An Interview with Julien T-Lessard, Beaudoin Canada

September 13, 2017

Karan: Give us a brief introduction to your background and the firm

JL: Julien T.-Lessard is a civil engineer specialized in construction management. He has conducted a major research project as part of his master in engineering management at the University of Ottawa. The project resulted in the development of an integrated BIM system that tracks time and cost based on Earned Value Management from the design to the execution phase. You can find the research project thesis here:

The integrated system is intended to track the time and cost parameters throughout the design and construction phases. For every changes in the model, the project’s budget and schedule will change automatically, the model being linked with MS Project and Excel files. Once the model is developed and agreed to proceed with construction, a baseline is set which creates the Planned Value (PV) curve for the Earned Value Management. During construction, the continuous update of the schedule will then be used to generate the Earned Value (EV) and Actual Costs (AC) curves in addition to the Cost and Schedules Performance Indices (CPI, SPI). This system is a useful tool for construction or BIM Managers who are striving to monitor the project performance.

He is presently the assistant general manager at Beaudoin Canada, a firm based in Gatineau (QC), and that has been founded in 1988 by Louis-Joseph Beaudoin, still involved with the business with the help of two added partners since 2009, Martin Beaudoin and Denis Stocker. Beaudoin Canada is a construction management firm that does projects mainly in the Gatineau-Ottawa region, but that recently began to expand elsewhere in Quebec and Ontario. They offer an unmatched construction experience, by building a dynamic environment and edifying innovative solutions.

Karan: Can you tell us about any current or past projects where BIM was used?

JL: The firm has been exploring BIM since a few years and is planning to restructure its operations around BIM in a short time frame, probably by the end of 2017 with a pilot project. The executives are seeing a big potential with BIM, fostering better collaboration on construction projects and reducing delays and costs.

We have used BIM for the design of a concrete foundation once. The intent was to insure that the vertical rebar was aligned perfectly with the steel structure embedded anchors; the alignment of anchors was a problem we encountered several times. The exercise did work well and we prevented problems which would have caused delays on the schedule.

Karan: Can you tell us more about the motivation to go with BIM? What challenges have you faced that other companies may reflect upon and relate to?

We strongly believe that technology is key to success in the future and are willing to take the step forward in order to distinguish ourselves from our competitors, but also to improve our construction management practices. We are faced too often with poorly prepared drawings and specs which will result in time and financial losses

We are more and more sought as construction managers to take care of the design phase in order to align the project goals with the construction documents. BIM will help us to ensure that our coordination and optimization efforts at the design phase will result in meeting the budget and schedule. We are pushing an expansion strategy which will get us elsewhere in Canada. There will be several beneficial changes for our firm in a near future. The most important driver is certainly that we all believe in this important change for the construction industry and we all want to be part of it. We’re not just following the herd, we want to be ahead and contribute to the technological shift. Moreover, an important driver is certainly that BIM will be an industry standard someday, and at this time we see ourselves already as leaders.

Karan: Tell us more about the change management/business philosophy happening at your firm?

JL: Our firm is constituted of a dynamic group which genuinely want to improve its work day after day. Everyone contributes to the change and every ideas are welcomed. We always seek to improve our construction management practices and we believe that BIM will contribute stepping forward. We believe that smaller size projects can also benefit from the BIM process so that might result in a competitive edge for us. We focus on building strong relationships with every project's participants, and collaborating is important for us so BIM practices are also in line with our approach. In the past we have repeatedly participated in integrated design and have seen the beauty of the team working together with a common goal in mind. The construction phase will then run smoothly without too much problems And everybody wins, especially the client. The firm is pushed by young and dynamic construction professionals. Innovation is key for us and we want to contribute to the whole industry's stepping forward, smaller companies like us must be part of the change.

Beaudoin Canada wishes to be an important actor of this technological change that will contribute effectively in their corporate strategy that resides in continuously looking for sharp construction management methods that will improve the service and products that they offer to their clients. By joining CanBIM, Beaudoin Canada has the intent to contribute to this change in the construction industry.