VDC NCL, Miami, FL

January 5, 2021

Haskell Brings Project Designs to Life Using BIM and VDC

Technology allows clients to see what they are purchasing. They also see improved efficiency and considerable cost savings.


As a pioneer in design-build delivery, Haskell always has worked across the architectural, engineering and construction disciplines throughout the lifecycle of a project, collaborating with the project owner every step of the way.

But now Haskell’s teams don’t just communicate with the owner. They show them the future, adding time and cost components to the design-build experience to produce a 4D animated construction simulation.

“The reaction we get from the owner is the highlight of the meeting,” said Justin Barrette, manager of Virtual Construction at Haskell. “They are excited about the project and want to see it again and again.”

Employing the latest digital technology, Haskell’s holistic approach to project delivery comes to life using Building Information Modeling (BIM). Architects and engineers design in software systems that combine the computer-generated 3D modeling and database-driven tools of the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry with those developed in the video game industry to create and fully realize the 3D conceptual designs.

Clients see exactly what they are purchasing. They also see improved efficiency and considerable cost savings, with Haskell’s ability to downstream design model data into construction, with direct ties into estimating, scheduling, coordination, prefabrication, field layout, and execution.

Leveraging BIM to its fullest potential through Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) workflows, designers, construction managers, and trade subcontract partners can detect and resolve myriad problems during design and prefabrication, pre-empting costly delays and change orders in the field. Then, further utilizing this technology in the field execution phase, Haskell maximizes productivity and jobsite safety.

“It prevents rework from happening in the field,” Barrette said. “We look for every opportunity to prefabricate in a controlled environment.”

No Surprises

We are all familiar with popular home remodeling television shows. Critical plotlines play out when “hidden” problems reveal themselves. VDC prevents such surprises. Through automated clash detection and virtual facility walkthroughs, significant problems are discovered well before any real work begins.

“Customers are confident in the information they are getting from us,” Barrette said.

Haskell also uses BIM and VDC when repurposing existing structures. In the past, renovation projects relied on outdated record, or “as-built,” drawings. If available, these original drawings may not reflect work done since the building was constructed.

VDC employs rapid collection of field measurements using 3D laser scanning and drones for aerial mapping. This allows Haskell to scan the job site and capture measurements, 360-degree photos and topographic contour data of the existing facility and overall site. It proves more accurate than taking multiple trips with a team of architects and engineers, capturing limited photos, sketches, and a few key measurements.

With accurate measurements, architects and engineers can create a 3D representation of the facility to enable the new design process, with or without client-provided record drawings. Customers are amazed at the detail that is achieved. Using this framework of existing conditions, designers and engineers can then explore multiple scenarios to reroute ductwork, electrical and plumbing to accommodate building changes. This allows for the best possible use of space and enhances building functionality.

Technology on the job site

Once land is cleared, the site can be staked using Robotic Total Station (RTS) layout equipment, which enables a single worker to perform layout while the robot tracks the position of the layout operator carrying the prism pole. This enables highly accurate location staking for self-perform concrete layout and quality assurance of other trades onsite, and it is done in a matter of days with greater accuracy than using traditional surveying methods. RTS pinpoints the location of such things as the placement of concrete foundations, anchor bolts for future steel column placement, underground utilities and piping penetrations.

Robotic layout technologies modernize the construction process, bridging the gap between design drawings and field execution, Barrette said.

Integrating laser scanning again during construction progress provides real-time feedback so the team to make informed decision regarding construction tolerances. Crews can immediately detect a problem – for example, if steel were installed out of tolerance prior to prefabricated glass installation – and correct it before it multiplies into a costly and time-consuming fix.

“Here at Haskell, we are always looking for creative ways to execute our work more efficiently. How can we accomplish our work more accurately in less time with less resources to maximize our efficiency?” Barrette said.

BIM-enabled technology and VDC workflows reduce risk and keep jobs moving. Delivering work when promised builds customer confidence and further grows Haskell’s reputation as a proven industry performer.

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,000 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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