovations in lean construction and cloud-based collaboration have far-reaching benefits for themselves and their clients, and their leadership provides an outstanding model for other companies to follow.
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Kansas City, MO, US