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Optimise Construction Projects With Kreo’s “What If?” Scenarios

Kreo Feature 5 What If Scenarios

Building information modelling (BIM) has been described in some quarters as the construction industry's very own 'digital revolution.'

But, while that description is not without its merits, even the staunchest BIM advocate would acknowledge that it is currently falling way short of its considerable potential.

The NBS describes BIM as a 'model, (drawing) on information assembled collaboratively and updated at key stages of a project.' In many ways, this strikes at the heart of what is currently holding BIM back from being truly transformative in the industry; the fact that the onus for ‘assembling’ and ‘updating information’ lies so completely on the collaborative work of human experts.

The computers and software packages we currently use to manage every aspect of BIM-based construction project planning - including cost estimation and scheduling - are theoretically able to assist in powerful ways. But a range of critical problems means that this simply isn’t the case.

For starters, BIM models are often created in the first-place by time-poor architects who give little thought to how the model will be used by contractors and quantity surveyors. This means BIM models rarely conform to professional measurement standards.

Equally, basic errors in BIM element attribute classification can undermine models entirely, since anything not classified correctly will be 'invisible' when a quantity surveyor uses software to create a bill of quantities. A simple, innocuous error like a misspelling, or a missing classification, can completely destroy the accuracy of a quantity takeoff and cost estimate.

This all creates a fundamental problem; human experts, throughout the process, are tied up in a maddening spiral of manual data checking and input. Project bids are often based on wild guesswork - even following weeks of painstaking work - and that’s just to deliver ‘any’ bid, let alone ‘the best possible’ bid.

Any changes to the project - floors being added, walls being removed, facades being adapted, different materials or construction methods being used - currently do little more than send the manual data entry process back to square one. Everything needs to be recalculated, and reset, and re-done. And, frankly, there isn’t time to do it, because timelines are tight enough as it is.

We built KREO because we believe there’s a better way to optimise projects. We believe that human experts in the construction industry, with years of education and experience, deserve the opportunity to actually be creative and proactive in the solutions they offer.

Check out the video below to find out more about KREO’s ‘What if?’ scenarios.“What if?”

Our starting point was a simple assumption: that the only way to unleash the creative potential of construction experts, was by removing the burden of those countless hours of manual drudgery.

We recognised that every part of construction project cost estimating, planning and bid pricing could be done as well, if not better, by computers - as long as they were properly ‘taught’ how to recognise and treat BIM model elements.

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If you can automate a bill of quantities, schedule and cost estimate in minutes - and be definitively sure about the accuracy of those documents - suddenly, you’ve freed up weeks to make projects better! To work together (as was the original spirit of BIM) with project stakeholders, instead of against each other, and deliver projects that are successful, rewarding and profitable for everybody involved.

So, let’s go into specifics. When a project manager imports a BIM model into KREO, our software uses machine learning to review and evaluate potential problems. The project manager can then invite other people onto the platform to review their own areas of the project. Once the model has been signed off, KREO creates a ‘default’ scenario in just a few minutes - automating the creation of a cost estimate and schedule.

Then, project stakeholders have the ability to run simple, powerful ‘what if?’ scenarios. You can identify opportunities to optimise projects according to cost and time, and then run them - side by side, in your browser - to assess the implications of those experiments.

Optimise Construction Projects for Time or Cost With KREO’s What If Scenarios

You can compare a range of scenarios in a matter of minutes - then choose the best option for the clients’ needs. They want the project delivered quickly? You choose the best option for time. They want it as inexpensive as possible? You choose the lowest option for total cost. At a glance, see how different scenarios impact on your labour needs, material needs,resource levelling, overheads and profit. Evaluate how those changes affect others involved in the project. And if you feel that your scenario is worthy of consideration, save it to the scenario dashboard to be considered by the team - who can then use these scenarios to further optimise their own parts of the project.

The obvious upside of this is that construction companies - well used to operating on low single digit margins, a few mistakes away from making a loss - suddenly have much greater control over their margins. It gives construction companies the knowledge to price their work properly, and fairly, ending the information asymmetry that has held margins down for so long.

What’s more, the data is there in black and white and can be shared as part of the bidding process. Construction companies are suddenly able to say ‘Yes, you can have the project to that specification, but it will cost X, not Y.’ If the numbers don’t stack up on a project, the company needn’t spend its time bidding anymore - giving them more time to bid on the work that is profitable to them.

Creating value, identifying risks - instead of spending weeks on manual input. We believe that’s the construction industry of the future!

Download Kreo's eBook to learn how we are unleashing the potential of 4D & 5D BIM