With the current break in play in our industry due to the pandemic, many construction organisations are having to re-think their business models, they are having to think digitally to secure their future.
Project Set up & PMO is not a BIM responsibility
As a direct impact to the most part of a global pandemic, the construction industry has been cornered into intensifying its focus on digitalisation. We see this more than most, having contracts with many large scale clients across the globe, that there is a real requirement for better visibility and communications.
Putting a project set up infrastructure into the hands of a BIM Manager just doesn’t cut it anymore, regardless of their position in the project lifecycle. Not sure when it happened, but it seems the BIM folks have the privileges to dictate these very important decision points of a project. EVERY project we have worked on that has been failing is because of the systems that were forced onto it incorrectly. We read a few standards, learn a few file naming structures and think we can set up an entire project execution plan for data management.
What's more is, because we are seen to be good with computers, we are usually allowed? I was a "BIM Folk" and still am, but this needs to be addressed.
A detailed PMO (Project Management Office) data flow map needs to be configured, preferably as a standard, across an entire business. Processes and workflows need to be thought out and defined. Setting up a CDE (Common Data Environment) such as Procore or Aconex comes after the above, it does not define the above! It would be like writing your scope and responsibility matrix before defining the contract type.
A project information plan that just describes your CDE is short sighted and the work of someone who only knows about BIM and not data. A BIM Consultant, BIM Manager in the design lead role or frighteningly most commonly seen, the BIM Manager of the contractor, are all in no place to set this out, the horse has bolted and all are only going to set up to their preference and not the project lifecycles benefit.
This is why we have grown to over 40 staff in 3 years.
We set up with the client at early stage, an entire PMO, data flow and management structure for their business in an Organisation Information Requirement. We work directly with some of the biggest property developers in the country and the UK and some of the biggest pharmaceutical, life science and technology companies in the world. We work well beside the employer's agent or cost consultant as we tend to build an infrastructure that automates data flow throughout the entire project lifecycle.
Scoping workflows and requirements correctly at tender means that the contractors and supply chain are all working to a common standard for the client and reduces huge costs of changes to the poorly defined system during projects, not to mention, the cost of poor communication and information flow causing real risk and delays on site every day.
This allows us to build automated visuals in a project control room environment of live, in play, data from site, such as Issues, Snags, Change, Quality fails, Checklist Approvals, Drawing Statuses and much, much, more.
Having this standard means you can take lessons learned and start building predictive analytics to gauge the risk and contingency on the next projects. This way it becomes ‘rinse and repeat’ if the client defines the requirements to everyone on the project from design, through the whole lifecycle and into facilities management.
Total Lifecycle Costs Is the new Norm
As Clients are becoming more familiar with the importance of Data structuring and PMO configuration, it has also become really apparent to us at GagaMuller Group that many clients are starting to familiarise themselves with asset lifecycle costs, and the magnitude of savings that can be achieved in both costs as well as carbon efficiencies when spending a little bit more time thinking about decisions at early design phase on product and material specifications and considering the organisations who are able to provide through-life service.
Paying a little more on the front end early design phase to make decisions that will reduce their carbon footprint and building operational costs which makes the early phase costs extremely insignificant in the grander scheme of things.
All our clients are really thinking about total lifecycle cost rather than the traditional, one-and-done, build cost. So much so, that we at GagaMuller Group have built some customisations and technology to help with these decision points and identify metrics on savings from both a cost and a sustainability point of view. Having the in house capability to quickly build API’s, automated workflows or even custom built apps specific to our client is our main flex on this industry.
This has, in turn, meant that more and more building companies are having to shift their business model slightly as they are now expected to assume, a somewhat more cradle-to-grave, responsibility. At GagaMuller Group, we work on strategy of data flow for both the construction, delivery, and operational phase. We define scopes for contractors to identify data on the construction phase for monitoring delivery but also on asset quality, longevity, and ease of maintenance. We part take in design reviews to ensure that replacement strategies, access and maintenance are all considered and help define the technology and workflows to make that happen right down to ensuring site workers are upskilled in using the technology defined. We believe the building needs to be designed for quick and easy construction, repair and maintenance.
Where most stakeholders in the construction industry are still doing business through two separate contracts – one to build and one to service. At GagaMuller Group, we offer a single contract that spans the entire lifecycle of the asset, while regulating its output for a more informed client. We write the rule book for your asset, defining the best technology stack to use, to visualise your asset, as not bricks and mortar, but occupied liveable smart spaces that should be at our fingertips.
Smart Cities Enabling
Because we are in from the offset, providing a service to improve the project lifecycle costs, validate the design and reduce the risk on the schedule during the delivery with real-time data from construction, it is only obvious to us that we needed to bring this across into the operational phase.
There are a plethora of “Digital Twin” asset management applications in the market to choose from, and at GagaMuller Group we are the services enterprise one-stop shop to ensuring your asset is ready for them after we have delivered the project.
We have designed and manufactured our own in house sensors for COVID-19 management during construction with Sourcetrace. However, we are thinking bigger picture here.
We have also begun building an entire network across Dublin, our very own LORA network. LORA is being tipped as the technology that will unlock smart cities and at GagaMuller Group we are trialling these gateways on a number of buildings and sites across Dublin.
What’s amazing about these gateways is that as soon as new Tech start-ups or smart building apps come online in the future, having one of these gateways installed in your building will make your IoT (Internet of Things) smart city ready. We are making these open networks as we believe in making the industry a better place.