Use of an innovative combination of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and lean construction practices on the 555,000-square-foot Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) in Murfreesboro, Tenn., resulted in the delivery of $3 million in budgeted costs savings below the owner's initial target at the beginning of the project, reports Turner Construction Company. And, the project also realized nearly $1 million in savings from BIM-enabled prefabrication alone by the end of the project.
Construction of the medical center is also on track to be completed two months early. The 286-bed regional hospital, which will feature 10 operating rooms, 27 post-partum rooms and 40 emergency department rooms, will be substantially completed in May 2010 largely due to Turner's implementation of a lean construction approach enhanced by the use of BIM as a visual and data-rich work planning tool.
"Not only can the new Medical Center open its doors earlier than originally anticipated, we are also going to benefit from a cost savings that is thanks in part to the early involvement of Turner and its use of BIM in conjunction with lean construction practices," said Jennifer Garland, MTMC project director.
In the early planning stages of the project, the team decided to pursue a lean approach to minimize waste and increase efficiencies throughout the life of the project. Applying the slogan of "build digitally first," Turner is achieving large percentages of pre-fabrication on major components of the building systems through a comprehensive digital coordination process. Subcontractors are using their trade BIMs to visually "prototype" all aspects of their work in detail long before fabrication or construction starts.
"BIM combined with a lean culture enabled us to achieve levels of prefabrication we have not seen on previous projects," said Andy Davis, Turner universal senior project manager. "For example, most of the building's ductwork is being prefabricated off-site and then assembled at the project. In some cases, up to 16 feet of ductwork is being delivered to the site to be installed in single piece."
The use of BIM coupled to a lean workflow also allowed a significantly reduced crew of only three workers over five days to stand on the metal deck before concrete was poured and place hundreds of pipe hangars across a 30,000-square-foot area. The traditional placement of hangers from lifts or on ladders would have taken the same crew about four times as long, would have increased costs, and, most importantly, would have created unsafe onsite conditions.