The general contractor is in charge of the biggest team that will be involved in the delivery of a building and that team has the responsibility of bringing together all of the material, equipment, and subcontracted services to execute the construction. In the face of increasingly complex projects, the general contractor is, therefore, exposed to a significant amount of risk. This exposure begins before the contract is even won: often, tremendous amounts of money are spent at the tender stage to try to secure the contract for the construction and with ever increasing competition in the market, the general contractor has the unenviable task of balancing the size of the contingency against construction risk against the risk of losing the bid if the contingency is too large.
During construction, general contractors negotiate a great deal of uncertainty and gradually discover the true scale of the risks they are up against. These challenges exist in the form of unforeseen site conditions, missing or conflicting design information, scope creep, shifting owner’s objectives causing the design to be in flux and under-performing subcontractors. Moreover, while labour costs increase and material costs are becoming more volatile, there is increasing pressure on contractors to implement sustainable building practices and technological innovations, such as Building Information Modelling and Facilities Maintenance Models. This makes the job of a contractor to both execute the works and simultaneously to gather all the necessary supporting documentation to support the legitimacy of Change Orders quickly enough an extremely challenging task.
Syntegrate uses its expertise in leveraging technologies such as Building Information Modelling to remove uncertainty in the preconstruction phase by identifying missing design information and uncoordinated design and using the model to assist the general contractor’s engineers to resolve these design issues before they become expensive, delaying problems on site. We work with planners and schedulers to optimise the construction schedule through the use of simulations where the 3D model is sequenced in accordance with the baseline schedule and repeatedly analysed and modified to increase efficiency and avoid delays.
Syntegrate will also work in the methods department to use the BIM model to validate and refine the methods for tackling complicated areas of construction and assist the site team to plan site logistics such as traffic flow, access paths, laydown areas, safety zones, materials handling areas, etc. which have shifting requirements as the project proceeds. Labour productivity, construction quality and safety concerns will also be increased through the use of 3D method statements, site instructions and the use of the BIM directly in the field. As construction proceeds, as-built conditions can be captured accurately using high definition laser scans which are re-integrated into the BIM to both coordinate subsequent construction and to monitor the quality of subcontractor works. Finally, Syntegrate can assemble the as-built BIM with related building data for the general contractor’s handover at the completion of construction.