Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tekla UM 2010: Lessons from BIM Users

I knew Tekla's User Meeting was sure to be "hot" even before reaching Atlanta during its worst recorded heat wave. There's always a lot of action, and I'm not referring to the fact that the Braves took out the Dodgers while the User Meeting attendees looked on. Tekla's meetings are always intriguing because our partner, Tekla Structures, is a state-of-the-art building information modeling (BIM) software provider.

The Teklans were fantastic hosts. They provided a great evening of baseball for their User Meeting attendees (see Braves reference, above), and also created a program filled with BIM success stories. I was able to break away for a session called Integrated Project Environments: Integrations With Other Solutions In The Project Landscape. Corinne Ambler and Jason McFadden discussed how Barton Malow is providing owners with a more complete package at handover.

Ambler and McFadden noted that common problems and risks have been minimized when there is mandated use of the BIM model and its updating. They shared their experience on a recent project demonstrating the power and functionality of Tekla Structures. Incorporating other Tekla partners, such as Vela Systems and Motion Computing's Tablet PC, makes construction management analysis straight forward and comprehensive.

Beyond clash detection, Ambler and McFadden noted that BIM could help with many other aspects of the construction process. We know that BIM can be extremely helpful during and after construction with testing, inspection tracking, change management, electronic closeout and facilities management. However, Ambler and McFadden also suggested Tekla can be used with estimating, coordination, commissioning, scheduling, material tracking, and electronic document control.

I would go further and suggest that BIM can be used beyond managing electronic documents. Given BuildSite's integration with Tekla Structures, users can download a plug-in from Tekla's extranet to search for product information and attach product documents directly to the design model. The plug-in allows Tekla users to attach all appropriate documents to each BIM object, completing the truly integrated package.

In this difficult economy, we are all looking to add value to our product or service, and Barton Malow and Tekla are no exceptions. Tekla works with its users to maximize its application to each part of the construction process. I'm sure Barton Malow and the other User Meeting attendees agree with me when I say, "Tekla, you hit a home run with Tekla Structures!" Congratulations to Barton Malow and its professionals for bringing more examples of BIM's potential to light.

Photo Credit: Tekla Structures North America's Facebook Photos - UM10.

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