At the heart of the construction industry lies the aspiration to enhance operational efficiency, minimize risks and ultimately deliver projects on time and within budget. Innovative technologies like 3D and 4D modelling and site logistics tools are revolutionizing this field. In a recent interview, Melissa Schulteis, Virtual Construction Lead at Miron Construction, offered insightful details on the integration of these advancements into Miron's day-to-day operations.
Miron Construction, a storied history
Miron Construction, celebrating its 105th anniversary this year, is a family-owned, Wisconsin-based general contractor serving a diverse range of markets in around 25-30 states annually. Known for their expertise in industrial, food and beverage, education and healthcare constructions, Miron prides itself in its ability to self-perform a substantial amount of their work.
As the Virtual Construction Lead for Miron's self-perform group, Schulteis emphasized the crucial role technology plays in bridging the gap between field and office operations. By exploring, testing, and implementing new and existing tech solutions, Miron Construction ensures the optimization of work processes, from top management to site foremen.
"cmBuilder is a great product for 3D site logistics simulations and crane preplanning, which I think are huge. Previously, I have done a lot of crane preplanning in 2D and other software's, but it was lacking context so you're not able to see where the boom is actually hitting the building or other equipment on the site. cmBuilder just brings more value and insights as it has the scale and reality built into it."
- Melissa Schulteis - Virtual Construction Lead at Miron Construction Co.
The shift to BIM and its impact on operations
Over the last decade, the rising trends of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) have made a notable impact on the construction industry. Miron Construction has been at the forefront of this evolution, growing from a 4-person virtual construction team nine years ago to a robust 13-person department today, with specialists in different areas like pre-construction, self-perform, civil construction, and industrial.
While predicting the future of construction tech may be challenging, Schulteis underscores the importance of continuous dialogue with end-users and leveraging technology to address their unique needs. This approach, she believes, will foster meaningful, sustainable innovation in the industry.
Miron has experienced notable benefits from new technologies in their pre-construction phase, primarily through visualizing project ideas. From marking up a PDF as step one, to taking the conversation to the next level with 3D or 4D modelling, the pre-construction process has undergone a transformation, minimizing assumptions and fostering team-wide understanding of the plan.
The impact of adopting cmBuilder at Miron
Miron's partnership with cmBuilder, a platform that enhances the pre-construction process, has been a valuable asset in this regard. Unlike traditional models that often seem to 'float in space', cmBuilder offers a comprehensive representation of the site and its surroundings, making the construction process more realistic and comprehensible.
Schulteis spoke highly of the benefits of the tool in crane preplanning and 3D site logistics, enabling better scale and clarity. The platform's real-time interactivity was also appreciated, adding a new dimension to project visualization.
Looking ahead, Miron aims to adopt technologies like cmBuilder across as many projects as possible, striving to make this process the 'norm' rather than a one-off achievement. They believe the successful integration of technology into construction lies not in the pursuit of trophy projects but in consistent and widespread adoption across their portfolio.
The intersection of construction and technology is reshaping the industry landscape. Firms like Miron Construction are pioneering this evolution, driven by the belief that through effective communication and the smart application of technology, they can streamline operations, enhance efficiencies, and build a more sustainable future. As Schulteis eloquently concludes, it's about creating the future rather than predicting it.