Bring down the construction cost

Bringing down the construction cost with the Corbis Way

Posted by Jeff Bymaster
Aug 11, 2020

By Jeff Bymaster, Architectural and Integrated Project Delivery Service Director at Corbis.

Residential Multifamily is a very rewarding sector segment. It requires a significant amount of code knowledge (Urban, Building, Planning, Fire, Accessibility, Green, etc.). But also a collaborated effort (between ASMEP as well as local, State, and Federal agencies). And it has a high impact on everyday quality of life and shapes a majority of the built environment.

I remember working on a large project as it was the Irvine Spectrum in the early 2000s. The firm was tasked with designing, documenting, and performing construction administration for all nine buildings of the first phase. And I had the opportunity to work on some parts of each building, either in design, production, or CA. It was enriching professionally and personally.

As Corbis’ Architectural and Integrated Project Delivery Service Director overseeing the Architectural Production and working closely with firms in California, AEC professionals are always dealing with waste affecting the construction budget. They are present in almost every project, where the process could save substantial costs. And in a context like this, it is more appreciated than ever.

The Clash Probability Heatmap is key to reducing construction costs.

Clash probability heatmap, a Construction Digital Prototype enhancement that contributes to reducing construction costs.

This year, we took on an additional responsibility: coordinating and leading the Construction Digital Prototype® implementation for several Real Estate developments. This effort implicates farsighted management planning, precise cost estimates, and BIM technology

Those are the main pillars, and all together result in a benefit for developers and project owners. And this is reflected in the final construction costs per square foot. But also on how much time a project takes to be finished and available to the real estate market.

Obsolete practices taking a toll in the Construction Budget a Project Schedule

The construction phase in project development has a recurrent issue in particular: changes or adjustments in the design. It is an outdated practice that only ends up affecting negatively in the budget and the schedule.

Project designers, who are in charge of revising the project during the CD phase, often fall into these practices. Sometimes they are forced to redesign, either due to project budgets or proformas or unforeseen circumstances from local officials. But there are other cases where the individuals on the project team continue to meddle with the project’s design well into the CD phase.

These practices can quickly be banished through the implementation of the Construction Digital Prototype®. 

By locking up a robust design, a project stays on budget and on time. It is enabled by bringing together Construction Managers to early stages, providing input and working alongside architects, engineers, and consultants. It proved to solve clashes before encountering them on the job site when it is way too late.

Focusing on Constructability in Amani Communities. Implementing the Construction Digital® Prototype

Amani Apartments is a Residential Multifamily Development designed by Abode Communities and developed by Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. We started working with Abode Communities, providing Architectural Production support.

As the project advanced, we discovered a significant and potential improvement gaps for the Construction phase. That’s why we decided to present our client with the Construction Digital Prototype® methodology for approval.

The Construction Digital Prototype enhances BIM Modeling to bring construction costs down.

A 3-D model of the project.

The process of applying it was reasonably smooth. Our implementation team had an official kick-off meeting for the project, asked all the project info upfront, and worked closely with the Service Directors. That way, they made sure the deliverables were as expected.

That process has refined each project iteration we apply the methodology on. And it has made our team more efficient each time we implement our methods.

One of the biggest challenges we faced was pointing out the open issue the project faced, especially since we had just finished our work scope, which helped the client with the plan check process/responses.

Many of the items came from the fact that there were not enough hours in a day to perform all the coordination items needed to satisfy the plan check/permitting needs. Let alone enough time to coordinate a proper For Construction set. 

The CDP Methodology is a holistic approach, grounded by the constructability of a project. That’s why the client was more receptive than predicted and appreciated the frank and honest review of the project and their shortfalls, permanently locating potential RFIs before they could generate in the field.

The real value for Project Owners and Construction Developers: a cost-effective project

The value that clients get from the Corbis Way and the Construction Digital Prototype® Methodology is more certainty and fewer delays. They now have the potential to understand where their current project measures budget and schedule at project milestones. And they can exclude surprises when the general contractor bids on the project. 

The BIM file is essentially a project server. It houses all the relevant project data in one location for reference, giving them unprecedented control of the project during the pre-construction phase, thus eliminating a large number of questions from the builder. 

Are you aware that every RFI generated from the job site costs roughly $1500 each? And that on average, you can expect 15 to 20 RFIs per $1mil of project value? Project Owners can see how erasing as many RFIs during the pre-construction phase can positively impact your construction budget.


Get an expanded presentation of the Corbis Way with the full Construction Digital Prototype® methodology. Contact our Business Development team today.

CATEGORIES: CorbisStudio