Computing Construction: Shifting to a Digital Landscape

Technology is changing the construction industry, and it affects everything from project plan sets to toilets and drones.

The introduction of digital plans has been one of the biggest game changers in the construction industry, and CMSWillowbrook uses them every day.

Craftsmen can access the digital data from where they stand using iPads or smartphones, instead of speculating what is on paper back in the project office 200 yards away from the work area. Connected job sites have reduced the time needed to troubleshoot issues and find creative solutions.

CMSWillowbrook is committed to keeping projects on time, and our use of digital plans helps ensure we honor that promise.

Other software products, such as 3-D modeling, have changed the design phase of the construction process.

On the Oklahoma City Municipal Courts project, CMSWillowbrook used building information modeling (BIM) technology to create a virtual 3-D model. This allowed us to coordinate all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) equipment within the structure prior to breaking ground.

Normally, dozens of areas have to be manually reworked during construction to make everything fit together properly. Using BIM allowed the work to be done just once, on the computer, which saved time and money because there were no conflicts to correct.

BIM technology also allowed for partial pre-fabrication of the courts’ restrooms. Due to the precise measurement capabilities of BIM, the water closet carriers and other plumbing elements were constructed off-site and arrived completely assembled. This allowed the project team to quickly install the plumbing and saved several days’ work on site.

Drones also help save time and are commonplace on our project sites.

When CMSWillowbrook needed to inspect a five-story historical building, we had two options: rent a lift or fly our drone. It was an easy choice.

The drone allowed us to put our eyes on the structure without renting a $1,000 lift and saved the time needed to secure the equipment, get it to the site and send a team to physically inspect the project.

CMSWillowbrook will continue to be a pioneer in the adoption of technology, allowing us to work efficiently for our clients.

Weston DeHart is the President of CMSWillowbrook

Larisha Hunter