Modular Building Institute

Modular and Prefab Theme Generates Record Attendance for BIM Forum


This past October, more than 500 construction industry professionals gathered at the BIM Forum in Denver, Colorado to learn about Building Information Modeling (BIM) as it relates to prefabrication and modular construction.

BIM Forum Chairman John Tocci, CEO of Tocci Building Companies, explained why the group chose to focus on prefab and modular for this Forum. “How can the construction industry become faster, more reliable, more sustainable and safer? All of those aspects come together in prefab in modular,” he said.

The BIM Forum began seven years ago as a symposium to help facilitate and accelerate the adoption of BIM in the AEC industry. “Our focus has been on practical application of BIM,” said Tocci. “For us, this conference was the logical next step in helping our membership know how to use the tool of BIM.”

The topic resonated with prospective attendees. “This was the best attended Forum that we’ve had. Normally we have about 400 people, and 525 came to this one,” Tocci said.

Speakers from leading construction and design firms offered numerous case studies showing how BIM is being used to optimize offsite construction.

Matthew Vanture, Virtual Design & Construction Engineer with Whiting-Turner, explained how modeling in the virtual environment allows his company to investigate prefab opportunities that may reduce overall cost and accelerate the timeline of a project.

Greg Rohr, Director of Project Development and Preconstruction Services at Pivotek – a manufacturer of modular building components, including bathroom and kitchen PODs, mechanical racks and operating room ceiling rack systems – discussed how his company has implemented modular components into numerous projects. “Modular is just a better way of doing business,” Rohr told the audience.

Mark Taylor, VP of Modular Construction for PCL Constructors, examined how the industry can more fully take advantage of the opportunity of offsite construction. Taylor’s role at PCL is to maximize the level of modularization and prefabrication on PCL’s projects, to generate cost savings and improve efficiency.

Other speakers gave advice on the best protocols for using BIM to improve project workflow and collaboration, including Ian Peter Atkins, Firmwide BIM Applications Manager at Kohn Pedersen Fox. Atkins said that modern methods of construction are changing procedures for designing, procuring, constructing and fabricate buildings, and digital design techniques have enabled integrated architecture and engineering workflows that can embrace these technologies.

In total, more than 20 presenters spoke, including representatives from Southland Industries, DPR Construction, McCarthy Building Companies, Mortsenson Construction, Iron Horse Architects and more.

“We wanted everyone at the conference to go home and put at least one good idea to work,” said Tocci.  “Attendees are now thinking about ways now that they can use these tools to advance modular and prefab construction.”

To see the speaker presentations from the event, please visit the BIM Forum website.






© Modular Building Institute. Modular Advantage eMagazine Summer 2013. All media copyright of their respective owners and no portion of this story may be reconstituted or printed without owner permission.


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