Video Blog: How today’s construction firms are bridging the BIM gap

Turner Construction and Parsons Brinckerhoff talk about how BIM has revolutionized the way that they conduct projects, and how technology has allowed them to leverage collaboration in such a way that they can work with decentralized teams.

May 28, 2014 |
Sasha Reed

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Manhattan to attend ENR’s Global Construction Summit. This is two day event that has both panel discussions as well as an award show honoring some of the best global construction projects. There was one panel discussion in particular that caught my attention, and so I thought I’d share it with you.  

It was with Turner Construction and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Each of these companies talked about the way BIM has truly revolutionized the way that they conduct projects—how technology has allowed them to leverage collaboration in such a way that they can work with decentralized teams. Parsons Brinckerhoff talked about the future and ways that they are leveraging gaming technology to visualize and share information with stakeholders, as well as owners. This allows them to visualize the project and implant 4D information so that they can virtually watch the project over time.  

Turner Construction talked about something a little closer to home and more aligned with what I’m used to talking to customers about, and that was the Wilshire Grand project. This is a record-breaking project of a 73-story high-rise here in downtown LA. When completed, it will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi.  



I don’t know if you heard about this, but they had something called “The Big Pour” back in February, where they took on the monumental task of a single, 24-hour pour of more than 21,000 cubic yards of concrete. Not an easy task. During the panel discussion, Turner talked about how they leveraged BIM for this particular part of the process. They modeled the entire pour, and the end result was they came within 1% of what they estimated their materials to be. They totally hit it out of the park.

I actually had a chance to go to downtown LA and watch the pour. I watched it with Shobhit Baadkar of TITAN AEC. He partnered with Turner Construction to help them with this BIM implementation. He worked with the concrete partner, who previously didn’t have a lot of BIM experience. He took the data the partner had, which at the time was Excel spreadsheets of concrete pour data and time data, and brought it into the model. He was able to model everything, from the trucks coming off of the freeway, to the pour time at the station, to leaving, to the next truck coming in. Obviously they did a phenomenal job because they were able to execute within such a close percentage.  

At the end of this panel discussion, there was a question that was asked from the audience: Are you finding qualified talent to work within your firms, who can blend technology and trade experience or construction experience? The answer was there truly is a gap that’s developed. There are those who are construction professionals who have been doing their job for years and know the industry inside and out, and there are those who are adept at understanding technology.  Being able to find that person who can blend together the technology along with their industry experience is a challenge. There is a gap.  

What Turner did to partner with a BIM consultant to bridge that gap, specifically for this one part and component of the project, I thought was brilliant. It truly allows you to mobilize your teams, reach out to the trade professions, and help bring them into the process without leaving them behind. It creates true value that not only the overall project team sees, but your trade partners see as well.  

So I wanted to pose this question to you: In your firms, are you seeing the same gap between the knowledge workers and those who understand technology? And if you are, what are you doing to bridge that gap?  

I hope that you can share the ways that you bridge that gap here, in the comment section below. I’d love for you to share your ideas with us. Or let us know if this isn’t something that you’re struggling with as a challenge or reality within your firm. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the idea.  Thank you so much for listening to the blog and I look forward to the discussion.

Editor's note: This is sponsored content. The text and video were provided by the sponsor company. 

Sasha Reed | Digital COM
Bluebeam Software

About the Author: Sasha Reed has over 12 years of experience working directly in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market. As VP of Strategic Alliances at Bluebeam Software, Sasha interacts directly with AEC leaders to better understand the long-range goals of the industry and help align Bluebeam’s technology partnerships. In addition, Sasha is acting Chair of the Construction PDF Coalition.  The purpose of the Coalition is to establish Guidelines to provide Architects, Engineers, Constructors and Owners (AECO) with a common framework in which to create and maintain Construction PDF Documents. Sasha has been featured as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Bentley Florida User Group and spoken at numerous industry events including the American Institute of Architects’ DesignDC Conference, NTI Danish BIM Conference, the International Highway Engineering Exchange Program and the International Facilities Management Association Conference. Sasha has also contributed articles to numerous national publications and authors the Digital Com blog for Building Design + Construction magazine. Before Bluebeam, Sasha was a Project Manager for M3, a Herman Miller dealer, where she learned ?rsthand the challenges faced by the AEC industry from project conception to completion. 

Related Blogs

Does BIM Work as a Deliverable?
May 28, 2015 | BIM and Information Technology | Digital COM

Sasha Reed sits down with industry professionals at the BIMForum in San Diego to talk about BIM technology....

Parsons Brinckerhoff and former CEO partner to solve the “brain drain” challenge
April 29, 2015 | Building Team | Digital COM

For firms large and small, hiring is always a balancing act between keeping the business moving forward and...

The Great Debate: Is 3D PDF really BIM?
March 03, 2015 | BIM and Information Technology | Digital COM

You can pull apart buildings, cut through floors, and view simulated animation for assembly instructions al...

Photos courtesy Todd Wynne, Rogers-OBrien Construction

December 16, 2014 | Digital COM

On a recent trip to see what technology Todd Wynne and the rest of the team at Rogers-O’Brien Construction...

Todd Wynne, Operations Technology Specialist, Rogers-OBrien, is an early adopter of Google Glass technology.

November 26, 2014 | Digital COM

A little over a year ago, I embarked on a search to find individuals in the AEC space who were putting new...

Bluebeam's Sasha Reed sits down with Kris Lengieza, Director of Virtual Design and Construction for Stiles Corporation, to learn how he approaches change management.

September 30, 2014 | Digital COM

Bluebeam's Sasha Reed sits down with Kris Lengieza, Director of Virtual Design and Construction for Stiles...

September 17, 2014 | Digital COM

How does DPR strike a balance between standardization and innovation? In today’s Digital COM video Blog, Sa...

Sasha Reed, Director of Strategic Alliances, Bluebeam Software, and Chad Dorgan, Vice President of Quality & Sustainability, McCarthy Building Companies

August 21, 2014 | Digital COM

Sasha Reed and Chad Dorgan, McCarthy Building Cos.’s Vice President of Quality and Sustainability, discuss...

August 08, 2014 | Digital COM

Sasha Reed interviews two members of the coalition responsible for creating new Guidelines for Construction...

July 16, 2014 | Digital COM

My colleague and I were once asked an insightful question by a Civil Engineering Professor that sparked an...


Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
Overlay Init