The way to solve a puzzle

The way to solve a puzzle

Today, we will talk about everything. Everything in the context of the Highgate Elementary School in California. We’ll start with some basic statistics. This Elementary School is made up of 6 buildings, a total of 58,335 square feet. Maybe that sounds small, maybe it sounds large. It’s all relative afterall. There is more to it than that. If I asked you to picture a school in your mind, it’s not just the buildings, it’s experiential. The laughter, recess, warm afternoons in the sun swinging carefree on a swingset with your friends. No cares in the world, other than how soon recess is ending.

Now let’s talk about puzzles. This is an article about elementary schools afterall, and everything around them. Before the puzzle is ever laid out on a classroom table to solve, you need the people, and of course the building. But, how do we get there? I’ll lay it out from the start. We engage on projects like this all the time, at any phase from idea to boots on the ground. Our starting point today is with the puzzle. 

Imagine the school before it was even a school. A complex of buildings that must be built entirely with a wooden structure, where each piece must fit perfectly in the assigned place, precisely designed through three-dimensional modeling. See, I knew there was a reason I brought up puzzles (I did say we would be talking about EVERYTHING afterall). In this case, our client, a manufacturer of construction materials knew it was vital to get the standards and requirements right from the start. At the end of the day, components are designed as puzzle pieces, then continue their way to manufacture, and then directly to the site for installation. 

A puzzle is not terribly interesting until it’s assembled. Keeping this product chain fluid can be a challenge, but achieves grand results when done right. Installation time and costs agree with the initial estimate. Not only are components modeled with installation requirements, but their characteristics are specified from a unified level starting at design and continuing through to factory production. The asset owner takes control of their BIM data by setting the standards before work on site begins. That’s not all. Thanks to the detailed model, it is possible to accurately project the number of materials necessary to carry out the project with much higher precision. A puzzle is no fun if there are missing pieces or too many. Following this process ensure the right pieces are in the box before the construction team starts assembling. 

So, where does it start? You mentioned you would talk about everything. It’s very simple in this case. Call us, we can help. In this case, we were asked to help create a set of installation plans based on the client’s standards. This is our best practice (Asset Owners should own their BIM process from the start). We are BIM experts, and we understood that the purpose of our goal meant we knew it would be important to include other data with our model. The strength calculations of the main products and the complete list of materials to assemble the structure for instance. For a project like this, we can get your there from the architectural and structural drawings as a reference. 

So… what is everything in this case? 

  • Precise parts ready for fabrication.
  • Exact count of materials needed for the job.
  • Time savings.
  • Considerable cost reduction.
  • Installation detail for work.
  • Compliance with customer standards.

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