Since the formation of globe-PM in 1999 the company was involved in many projects, either as a consultant or as a contractor for construction companies. When globe-PM started under the name of Construction Competence Center of Upper Franconia (in the North of Bavaria) it already cooperated with 17 partners (small and medium enterprises) from the local construction industry.
The first major project from 2002-2005 was VIKOP/BAULOG with a budget of app. 1,6 Mill. EUR and 8-12 members in the team. Since then globe-PM participated in medium and large projects with budgets from 12 Mill. EUR up to 4 Bill. EUR. The latest project (2010-2011) was a Saw Mill in Southern Sweden where globe-PM consulted the general contractor from Germany.
Tough conditions in a beautiful environment
Working in Sweden is hard when your projects starts in October 2010 and is scheduled to end in April of 2011. Despite the cold winter with temperatures mostly around -10°C this project was delivered on time. globe-PM was in charge of all local procurement as well as contract management with local suppliers and subcontractors.
Keep it a secret
Contracting with the public sector in Germany is always a challenge - and an honor, too. globe-PM qualified as a subcontractor for the general contractor and was responsible for claim management, time scheduling and finally for all model-based engineering like setting up a Building Information Model (BIM) with Autodesk Revit. globe-PM was involved from December 2008 until March 2010.
More than 10.000 building parts in concrete were modeled in 3D, giving us the possibility to simulate not only the site progress but also crane collisions. The foremen asked for visualizations of complex concrete shapes in order to prepare formwork construction.
Steel on a roll
Steel is a fascinating raw material. Hot, cold, galvanized, stripped, annealed, pickled - the whole industry speaks it's own language and it is not easy for outsiders to understand the process chain without prior studies.
It is also challenging to build a new steel mill on another continent with different rules and requirements. It was possible within this project from 2007 to gain valuable experiences in how a steel plant operates and how the production process looks like. The main focus was set on value engineering and compliance. Was it a surprise that one kilometer of road costs a different sum of money in Germany and the United States?
A House with two apartments and a studio for a physiotherapist
This project has been realized in 2005 in the beautiful city of Roßdorf (Thuringia) in Germany. A married couple and three kids live in this ecologically friendly house with clay plaster on the walls and a heating concept based on the sustainable raw material wood. The terrace in the first floor offers a great view over the whole valley. The facade is covered with horizontal wood panels.
Feng Shui has been an important issue for the owners as well. They wanted timber of a very specific quality, cut in the neighborhood forest within a certain time window determined by the phase of the moon. The dewatering of the roof works drop-wise as there is no gutter installed. From inside, during rain times, the atmosphere reminds one of a house in the middle of a rain forest. The acoustic impact shall not be forgotten.
These and other "special features" of the house make it a unique project for globe-PM. In the basement the lady of the house runs a studio for physical therapy and she also organizes wellness and relaxation events for visitors who can spend the night in the rooms below the roof.
High-Rise Design in Shijiazhuang with Hamzah & Yeang, Beijing, 2003
The design for this high-rise building was created in cooperation with the architectural office of Hamzah & Yeang Architects, Beijing. Specifications and requirements for a high-rise building in China are different, particularly when it comes to the scale of such projects. A further focus was set on the Chinese approach to architectural design in general.
The design competition was initiated by the local newspaper in Shijiazhuang, which is located 150 km south of Beijing. In reference to the old Chinese art of calligraphy the tower follows the form of a calligraphy brush.
It is really remarkable how skilled the Chinese architects are in terms of 3D modeling. Building Information Modeling has quickly become the industry standard and lots of designs are presented in excellent 3D quality.
Logistics for ready-mixed concrete
Concrete is an upscale material. Deficits in the just-in-time delivery can lead to expensive material losses. The supplier shall be well organized in order to react quickly to spontaneous changes in the production process on the site. It is also necessary that the foreman on the site communicates regularly with staff from the concrete plant to get the arrival of trucks managed in an efficient way. With the use of navigation equipment the communication between plant, foremen and the trucks can be optimized.
Mobile Devices - Quantity Take-Off with a PDA & Facility Management with Touch-Pads
A construction manager of Schwender SHK (Thurnau, Germany) is using a PDA to measure the as-built quantities on a construction site near Bamberg (left picture). The billing process is optimized and shortened as it is easier to determine as-built data directly on site without taking it from plans in the office. The goal of the project was to find out whether a PDA is the right tool for collecting as-built data on construction sites. Today the company is equipped with high-tech mobile devices in the vehicles of service technicians to document service jobs.
After the first experiences with PDAs the employees asked for more sophisticated hardware with larger screens and online capabilities. The possibility to print service reports immediately and hand it over to the client was one of the requests from the service technicians. With the chosen hardware the service technicians have the ability to communicate via internet with the server in the office. The process of executing a job at a client's house was re-engineered the paper-free way. Additionally the mobile computer is used as a communication toolbox for Instant Messaging and work reports. The technician is able to inform all service technicians immediately if an urgent problem occurs at a client's facility. The system can also visualize the position of the service technicians and make it possible for an employee in the office to oversee the jobs and distribute new work assignments as needed.
Contractors enter the world of 3D
Which is the best method to determine quantities for a bid? To answer this question we compared two different methods for quantity determination in cooperation with a local contractor. On the one side we used a digital board together with a 2D plan to digitize the plan for use with the computer. On the other side we used a building information modeling tool (BIM) to build a 3D model in the computer and determine the quantities with the 3D model. We trained an employee in the use of the software and documented the digital lifecycle of the project. In the end we interviewed both users and asked for their comments. Although both users were beginners in the use of these tools the success was very promising. Today the company is using BIM technologies for the design of their own projects.
The pictures above show the virtual model and it's corresponding part in reality. All quantities for the bid have been taken from the virtual model. Although it is quite an effort to build the model it is without doubt a great added value for the owner, the contractor and also during the phase of use. The contractor will profit from very accurate quantities that might result in the small lead needed in order to win the bid. The owner will have a 3D model for the future that documents how the house has been designed. In bigger projects the 3D model can be used for facility management. Apart from this, in modern applications 3D parts are stored in a database which allows plenty of statistical analyses.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) - more than playing around with 3D
The picture below shows a plan that has been part of a claim. The contractor wanted to show that the quantity of excavated soil derived from the estimated amount. For this reason the contractor needed to bring in more concrete than planned which caused additional costs. With the design below the contractor was able to show the calculation of the additional amount of poured concrete - absolutely crucial for a successful claim management.
Other applications refer to the technical equipment of a building. It is much easier for craftsmen and service technicians to understand the positions of ducts, cables and hardware if the owner can provide them with a 3D picture of the whole system.
The picture from the small house shows the amount of brick stones used in this model. It helps craftsmen to quickly understand how much material is needed and where it is needed.