Technology Shift Redefines the ‘Impossible’

Designing, fabricating and installing the necessary plumbing systems for the Liberty Center, a mixed-use development in Ohio, USA, at first sight seemed an ordinary project. However, two of the mixed-use buildings include a ground level and first floor elevated post-tensioned slab with post-tensioned cables. This meant there could be no core drilling or slab cutting once the deck was poured.

Jim Mercer, commercial project manager for Ken Neyer Plumbing, one of the top speciality contractors in the region, and the company tasked with this project, explains the challenge.

“We knew we couldn’t layout the sleeves and hangers using the conventional methods of pulling tapes because locating walls at that angle would have been impossible. If we couldn’t find a way to do it ourselves, we would have to hire a surveyor or civil engineer to mark out the walls and penetrations. We also had a very aggressive pour schedule. Building H had five pours – one per week – for the post-tensioned slab while Building C had four pours per week for its post-tensioned slab. So getting a surveyor to do it would have been very difficult with scheduling.”

Fortunately, Jim had recently heard about prefabrication tools linked to robotic total station technology and after some evaluation selected the Trimble Field Link for MEP layout solutions.

See how the layout solution was able to increase value and efficiency for Ken Neyer Plumbing, in this Trimble MEP case study.

New release for Prolog – v9.95

An update to Prolog has been released with enhancements based on user feedback.

Prolog 9.95 includes updates to the running of the program, including a “forgot password” feature, the ability to include attachments in notifications.

Prolog has also been streamlined with images now able to be included in safety reports, punch lists and issues, instead of being separate file. And attachments now able to be included to notifications, instead of logging into the system. This makes it easier to the information you need to get your job done.

For more information, see the overview video below from BuildingPoint Floria.

Upgrade to ProjectSight

Trimble recently announced an upgrade to their field and office collaboration tool, ProjectSight.

This update includes a brand new module, Daily Reports, which may be used to track daily activities such as Labour, Weather, Comments, Photos, and Links to other records.

In addition, there are several improvements to the Drawings area. These include the ability to filter annotations using a new Layers panel, automatic annotation labels for linked records, and a new summary log report.

Find out more about the upgrade.

ProjectSight is designed to help you implement an effective mobile strategy and leverage cloud-based project management technology to efficiently collaborate with your field workforce.

Find out more

Sign up for a free trial


Rugged 10 inch Tablet for BIM in the Field

To help you get the constructible model from the office to the field, Trimble has designed the Trimble Kenai Rugged Tablet Computer.

Built to withstand the daily abuse of construction work, it meets military standards for drops, vibration and humidity; and is protected against dust and water. The full-colour, ten-inch screen is scratch and impact resistant and enhances sunlight readability for outside work. A multi-touch, gesture-controlled touchscreen allows users to type, pan, and zoom with fingers, a stylus or capacitive gloves.

The Kenai works with Trimble Field Link and a Robotic Total Station, the Trimble Rapid Positioning System, or even a Trimble R8s GNSS receiver in the field. (Learn more.)

Find out more or request a demo.

Safety and mixed reality together

Trimble are striving to bring mixed reality solutions, with their cost savings and improved quality of work, to all customers through many different devices.

It recently announced that it is collaborating with DAQRI to integrate the DAQRI Smart Helmet with the mixed reality application suite. This will enable outdoor and on-site support for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operations (AECO) and natural resources markets.

The progress made with mixed-reality technology and its potential to transform on-site workflows has placed increased demands on wearable technology, which comply with safety regulations. Integrated with Trimble mixed-reality solutions, the DAQRI Smart Helmet can provide the needed requirements and help to improve work efficiency and safety in construction sites, off-shore facilities and mining environments.

If you would like to learn more about the plan Trimble have for the future see their new Mixed Reality website.

Read more about mixed reality
Using the Microsoft HoloLens

New scanning technology

3D scanners provide a fast and accurate way to collect large amounts of measurement data that can be used in design and construction.

Scanning during designing can provide you with a very accurate representation of the existing conditions, for example site conditions that you need to work around. Having this information gives you confidence in your design.

During construction laser scanning is also very powerful as it allows you to verify that your work is accurate. If there is a problem it can be rectified before work proceeds to far. It allows you to compare your progress to plan and see how ahead, or behind, you are and adjust your workloads to stay on schedule.

Scanning has already added enormous value to what companies like AE Smith provide their clients. (See the case study.)

If you’re new to laser scanning, we have a range of scanners to get you started. From a new, entry level scanner with a range of 70 meters, to hand held scanners to get the finer details, all the way to high end performance with ultra-high speed scanning we’ve got the scanner for you. Plus we’ve got the expertise to assist you in getting up and running. Contact us today to learn more.

Why Robots will never replace people

You would be hard pressed to find an industry that hasn’t been impacted by technology in one way or another and construction is no different. However the growth of the use of tech – and robotics in particular – has led to fears that our jobs are in danger and soon we’ll be consigned to the scrap heap while the latest wave of artificial intelligence lays bricks and designs plans for major building projects. However, while the robots may be poaching jobs in some industries, that isn’t necessarily true for construction.

Read the full article on the Trimble MEP blog.

Scanning and BIMTek save the day

(not to mention all of that time and money)

Recently BIMTek was tasked with a detailed survey of an empty Bunnings warehouse that was to be turned into a Harvey Norman. The brief was to get a scan, produce the workshop drawings and layout every hole to be drilled on site.

After scanning it didn’t take long for alarm bells to start ringing. The site level datum was about 100mm different from the architects datum and the design just would not work due to clashes.

Fortunately BIMTek use scanning and the BIM workflow and were able to eliminate about 90% of any rework before they got to site.

See how they did it.

BIMTek is a small, cutting edge company that provides design, fabrication and installation services. To save themselves, and their customers, time and money, they use survey and laser scanning equipment to collect data from site.


Read more about laser scanning
Scanning in practice by BIMTek
3D Scanning to turn a 20 year old hotel into a hospital
Need an as-built model fast

Access all BIM parameters in Vico Office R6

Vico-LogoTrimble has recently made available the new release of Vico Office, release 6. Trimble has taken on feedback from customers to improve the workflow and enhance and simplified the quantity extraction process. The new workflow makes it faster and easier to get project quantities.

In the new Vico Office, the installer has been shrunk to nearly half its previous size. It also includes an overhaul of the Takeoff Manager module. You will find many new features that give you the flexibility to produce project content and quantities in a way that suits your workflow. These new features include:

  • Element import selection
  • Access to all BIM parameters, including user-defined fields
  • Support for CAD quantities
  • Templated imports and content grouping
  • Brand-new: Takeoff Items Builder
  • Selective quantification

Due to the major upgrades pre-R5.0 projects will not be supported in the new release. All historical files that pre-date R5.0 should be updated and archived in a current version before making the switch to R6.0.

Current Vico Office users should have received an email from Trimble detailing how to upgrade. If you haven’t, or if you are new to Vico Office and would like to learn more, contact your local BuildingPoint office.

Read more about Vico Office R6 in our previous article.