Amanda Comunale, Director of Virtual Design and Construction
New technologies and process improvements have changed the face of pipefitting within the construction industry, and Victaulic has played an integral role in introducing some of the most significant innovations. A leader in mechanical piping since 1919, Victaulic has created pipe joining and flow control designs that have streamlined construction, simplified installation and improved worker safety. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the company, which has transformed and reinvented itself over the past 100 years to keep pace with a changing industry, revolutionizing pipefitting and leading the way from using paper to using PCs.
Victaulic continues to assess industry challenges and develop timely solutions, so it is not surprising the company is also pioneering building information modeling (BIM) services, leveraging its experience and expertise to get the most out of powerful design and simulation tools to enable seamless collaboration between project teams.
The obvious advantages of BIM over simple project tracking have led to widespread use. Recognizing the potential of BIM early on, Victaulic invested in mastering the foundational programs and integrating proprietary products and services to deliver time and cost savings.
According to Victaulic’s director of virtual design and construction, Amanda Comunale, BIM allows construction teams to view a project holistically, moving from silos to connectedness, and in the process, improving workflows, efficiencies and the bottom line. “We look at BIM as a process that can be fused with virtual design and emerging technologies to boost the efficiency of construction projects,” she says.
Underpinning this approach is the development of effective project partnerships that go beyond incorporating specific physical products, focusing equally on training programs and collaboration to improve project execution. “The simple fact is that accurate estimates, quality content, superior technology and continual training and education improve the overall BIM project process,” Comunale says.
While proper training is fundamental to effective project execution, she explains, to achieve efficiencies, it is important for individual software programs to communicate seamlessly. Victaulic joins technologies to develop a digital twin and ensure it remains realistic and constructible throughout the project. From capturing site characteristics with a digital scanner to developing a virtual reality model to expediting the design process by allowing Victaulic components to be incorporated via a specialized toolbar, Victaulic delivers a comprehensive and up-to-date snapshot of every component of the project as construction progresses. Victaulic works with clients to help them refine material logistics and facility maintenance data, reflecting the effect of changes on the project. “This is an essential part of our total project partnership program,” Comunale says.
Additional value is delivered through Victaulic’s combination of programming skills and advanced technologies, which simplify the fabrication spooling process, allowing essential information to be extracted to enable skillful management of the pipefitting process.
On a project where Victaulic partnered with Poole and Kent Corporation, Victaulic’s virtual design and construction (VDC) team was able to expedite a piping project on the tallest residential building in Baltimore. By drawing on its BIM software expertise, the VDC team helped Poole and Kent fast-track the installation of HVAC infrastructure for this 44-story luxury apartment complex. Putting Navisworks and Revit to work along with Victaulic proprietary software, the team modeled within a tolerance of 1/16 inch and quickly transferred files to the Poole & Kent team members.
“Helping our clients succeed is our primary goal,” Comunale says. “We constantly explore new technologies so we can be thought leaders, providing clear ways to optimize project execution.”