Some of these were small and individual. For example, we showed that in certain concealed areas, we didn’t need to install the wire inside a conduit. Instead, we could use a safer insulated wire and place it outside the conduit. This small change — one of dozens — saved $100,000.
Others involved building components ahead of time. Once project plans were finalized, we created a detailed model using our 3D software. By drawing the entire scope from start to finish, it was easy to identify what pieces we could build ahead of time in the B&K fabrication shop.
With state-of-the-art machining equipment, plus cranes that allow workers to access pieces at chest height instead of using ladders, we could make-ahead major components – at about half of the cost of cutting, welding and assembling in the field.
Maintaining a precise climate inside the Emory research building requires massive quantities of chilled water and steam – systems that need hundreds of hangers. The low-tech way to install pipe hangers in concrete is to drill holes once the concrete hardens. It’s a lot of work, and the kind that’s hazardous to workers’ lungs.
We took a route that was more cutting-edge: the Trimble locating system.
As we poured the wet concrete, we loaded the Trimble’s laser projector with the 3D model we’d made to locate inserts for hangers. The Trimble shone a light on every location where we’d need a pipe or duct hanger, so workers could install an insert right then and there, saving even more time.
Total project savings: just over $1 million. But our greatest reward was a happy client – who later hired us to work on a bigger, bolder Phase II.