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$6B CA College Project Utilizing BIM

Friday, February 23, 2018

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A project in California that’s considered the largest bond construction program in the U.S. has set a strict building information modeling mandate for any firm bidding on a part of the process.

The Project

The Los Angeles Community College District—the largest in the nation, comprised of nine colleges—is undergoing a $6 billion project to modernize its campus facilities, funded through taxpayer-approved bonds. Part of that modernization is a target for zero energy usage, with at least one building chasing a LEED Platinum status.

The BIM requires that each building be modeled in 3-D and managed using the approved software; currently, there are several platforms. Firms bidding for a contract must agree to these guidelines.

According to Cadalyst, the BuildLACCD project has involved more than 500 participants in nearly 1,000 different trades, with each team given a framework for workflow, information sharing and design collaboration.

One case study on the project’s BIM looked at the Los Angeles Harbor College, where HGA Architects and Pinner Construction are the design-build team for the new 74,000-square-foot science center.

With sights set on LEED Platinum certification, coordinators on that project said that without the forced plan, the building might not have come together.

“LACCD was one of the first clients we had that had a standardized process they wanted us to walk through,” said Matthew Dunbar, HGA’s BIM coordinator.

“Having done projects before where we had owners who have no idea what we’re doing, or ones who just see dollar signs from BIM, it’s nice to have someone who provides a framework. It was immensely helpful to have this process define what you’re doing.”

This kind of communication has reportedly already saved the project $12 million in construction costs and could save money in the future.

In an interview, Jim Youngblood, the LACCD’s BIM and virtual design and construction manager, said that he’s been asked if that level of modeling is necessary.

“It is, because we will be using this data for the entire life of these buildings,” he said. “We focus on the life cycle of a building. We want anyone working on a project for us to know the importance of the big picture.”


Tagged categories: Building Information Modeling (BIM); Construction; Design build; Schools

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