The construction world has come a long way since the times of T- squares, compasses and protractors. Vast changes in technology over the last two decades have moved us away from paper plans to digital models that go beyond 3D to include time (4D) and cost (5D).
In fact, W. M. Jordan Company prides itself on being on the front line of new trends in the construction industry.
#WMJ’s Chief Information Officer, Raynald Morris, has spent over three decades in the construction industry. He has seen a remarkable amount of change over the course of his career.
“When I started here, everything was on paper. Technology was not really at the forefront of construction yet. Now we have an entire technology division,” said Morris, “Our research allows us to use technology to provide lower cost solutions that are applicable to many jobs.”
Of course, the entire construction industry has moved on from reams of paper schedules and systems plans. We now use digital models, laser scanners and cameras to map complex buildings in interactive 3-D environments. Data is stored in the cloud, accessible at any time to everyone working on a project, from the architect to the field tradesperson.
“We were ahead of the curve when we created our Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) department. Now we are constantly testing and researching new technology in the industry,” said Morris.
Already a leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM), #WMJ is taking that technology and using it to research the use of a more advanced and interactive technology, Augmented Reality (A/R). Recognizing the value of this emerging tool, #WMJ has partnered with Ario, an A/R platform designed to increase workforce efficiency while lowering cost. Development of this platform will assist not only #WMJ workers, but also create a better experience for our clients.
Recently, #WMJ participated in an A/R demonstration at our NASA project site with Procon Consulting . Using WMJ’s BIM files and a Microsoft HoloLens, our team could see a virtual overlay of the project’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems overlaid on top of a completed empty room. Team members could see how closely the installed pipes and ductwork aligned with their intended locations within the 3-D digital model. The applications of this technology extend from the job site to the owner and end users of the building.
Indeed, A/R can be used for oversight on a project. “Owners can use this technology to keep up with their schedule of values,” said Steve DeVito of Procon Consulting. “They can see what is going to be built that week so they know what they are being charged for. Additionally, A/R helps in pre-construction planning and post-construction inspections by giving an overlay of where everything should be vs. where things actually are.”
“We have been involved in researching and testing A/R for over five years now,” explained Dwayne Sellars, W. M. Jordan’s Virtual Construction Manager. “While this technology is still young, it already has many uses. We use it as an extra layer of quality control on our job sites.”
Augmented Reality is just one example of how W. M. Jordan Company proactively researches and tests an emerging technology. By identifying useful applications for new technologies, we are able to increase efficiency across all of our jobs, and continue building the future.