By Lonnie Cumpton, Virtual Construction Technology Manager, Faith Technologies
Construction has its own sets of challenges, and among these are mismatched data and inaccurate models. This can easily happen when there are multiple models created by different companies involved in the project. For example, the architect and engineers make design models, the construction companies make construction models, and so on until you have three or four different models representing the same things at different stages of the same project.
Also, if one company makes a change to a model, that change doesn’t always translate to the other models, allowing for inconsistent information across all models.
While this is the way building and construction has worked for decades, it is not the most efficient way to deliver a project. This outdated practice does not allow for right-time updates when data is altered, which can cause problems down the road when it comes time to order supplies and begin constructing the project.
Data unification is poised to change the world of construction
Lonnie Cumpton, virtual construction technology manager for Faith Technologies, leads a team of visionaries that have designed a way to achieve the concept of a single source of truth without the need for copying data, and preventing data from getting altered on a single platform through a process they call “data unification.”
Data unification is a new process for the BIM industry and is helping to drive projects forward to ultimately provide a cost savings to the customer. The process pulls multiple pieces of data together, including information from separate models, and combines it with traditional business data sources, providing insight into project complications that help drive business decisions across the project lifecycle.
This means data changes can be updated immediately, from design to manufacturing to installation, and are reflected in the respective data models; a process Faith calls “BIM2Built.”
While BIM2Built makes communication on the project more efficient and accurate, companies should never rely entirely on technology to get everything correct. It’s highly recommended that organizations implement a verification process as a best practice.
Faith Technologies’ verification process checks the data that is provided by external companies as it comes into the data unification structure.
This step is commonly overlooked, but we should never assume everything is right. A small mistake in the BIM process can add up to costly and time-consuming fixes later in the construction process.
By making the data available to the other entities of the organization early in the process, the next department can begin working on what they need to complete the project. This allows for data and information from different sources to be available quickly and more efficiently.
Getting the information earlier allows the involved companies to strategically order the products needed for all of their active projects, rather than one project at a time. When this happens, products can be ordered in bulk, which can lead to quantity discounts on materials.
With technology changing every day to allow for more accurate and efficient work environments, it only makes sense to evolve an old, less-efficient system to be more accurate. Data unification is poised to change the world of construction, in all facets, and it is enabling the planning process to progress while preventing additional work and mistakes due to outdated or inaccurate data.