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October 07 Businessexcellence 29 the potential of 5D-BIM. “I believe building information modeling is the future of construction,” he says. “You take the 3D model and lay in scheduling and estimating. To do that you need programs that have smart objects embedded in them, and suddenly you end up with building information modeling. Instead of being basic electronic drawings, you get the exact composition of what that wall is—it’s a nine foot high wall with type X 5/8 inch dry wall each side of a 24 inch space, 20 gauge studs, so we can now get quantities and prices. Now you have tremendous ability to pick up the estimating and scheduling off the electronic drawings.” Eliminating duplication is the next stage. “At the moment the structural engineer comes up with a complete set of structural steel drawings. Those aren’t used for anything, other than for the steel fabricator to build a set of fabrication drawings that we use to get the mill order for the steel and then use in the erection. Why are we duplicating this process? Why aren’t we building a suit on one mannequin instead of having 120 different mannequins with one having a sleeve on it, one having a collar on it, and another having a cuff on it? It’s crazy, but that’s how the industry does it today. Why can’t we get one mannequin and build everything on that so everybody can use it? We want to build the buildings on a virtual basis, so we can use virtual time and money to solve problems, so when you get in the fi eld they’re already taken care of.” Another source of duplication that frustrated Ball was the inputting of information. Accounting and payroll information used to be written down on a piece of paper at the job site, he explains, and messengered into the offi ce for data entry. Now, the people who were writing it down on paper are actually doing the input themselves, eliminating the duplication. “You’ve got to move right out to the fi rst point of entry and say that is the actual entry,” he emphasizes, “but then the accountants go nuts because they want to control everything and have their checks and balances. They think that every time you input something it’s a good way to keep a mistake from being made, and you have to point out to them that every time you duplicate a process it’s an opportunity to create a mistake. All this talk of eliminating waste in business processes brings to mind the lean manufacturing programs that manufacturers WebcorBuilders ALLIED FIRE PROTECTION is a full service company including design, fabrication and installation of fi re sprinkler systems in the SF Bay Area. We have been privileged to work with Webcor Builders over the past 30 years on many of their high profi le projects. We congratulate Andy Ball for his success in the growth of Webcor, and look forward to continuing our relationship in their future endeavors. ALLIED FIRE PROTECTION Clark Pacifi c is a design-manufacture-build company that specializes in architectural and structural precast concrete solutions for commercial structures throughout California. Using the latest technologies, Clark Pacifi c provides owners, contractors, and designers with high quality structures built to last. The company’s in-house teams of engineers, craftsmen and erection personnel deliver consistently reliable results from initial design through fi nal construction. Clark Pacifi c