Turning “Unknowns” In The Field Into “Knowns” In The Shop

by | Dec 3, 2021 | All, Electrical, Mechanical

We’ve all faced it on one project or another: a change order on a job forces tradesmen in the
field to improvise a solution to a previously unforeseen problem. Maybe the location of a wall
was moved by the client and lighting fixture placements weren’t updated. Or plumbing specs
were changed due to a new building code. Or an upgraded HVAC unit was purchased, and
ductwork needs to be adjusted. On each construction project, something happens that causes
the folks in the field to improvise–much to the consternation of architects, engineers,
contractors, and clients.

Any change–large or small–has a cascading effect on the project team, but those that are
unplanned and require creative solutions in the field are the ones that give project managers
and general contractors the most heartburn and sleepless nights. Changes mean altering the
design, the model, and the materials for the project. They can require input from engineers,
architects, the client, and possibly even building inspectors. A change in the field–however
competently it’s implemented–can still lead to hours or days of delay.

Utilizing modeling and materials management platforms that keep all stakeholders in the loop on
what’s happening in the field or in the client meetings allows the project team to learn about
changes as soon as possible. This sharing of information also has a cascading effect, but with
much less heartburn.

“Why?” you ask. Early sharing of information allows the unplanned problem in the field to find a
planned solution in the design shop. It allows modelers to create new schedules for the newly
specified materials. It allows designers to create updated spool drawings for the prefab shop. It
allows architects and engineers the opportunity to consult among themselves and with the client
to formulate a fix over time instead of instantly on the job site.

The fewer unknowns the field faces, the smoother the construction and installation goes. The
entire team working on the project can leverage their knowledge, experience, and talents to
identify the best solution to the problem and manufacture or obtain the best part for the job.
Instead of wasting valuable time in the field–time that had been allotted to another task–the
solution is plotted and a plan put in place. The part can be designed and manufactured in the shop more easily, more precisely and more efficiently in the shop than in the field, and it can be
delivered at the proper time.

Using solutions like eVolve MEP combined with eVolve Foresite, all the stakeholders on a
project can have the opportunity to contribute solutions to problems that arise due to changes in
the design or the timetable, keeping everyone informed and on the same page about the project
forecast.

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