Computer-aided design (CAD) software creates precise drawings of either two or three-dimensional models using X, Y, and Z coordinates. In the construction industry, CAD software streamlines the design, engineering, and construction process.
EDC Management Corp. provides hands-on construction management services to customers in commercial, agricultural, and industrial sectors. Our designers and engineers use advanced CAD software to create graphical representations of structural designs. This blog post will discuss how CAD is used in construction and architecture applications, as well as the benefits of using this software.
Overview of CAD in Construction and Architecture
Architects, engineers, and construction managers utilize CAD to develop highly accurate designs in place of manual drafting. All CAD software use horizontal, vertical, and depth coordinates to create highly precise 2D or 3D designs that visualize construction plans. Construction CAD optimizes the design process and enables modifications, and any company that uses the technology will have a significant advantage over others that do not.
How Do Engineers and Construction Managers Use CAD?
Computer-aided tools have become indispensable to engineers and architects in their creation of precision illustrations. In switching from paper to CAD software, construction managers can conduct detailed analyses, identify flaws, and take accurate measurements that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. CAD software also simplifies blueprints, provides consistent measurements, and enables quick and easy adjustments.
Engineers and construction managers also use CAD to project structural, electrical, plumbing, and sanitary diagrams. To determine a building’s final look, CAD software can produce images of a building’s finished appearance.
Advantages of CAD in Construction
Here are the main advantages to using CAD in construction.
Avoid Costly Mistakes
Because of its detail and accuracy, CAD software prevents costly mistakes. It makes the entire production process more efficient, saving production costs and streamlining productivity. Many CAD programs come with clash or interference detection to analyze whether the elements of a design will work together, long before the design goes to engineering.
Prior to CAD technology, hand-drawn designs limited visualization. They could be unclear or illegible, and they were also subject to human error. Computerization solves these issues because CAD programs are standardized and organized.
CAD allows teams to make frequent edits to a design, controlling the quality of the final product. The software can test and solve problems more efficiently to produce a better end result.
Paper-and-pen designs must be passed around physically and are easily lost. CAD designs allow team members to collaborate remotely or in person on the same file, view edit history, and share with other departments.
Reuse and Change Designs
CAD files enable future projects to reuse the same designs. Users can easily change and save new elements without having to redraw the entire illustration.
CAD Services at EDC Management
CAD software is vital for construction and architectural projects. It allows construction managers to visualize every detail of a project and anticipate problems in advance, facilitating a smoother overall process. At EDC Management, we provide extensive structural and mechanical engineering design services for our clients. We use CAD technology to create functional 2D or 3D design models for every stage of your engineering process.
Our CAD department performs on-site fieldwork to make models that are as accurate and comprehensive as possible. We provide new structural designs, existing design modifications, specialty designs, consultations, and more. Contact us to learn more about our services, or get started on your next CAD project byrequesting a quote.
With more than 130 years of combined experience, the designers, engineers, and project management consultants at EDC Management Corp. offer customized solutions for our clients in construction project management. Based in Wisconsin since 2013, we’ve managed and offered support on a wide range of building projects to ensure all quality and safety standards are met while handling logistics and keeping the project on schedule and within budget.
Keys to Success for Running an Effective Construction Management plan for a Project
A construction project has a lot of moving parts that must be coordinated to ensure the building is completed correctly and on time. The construction management process includes three key elements:
Automating Project Management Tasks: Automation is key to productivity. It eliminates the need for a skilled manager or employee to spend time on tedious, time-consuming tasks. Using advanced software and technology, it’s easier than ever to automatically send reports to employees and stakeholders, for example, enabling project managers to streamline the day and make better use of everyone’s time.
Nailing Project Delivery Timelines: This starts by outlining clear roles and responsibilities to ensure employees know their scope. Mapping timelines and listing roles with Gantt charts help managers stay organized, enhance productivity, and improve their management skills. It’s key to staying on task and adhering to deadlines.
Create a Flow of Communication: There are so many people involved in a construction project, from stakeholders and managers to workers and suppliers, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Establishing a clear, open line of communication makes the entire process go more smoothly, reduces errors, and reduces frantic phone calls and emails as someone tries to find the right person to help them solve a problem.
Step-by-Step Construction Project Management Plans
Even though every project is different, the same process for managing it applies to all of them. This is how to manage a construction project step-by-step:
Create a Plan
It all starts here. After meeting with the client to understand their goals and expectations, the construction project manager has to determine how to take the project from concept to completion. Consider the time frame you’ll need to allow for each step of the building process, how to allocate the budget, worker safety protocols and procedures, a quality control process, and administrative tasks like contracts and insurance.
Clearly outline each role in the project, and ensure the person hired to complete the role understands his or her scope. This prevents employees from stepping on each other’s toes as the building progresses. Identify specific points in the project that may require approval before moving to the next step, and determine who is responsible for giving that approval.
Host a Kickoff Meeting
This is your chance to bring all the major players together before work begins. Discuss the plan and expectations, assign additional tasks, and open up the floor to questions and discussion to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Build in Flexibility
Expect the unexpected. Weather delays, supply delays, miscommunications, new demands from a client, sick employees, and more can quickly derail your construction plan. Have a process in place for dealing with these disruptions to ensure you can get back on track.
Conduct a Final Review
Revisit all the work you’ve done so far. Double-check that your framework for this project is solid, and make adjustments as necessary.
