Like it or not, the current process of building a home today can be highly error prone. Given the disconnection between technology systems being used and the dispersed nature in which today’s project teams typically operate, there is plenty of chance for mistakes to be made, which result in costs escalating.
That is not to say that some builders don’t have an efficient plan in place to help alleviate such efforts. However, getting an accurate handle on the process and the costs involved can often be a tricky scenario. One company believes it has solved such complications and is working towards an integrated approach to help the homebuilding industry create a more comprehensive process.
In an effort to alleviate such complications, The Contrado Group www.thecontradogroup.com, Phoenix, Ariz., has introduced an online asset/project management application that leverages what the company calls IPM (integrated process management). It is a custom solution that the company says maintains all integration of file formats blending its clients with each department and managing as-builts with increased accuracy and security.
The company has put together a task force that it says will “review the entire process of residential construction.” This includes everything from concept of a residential community to the final energy certification process that needs to occur in order to receive the given rating for a home for Energy Star and/or LEED’s programs.
As with any such effort in construction, the overall solution needs to involve collaboration between all disciplines in the process. According to the company, the goal of task force will be to have better communication, documentation, and execution of trades for a given project. The company believes that by establishing such a method it will combat against builders being lured into low-price scenarios at the expense of the total cost of the project.
As a result, The Contrado Group believes such benefits as quicker time to market; improved cash flows; lower construction costs and less material waste, among others, can be achieved by builders.
Paul Salmonson, the executive vice president of sales and marketing with The Contrado Group recently described this process to Constructech. He says the the final phase of the process will involve using some type of BIM (building information modeling) software that will be able to have exact material take-offs capabilities that can be exported into a third-party procurement software. As Salmonson describes, this is not an easy task and expects the team will encounter its fair share of hurdles.
He says, “We believe that with a heavier emphasis placed on the design side of a project, the trades will eventually be accustom to much tighter specs and accuracy so long as the operations side to the business works side by side with our process.
“In the end, we are removing the guesswork a trade has to account for by using sloppy plans,” he continues. “In doings so, they can give much tighter bids which yields lowering of material costs.”
Admittedly, Salmonson says the final phase is still a ways away. But he believes the good thing about the slower market conditions is that that it is forcing the homebuilding market to make a paradigm shift. Looking at a more holistic view of the entire building process could go a long way toward reshaping the industry as we know it moving forward.