How BIM Enabled On-Schedule Delivery of the Chase Center

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The cornerstones of building information modeling (BIM) are coordination, communication and collaboration. By enabling these key benefits, the BIM process provides architects, engineers, contractors, and owners with tools and insights to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.

The 2019 NBS National BIM Report stated: “63% of those who have adopted BIM feel that they have done so successfully, and 55% of those yet to adopt it think they’ll get left behind if they don’t. Looking ahead, 63% anticipate that they’ll need to use BIM on all projects.”


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Communication was cited as a major benefit to the joint venture of construction companies Mortenson|Clark on the Chase Center project in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. The $1.4-billion sports and entertainment complex includes an 18,000-seat arena, a glass-enclosed gatehouse with outdoor amphitheater, two 11-story office buildings, 20+ retail spaces, a 925-space parking garage, and 3.2 acres of publicly accessible plazas and open space.

The Chase Center, image: ArchKeySolutions.com

As described by ArchKey Solutions, the work on the project was conducted in a tight urban area. As a complication, Mortenson.com explains that a demanding schedule required up to 1,500 trade workers to be onsite at the same time and $2.3-million of work to be accomplished daily during peak construction. To accommodate a workflow with that level of complexity, integrating innovative technology with BIM was essential. As described in its eBook about BIM excellence, Autodesk explained that using BIM allowed the Chase Center project team to meet its objectives for communication by:

  1. driving stakeholder meetings and timely decision making;
  2. improving communication to meet project milestones;
  3. enhancing communication with the surrounding community via project visualization.

With the workflows and capabilities provided by BIM, sometimes a major return on investment occurs during construction, with increased cost savings, higher quality, better safety, and improved schedules. As case in point, according to Mortenson.com the 30-month construction project was delivered on time and achieved a “stellar” safety record.

The Chase Center gatehouse, image: New York Times

The benefit trifecta – communication, collaboration and coordination – can be escalated to a higher level using the cloud. Cloud-based tools like Autodesk BIM 360 connect BIM workflows for clarity and job intelligence. Project stakeholders can see and understand what is being accomplished and discuss things that need to be improved.

In combination with emerging technologies, BIM can make an even greater impact on workflows and outcomes. Examples include generative design, drones and augmented and virtual reality.

Whether your company is beginning to implement a BIM process or refining your use of it, the benefits from planning through handover are being proved out by successful projects everywhere. Better communication, project coordination and collaboration, efficient workflows, 3D visualization, and improved project outcomes are some of the benefits you can look forward to when using BIM.


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