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October 07 Businessexcellence 27 structure. He calls it 5D-BIM, or building information modeling. “We’re not going to get a higher strength steel, or concrete, or a different type of glass,” he says. “The opportunities are there in the way we communicate and the way we transmit information. Ten years ago, my desire was to take the drawings that were created electronically by architects, and to transmit them electronically. Massive reams of paper were being sent everywhere; it took three weeks to get them out and by the time we received them they were out of date. We were wasting our time on obsolete plans just because the method of transmitting the documents was so slow.” Webcor invested in Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) to try to harness advances in technology. “We’re right here in the heart of Silicon Valley,” says Ball, “with all these great innovative geniuses; I said, ‘let’s benefit from this’. So we started to look at how we could take this technology and apply it to architecture, engineering and construction.” The fi rst few attempts were clumsy, he says, because the current broadband transmission speeds were not available, and many companies, particularly subcontractors, were still using fax transmissions because they didn’t have computers. Although everyone now transmits and receives documents electronically, there is still endless duplication of effort. “Duplication is rampant in this industry,” says Ball, “and not just duplication but triplication, and quadruplication. The same task being done in different locations, repeatedly.” One of the main sources of duplication is with the drawings, which is why Ball is excited about WebcorBuilders Top Grade Construction Inc. is a leading grading and paving contractor providing superior service, value engineering, design, planning and timely completion of your project. We can meet the unique requirements of any project with highly capable people and technical expertise. Top Grade has partnered with Webcor on numerous projects over the years and is proud to be affi liated with their organization. Top Grade Construction