Robert Alzuarde is BIRD Toronto District lead for VDC co-ordination, review, and validation of the BIM process. His role includes defining BIM goals and work-flows, improving model transferring procedures from one party to another, validating the level of detail and controls as determined for each project phase, and supporting VDC training and involvement across the project teams.
Robert is a highly motivated graduate from the first George Brown College BIM Management program class.
His education also includes the GBC Construction Management program and I’m an international architect with substantial experience in multidisciplinary BIM projects including educational, commercial, residential and industrial facilities.
Currently, Robert is also developing Data Capturing initiatives that bring value to existing VDC strategies with the use of 3D Scanners for as-builts records and point cloud model comparison as well as with the use of UAV/Drone units for site surveying and safety inspections.
Q. Please tell us about BIRD CONSTRUCTION INC.
At Bird, the principles of Trust, Service, Tradition and Value are the underpinnings of success. With 98 years of experience in the construction industry, Bird’s unwavering commitment to service delivery, planning and cost-efficient construction strategies has led to many loyal partnerships. As a leader in the construction industry, Bird turns ideas into reality through exceptional client service and value creation. Bird’s resume includes pre- construction and construction services with a long list of new and repeat clients.
The Company has also become a key design-build and equity member of many public-private partnership projects. With its broad market reach, Bird’s clients include leading firms in the institutional, high-rise residential, commercial, retail, industrial, and mining, energy, defense construction and civil sectors. With a business that now extends coast to coast, a strong culture of commitment to staff and clients has evolved into empowerment for many employees. Our commitment to training and developing our employees has provided us with an advantage within our industry that allows us to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.
Q. What is the BIRD’s Toronto VDC team anticipation towards Integrated Project Delivery?
Bird VDC Toronto team is now engaged in delivering projects using Lean Tools and the IPD delivery model. Our personnel are being trained in Pull-Planning strategies and “Big Room” approach, which has been instrumental in the successfully planning and delivery of projects using the IPD model.
Having the whole team validated in the value of VDC practices is key in the integration with the IPD model. Earlier in 2018, a great milestone had been met by our company in achieving CanBIM Company Certification Level 1, a prestige acknowledgment within the BIM community in Canada. We are only the second General Contractor to achieve this certification and the fifth company in the AEC industry in Canada.
Q. Please tell us about BIRD’s Toronto VDC team philosophy about Digital Innovations in AECOO industry.
We believe in working with our clients, project partners and in- house personnel, to determine and understand the BIM uses, goals and processes for the project. With that understanding on place, we look into the on-going research that our VDC team have and we also investigate new products and innovation in the market that could be a good fit the project needs.
Q. Please tell us about the BIRD’s Toronto VDC team expertise in virtual design and construction as well as prefabrication.
Our team expertise includes:
Empowering Owners and Project partners to:
Improve building quality
Significantly reduce building
Better understand design projects
from beginning to end.
Optimize operational efficiencies.
Acquire proper training and tools to integrate BIM
Quickly iterate on design elements including building form, sustainability, client requests, municipal regulations and budget.
Conduct analysis and simulations.
Create a building model and complete set of design documents, where everything is interconnected and there is real-time self –coordination of information.
Finds interferences between elements.
Allows to explore solutions virtually before construction.
Helps team plan ahead and avoid
Track coordination issues and integrate them to the
project data management systems
Ability to have an automated process to track schedule
Can run proposed & actual construction schedule
Helps keep project on time and on budget
Pre-Fabrication, Modular Construction
Extract information from BIM to pre-fabricate building components to improve project schedule, reduce cost, site safety, and reducing material waste.
3D Scanning and UAV/Drone serving for As-builts
Inheriting as-built condition models to be used for future
Accurate pin-pointing service locations eliminate
potential punctures in pipes, ducts, etc.
Facilitate site logistics and safety inspections
Q. Tell us about an interesting project/case study/product where technology is being implemented or has been implemented at BIRD VDC Toronto.?
In 2018, our BIRD’s Toronto VDC team had a case study in the CanBIM Innovation Spotlight publication tilled “Facilitating Building Strategies Validation Trough Virtual Construction at CEIE”, project for the UofT. Since then, we have been improving on the challenges and solutions identified such as:
Optimization of Construction Strategies
M&E Coordination Logistics and Fabrication
Project Site Support for use of BIM
The integration of the IPD model delivery approach has been key in moving towards systems more integrated such as the BIM360 platform and into advanced 4D tools such as Synchro. In our current projects in the Niagara region and in Brampton, there has being a significant improvement in terms of understanding expectations in order to mitigate missing content, track design and construction changes and integrate them to the data management systems. We have also been working on the capacitation of our site personal and our goal is to submit another whitepaper for the next Spotlight elaborating on the current practices and achievements.
Q. Finally, please share information about the major challenges in the AECOO industry you feel technology will help to overcome.
Educating every project member about the value of VDC/BIM strategies is a principal challenge in the AECOO industry. There seems to be an underrated understanding of this need that need to be addressed. Technology can help to solve this problem in terms of providing accessibility to e-training platforms, empowering standards such as the one developed by IBC and Building Smart and in the development for VDC tools that can be easily integrated to daily tasks performed by site- supers, project coordinators, project managers, estimators and schedulers. Our team sees technology hand by hand with defined workflows and with providing capacitation to the project personnel so we all can understand and implement our VDC standards across in house and with our clients and partners, similar to how it is done in the safety end.