Robert Jeffrey Watson
From Halifax, Nova Scotia “Jeff” graduated with distinction from Dalhousie University in 1998, joining Jablonsky, Ast and Partners after working with several firms in Halifax. With a strong work ethic and extensive experience in designing, Jeff was made partner in 2004. Experienced in designing reinforced and post-tensioning concrete, structural steel, reinforced masonry and timber, he is the design principal for vast array of various projects as well as the firms’ specification writer. Some of his most notable projects include “Park Lane” Condominium in Halifax, the Toy Factory Lofts in Toronto, and the architectural “trees” at Bankers Hall in Calgary. Jeff continues to be heavily involved in developing preliminary structural framing systems for the firm’s various expansions, retrofits & new developments.
Q. Please tell us about Jablonsky, Ast & Partners Consulting Engineers
A. Starting in 1955, Jablonsky, Ast & Partners provides consulting services for large developments in southern Ontario. Jablonksy, Ast & Partners offers a full range of structural engineering services for practically all types of buildings, including residential, commercial, institutional, low rise and multi-storey towers. Over the course of over 60 years, our firm has gained an international portfolio while maintaining a local focus.
Q. What can you tell us about your background, role and expertise?
A. I have formal education in Construction Document Development including BIM related softwares. I currently produce 3D models for our companies BIM projects and organize the 2D aspects of the drawings as well.
Q. What is the Organization’s overall philosophy towards technology/BIM adoption?
A. We believe that BIM Technology is the future of construction document and data development utilizing VDC (Virtual Document Construction) to develop fully coordinated models with capability to do more than just produce 2D drawings. It is a means to develop highly accurate data such as; quantity take offs, element property definition, full geometric coordination and more. We believe that BIM is an integral component to developing 4D models.
Q. What are some of the technology/BIM initiatives being undertaken within your organization?
A. We are actively participating in the BIM training community through initiatives with colleges and training institutions to develop tailored curriculum as well as internal training programs to keep current with advancing industry trends. We have developed in-house standards for VDC and are always advancing our knowledge on efficient model development.
Q. What is an interesting project/case study/product where technology/BIM is being implemented or has been implemented?
A. We are currently in the process of producing a Revit based model for a top Toronto developer, that will serve not only as a means of attaining full concrete volume take offs, categorized by concrete mix for each element respectively, with the potential to include reinforcing steel throughout. This project accompanies the minute geometric details of the building including all folds, steps, curbs and even penetrations though beams and columns.
Q. What are some of the major challenges in the industry you feel technology/BIM will help to overcome?
A. We strongly believe and have experienced the benefits of BIM Technology with clash detection and full model/project coordination. It has helped to vastly reduce the impact on site changes and allows rapid creation of elevations/sections through more complicated geometry to create efficient documents.
Q. Finally, please share information about your technology/BIM adoption strategy.
A. Initially we sought to have BIM Technology work for us, this meant developing in-house standards, techniques and training programs providing us the tools to serve industry clients. Although before we went to market, we spent several years developing our full BIM proficiency, and it was in this stage we learned to make BIM work for us. With this being said it has greatly improved our internal performance as a company and we continue to strive for a higher degree of efficiency. We have employed a simple approach to BIM implementation and that is to work with client needs and developed a team suited to perfect this strategy. We have small group in-house sessions that we host occasionally have vastly improved our implementation of BIM through our projects. We have been successful at maintaining our heritage and appearance of drawings; while adopting BIM Technology and looking to the future.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us!