RTM Engineering Consultant’s CEO Tony Mirchandani recently spoke to correspondent Liisa Andreassen from The Zweig Group‘s The Zweig Letter for the April 27th issue about experimenting with new technology to determine the benefits in communication, budget, safety and scope. Below is the full story:
Project Management 2.0
Recent advancements in Silicon Valley are not limited to smartphone apps and social networking. Several new software programs and pieces of technology tout benefits for A/E/P and environmental firms looking to increase efficiency and accuracy and decrease cost on projects. Though some organizations have opted to stick with tried and true methods – if it ain’t broke, why fix it? – others are experimenting with BIM, IPD, and Li-DAR, among other tools.
CREATING NEW OPPORTUNITIES. At RTM, (South Barrington, IL), an 80-person engineering consulting firm, Tony Mirchandani, CEO, says that BIM and other PM software programs, are changing the way traditional project management is conducted.
“The increase in technology has made it easier for constant and instantaneous communication among the various design and construction team members and has created new opportunities that were not present in the past,” he says.
For instance, RTM would typically not be engaged in the project management process. However, because technology such as BIM has evolved to generate detailed 3D models of buildings, the firm is now engaged not only as a traditional design firm using BIM, but also to work alongside the general contractor during the building phase.
“Today’s BIM models are complex enough and, if used properly, extremely powerful. Having an MEP engineer who possesses BIM expertise work with the general contractor expedites the construction process,” Mirchandani says.
RTM is serving as a liaison between the general contractor and the MEP subcontractors for a construction project on a higher education campus.
“As an engineering-based project manager, we are working under the general contractor’s umbrella and are providing BIM management on-site,” he says. “Our scope of work entails analyzing the model to determine which MEP components are going to work and which are not, in terms of constructability, and providing conflict resolution to solve any issues. We will speed up the construction process by being able to make the changes in real-time and improving coordination among disciplines.”
RTM has become familiar with sharing and managing data using the e-Builder platform. The program provides a centralized location to store and share large project documents. Email notifications are sent to various team members when tasks are assigned and completed. The program organizes and records all project information and correspondence in one database. RTM has also worked on projects that use Newforma and Microsoft Project – software programs that offer similar advantages in sharing and managing data.
“The user-friendly software fosters collaboration among team members by managing communications and information in one centralized database,” Mirchandani says. “The complete visibility and interactive environment cuts down on paperwork, provides a record of all transactions, and speeds up the design and construction processes. The end result is a successful project that saves time and money.”