Barton Malow

VDC Tools and the Pursuit Plan – The Scope

This entry is part of a series of articles we’ll be sharing about Virtual Design + Construction (VDC) at Barton Malow

Planning construction projects is not a new concept—Barton Malow has been doing that successfully for almost a century. However, as we work through this digital transformation in our industry and our organization, we are constantly finding ways to leverage the latest technology as a tool to better plan and execute our pursuit and projects. In this article series, we are focusing on how Barton Malow is leveraging VDC tools from the pursuit phase.

When the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) team at Barton Malow looks at a pursuit plan, the scope of that plan can range drastically based on several factors. Each pursuit is unique in the way the project team wants to highlight the capabilities that Barton Malow offers, whether we need to show a wide variety of our capabilities for a new client or we need to highlight something we’ve done previously for a repeat client. However, most pursuits within Barton Malow don’t begin until a thorough Go/No Go process has been completed.

If a project is “go’d,” a VDC lead is assigned to the pursuit to assist in acquiring that project. During the kickoff meeting, we determine the baseline for the scope of the pursuit. What are the owner’s requirements and how might we go above and beyond the basic owner requirements to stand apart from the competition? To summarize the scope of a pursuit plan VDC will look at safety, logistics, schedule, quality, and execution.

Safety will always be first at Barton Malow and pursuit planning is not an exception. Working hand-in-hand with our estimating and project delivery teams, we work to make sure that all costs are captured, including safety-related costs. This upfront planning helps our project delivery teams build an extensive safety plan so that if we are awarded the project, a detailed plan is in place from project kick off to close out.

Logistics planning can be as simple as displaying owner provided content around their site, or it can be as developed as a full-blown 3D animation that is very specific and intentional. What VDC executes and develops for logistics is determined by several factors and the following questions are usually asked in the kickoff meeting:

  • Does the owner have specific requirements, or does the leadership team have something planned?
  • Do we have a model to work with?
  • Do we have drone imagery, or do we need to utilize satellite data?

VDC can also provide advanced scheduling methods by tying model elements to activities in a P6 schedule. This is commonly referred to as 4D scheduling in the BIM world and can add tremendous value to the project team and owners as well.

With the Quality Improvement Platform (QIP) being launched and a new Construction Quality Standard Practice being implemented in July, it is evident that quality is becoming a focal point for continual improvement. VDC has recognized there is a great opportunity to partner with the Construction Quality team and utilize the technology tools available to help Construction Quality achieve their objectives. 

While each pursuit is unique, VDC works through the planning and execution of these pursuits consistently. Barton Malow utilizes several different tools to develop execution plans, our VDC team will develop project models, IWP (Installation Work Package), lift drawings, and much more.

This process allows us to be prepared and intentional from the very beginning and then continue to refine our plan over time. We’ll take a deeper dive into each of these topics individually in subsequent articles in this series, starting with safety.