One of the top priorities for every company is business growth. Construction startups compete for clients. Established companies search for new ways to expand their business. In the end, everyone is looking for new business.Construction marketing requires a good marketing strategy designed for the construction industry. Organizations may also use different construction marketing tools. But they can be costly and time consuming.Construction companies have a sales team reaching out to potential customers and qualifying leads. A marketing team creating presentations and promotional materials. And a website presenting their services and products.So how do you stay ahead of your competition? Are you using your completed construction drawings to get more business? When we ask that question, the answers are all along the same line. No, we’re not using building plans to win more work. We hear companies say, “we acquired a company and they handed us blueprints that we store in boxes and drawers in our storage facility.” Or “we have all our projects in digital format on a network drive we can all access.” Or “Some of our projects are saved as blueprints in our office, others in CAD format on hard-drives, and the newest ones on a network drive”.So we ask the question again: are you using your construction drawings to win new or more business?Use The National GIS of Building Plans to Showcase Your Building Plans on Search EnginesABR put a solution in place that complements the work of your marketing and sales teams. A solution to showcase your project portfolio to the largest audience possible.The National GIS of building plans is a database for construction drawings at national level. It features a public interface that lists documents by address and is indexed by search engines. The national GIS is a powerful tool to showcase your work on the most used search engines.Use Your Building Plans and Let Search Engines Qualify Your LeadsIn addition to having your projects indexed by search engines, there is also the added advantage of having them listed by address. Whenever someone searches for an address, your files will be listed in the search results because of the way ABR pages are indexed.How to Use Your Construction Drawings as a Selling ToolUsing your construction drawings as a selling tool is as easy as one-two-three. Register for a free organization account with the national GIS of building plans. Complete your organization profile. And upload your building plans.
In the mid-nineties, I was heading a civil design department for a large EPC contractor in South East Asia. We had received an order to build a paper plant.The primary building in a paper plant is the paper machine building. A typical paper machine building is about 300 m long. The building typically has two floors, one at ground level, and one at about 7.5 m level. The paper machine is installed on a foundation that is not connected to the building. The machine is accessible from the machine hall at 7.50 m level. This building houses other complex and heavy machinery and has very stringent requirements with respect to quality, structural design and stability. The roof is high up and some of the sections of this building are subject to temperatures between 50 to 60 0 C. A large overhead crane straddles the upstairs machine hall. The differential settlement in the paper machine foundation has to be less than one mm and overall settlement at any point less than 1.25 mm. This building, with all its components and the equipment foundations, normally takes 18 months to build.Our managing director was an innovative man and constantly sought ideas to speed up construction. One day, he called me to his office and showed me an article narrating about a company in the US that had developed techniques to build a paper machine building using pre cast elements. This paper machine building was completed in a record time of 6 months, said the article. We appointed the US company as our consultants and they did the engineering with the help of our engineers in our office. We built our paper machine building in a year cutting down the time by about six months. This was despite a delay of about three months due to the learning curve and the time required for setting up a precast plant.Thus began my twenty two years long association with pre-cast concrete. My old company has built several large industrial plants and other structures since then.In many first world countries pre cast elements for bridges, culverts have been standardized. Pre-casting units are located near major cities that supply these elements to the construction sites. This not only reduces the construction time but also the design time as one uses standard elements whose properties are known.There are variations of the precast concrete construction such as tilt up construction, module fitments etc.I have often wondered why India, with so much construction needed in the all the sectors of construction, has not embraced this technique. Apart from other issues like need for repetition, unfriendly taxation, requirement of transport or lifting machinery etc., I think our engineers have not given a serious thought to developing this technique. I would like to share some of my learnings.1. Planning is Paramount: The structure to be built from precast elements has to be broken down in elements, in a pre-determined configuration. It is like making the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that when put together will form the completed puzzle. It can be a combination of standard and non-standard pieces.2. God is in details: Each element thus planned has to be detailed out to fit all the elements on all its sides and the embedment required for utilities.3. Design the Construction and Construct the design: Normal structural engineering practice of designing the final product and leaving the “How?” to the construction personnel, does not work in precast. The structural engineer has to stay involved in the process of pre casting, erection and placement.To the best of my knowledge, IS codes do not have specific provisions for pre cast structures unlike ACI or BS codes. Some of the clauses in ACI can be substituted by provisions in their supplementary publications. Such provisions have to be applied judiciously after a proper assessment of the stages in the service life of the element. A foremost expert on pre-casting once said “Applying provisions of R.C.C code to pre-casting would be like playing tennis with a baseball bat”The structural design for a precast element is done for various stages of in its early life. Multiple level checks are required till the element is placed, more checks are required if it is a pre-stressed element with partial un-bonding of tendons.4. Joints can cause headaches: Resolving and configuring a joint between precast elements can be an arduous task. It becomes a heuristic process to balance between the structural requirement, functionality with respect to basic consideration as water tightness, and the size of the elements to which an element in consideration is attached. Joints have to be constructed the way they have been envisaged.5. Cutting off ears because they stick out, not only impairs hearing but also creates difficulty in wearing spectacles: This is known to occur frequently where architectural requirements are of primary importance. Typically some architects do not like some essential arrangements created for better joints. Doing away with these “hindering” details may lead to reduced functionality of the joints or the elements. Expensive alternate arrangements are required to restore functionality.6. Construction Methodology can make or break a project: Many years ago, a large bulk warehouse with pre-cast pre stressed concrete bow string girders as roof trusses was being constructed in India for a fertilizer plant. Out of twelve bowstring girders, six broke while being lifted while the others were erected smoothly. Designs were checked and double checked and checked again. This was before the easy availability of the sophisticated finite element analysis that we have today. It finally dawned on someone that the bow string girders broke because a girder while being lifted in tandem by two cranes, twisted out of plane due to different rates of lifting. A structural engineer designing precast elements should, therefore, have the knowledge of the lifting process.7. Quality is the watchword: Consistent Quality of production is one of the arguments put forward by the advocates of precast. But many a mismatches, rejections and failures have occurred due to watching only the quality of concrete and giving less importance to placement of reinforcement embeds and the dimensional tolerances.8. A one rupee increase in the production cost can mean a crore of rupees at the end: Due the repetitive nature of the cost of pre-casting a lot of thought has to be given to use any “nice to have” component. While the most obvious cost elements related to concrete are watched vigilantly, a small embed or a detail, that is incorporated in the design and casting of an element for a probable use, escapes attention. Such an embed that was proposed to be used and has been cast in the element has already added to the cost of producing the element. When a number of such elements are cast, the expenditure can be substantial. If such redundancy if not eliminated in time, it can waste lakhs of rupees.
Building Information Modeling has been adopted by constructional professionals across the globe. BIM drafting services are constantly helping structural engineers to get accurate and cost-effective solutions. Virtual 3D model gets created using a wide array of input documents. The design gets validated for constructability, performance and maintenance.Moreover, the structural drafting services comply with international codes and standards as per projects. Often ISO process helps to document the preference of construction clients for ensuring compliance. BIM drafting services are delivered for high rise structure, industrial sheds, mills, commercial buildings, hospitals, parking garage as well as airports. Various software applications are implemented like Revit, AutoCAD, Tekla, Bentley & more.BIM Drafting services include:· Structural Drawing across markets in the AEC industry – High-quality structural drawings are offered by BIM service providers in the domestic and the international markets.· Comprehensive analysis of structural elements – BIM service providers often make comprehensive analysis of structural elements such as beams, columns as well as floors for delivering projects in a risk free environment.· Design Development & Support – BIM companies also assist engineers in the process of design development. Dedicated team experienced in interacting with engineers & designers understand design-intent and provide value addition as design evolves from schematic to construction stage. In Schematic Design Support, an initial design scheme defines the scope of the project, including scale and relationships between building components. The engineer or the designer’s sketches interpreting the desired functional relationships of the client among various activities are translated to Revit model. Analysis can be performed and quantities based on elements can also be obtained.· 3D Model Creation – Construction planning and coordination help successful construction project execution. 3D BIM technology is revolutionizing structural engineering firms and enabling quick decision making, better construction and accurate construction documentation.BIM Drafting Benefits include:· Building relationship – BIM drafting services help to create virtual models of elements and use the model for reporting to project stakeholders involved in the construction process.· Communicating across design disciplines – Virtual 3D BIM model of entire project site is created for communicating to all the team members engaged in the building process.· Resolving design issues before releasing construction drawings – One can visualize construction projects and share knowledge among project team members for making better collaboration with BIM. As a result of which conflicts are resolved and smooth project coordination takes place· Making comprehensive construction planning – BIM services for structural engineers help you to make comprehensive construction plan. You can make BIM execution plan about the deliverables, defining the requirement of a handover for a deliverable as well as the need at various points in the process of model creation, providing specification referenced by project stakeholders.Seek BIM Drafting Services, 3D BIM Modeling, Construction Drawing Set Creation, Quantity Take-off, Design Development Support & Coordination and enhance your construction efficiency.