Offer leadership, support, and guidance as the team executes the plan you carefully designed. Be ready to delegate tasks as the need arises and track metrics to ensure the team will meet the predetermined performance goals.
When the building is finished, you’ll need to meet with the team, stakeholders, and clients to discuss the project, including both successes and setbacks. Take what you learn and apply it to the next project.
Construction/Project Management Services at EDC Management Corp.
EDC Management Corp. has taken this approach to construction project management for years, and we’ve perfected our systems to ensure your project is managed seamlessly from start to finish. We handle end-to-end communication and take hands-on action to ensure our clients are completely satisfied. Contact us to learn more about construction project management and our other services, or request a quote for your project.
Structural & Mechanical Engineering design is the process of creating a solution based on a project brief provided by the client and preparing instructions to construct the solution. During this process, the design contractor must account for factors such as aesthetics, climate, regulations, and budget. These teams will generally include an architect and several engineers.
Typically, the building design process has three steps:
During schematic design, the team will begin workshopping concepts, determining feasible solutions, and taking the first steps to bring the client’s vision to life. Design development will then refine the ideas that the team landed on in the schematic design phase, finalizing the plans to the client’s specifications.
Once everyone is satisfied, the design team will begin the construction documentation step, consolidating all the designs and technical specifications in order for the construction process to begin. At this point, the team may also seek out any necessary permits for the project to proceed.
Having a detailed building structure design is highly beneficial to construction management. In addition to allowing the general contractors to more easily secure the required permits, the design allows for better planning, more accurate cost predictions, and more open communication.
When it comes to structural & mechanical engineering design, there are two different processes used most often: Design-Build and Design-Bid-Build.
The Design-Build process usually hires a single individual or party, the design/builder, to conduct both the design and construction phases under a single contract. The actual design & construction of the project-at-hand may be performed by the individual/party itself or subcontracted to other companies. The design-build process requires intense levels of cooperation between the design & construction practices.
For the Design-Bid-Build process (which is the most common process in the construction industry), a design company create the plans for a building and then has a construction company bid for the build contract. Design is much more cohesive and streamlined, and the design team consults directly with the project owner to create a satisfactory building design. The owner will then bring this design to several general contractors for bidding and will select the bidder that best suits the project’s budget and creative vision. The chosen bidder will construct the design.
There is a multitude of advantages to this method of construction design. Some of the most significant benefits include:
Greater client control
Due to the fact that this structural & engineering design delivery method involves very little collaboration between the design team and construction management, it is significantly easier to keep track of design changes throughout the beginning of the process. Having a clear design before construction begins drastically simplifies the process and reduces the chances of unforeseen difficulties.
Since the project owner is able to choose the bidder that best suits their needs, it is much easier to stay within the desired budget. Rather than accumulating unexpected costs throughout the construction process, customers who have a clear design in advance can expect significantly more accurate price estimates. This is due to the fact that the general contractor can examine the building structure design before taking on the project and will have a good sense of the costs involved.
Greater Client Control
Structural & mechanical engineering design enables the owner to be a much more active participant in the design process, working collaboratively with the experienced design team in order to turn their vision into a reality. Since construction will not begin until after the design is complete, this also ensures that the owner will be able to have full confidence in the design before spending money to hire general contractors.
The design-bid-build delivery method is very linear, with little to no overlap between each step. This means that from design through to completion, this process is easy to predict. Having a detailed building construction plan enables construction management to provide accurate timelines and cost estimates and create realistic schedules.
This, in turn, makes it much easier for the owner to plan and budget, and creates a more efficient process that is less stressful for everyone involved. As this construction design delivery method is one of the most common, almost all general contractors will be very familiar with the process, which will help construction proceed efficiently.
Due to its linear, predictable nature, this type of construction design is ideal for clients with little background in construction or design. Regardless of design expertise, all clients will benefit from a close, collaborative relationship with an experienced design contractor.
How to Select a Mechanical & Structural Engineering Design Contractor
Creating an optimal design is a complex process that requires the design contractors to account for a range of factors, from owner specifications to construction limitations and local climate. Choosing the right design team is vital for a successful and satisfying project. There are a number of steps a client can take to ensure they are hiring the best team for their needs.
Confirm their Design Capabilities
It’s a good idea to peruse the website and portfolio of your potential companies and ensure they have the design capabilities you’re looking for. This likely includes:
New Structural Designs
Existing Structural Design Modifications
Mechanical Engineering Designs
2D and 3D CAD Services
A good design contractor will have a history of happy customers. Due to the personal nature of construction design, it is vital for the customer and design contractor to have compatible goals and visions. When choosing which design team to work with, a customer should look for a team with a history of communicating openly and working collaboratively with clients throughout the design process.
Seek Out Designers with Creative Portfolios
While a design contractor may be friendly and professional, it is also important not to overlook the value of creativity. If the design team’s portfolio is filled with projects that all look the same, this may indicate an unwillingness to work collaboratively and adapt to each customer’s unique needs. Instead, customers should seek out designers with diverse portfolios.
Consider the Project Scope and Budget
The ideal construction design contractor will be confident working within the desired specifications and budget. Before selecting a designer, be sure to discuss the project’s scope to ensure that they can fulfill these needs.
With over 130 collective years of engineering and design experience, our team of experts is dedicated to building strong client relationships and providing sustainable, progressive designs to our customers. To work with us on your next construction design project,contact us, orrequest a quote today.
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