Wayne Brothers is one of the most progressive and technology-savvy commercial concrete contractors in the Southeast USA. Founded in 1985, the turnkey industrial and commercial concrete and site work contractor has grown to 400 employees. Wayne Brothers specializes in negotiated private projects, where its level of service, quality and safety can add value to projects, facilities or properties. Believing that quality begins from the foundation up, Wayne Brothers delivers high-quality proactive construction services to help clients like Caterpillar, Siemens Energy, Sierra Nevada Brewery and the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reduce construction waste and complete complex industrial projects on schedule.
Firmly believing in the value of technology to help it deliver higher quality, better coordinated work, Wayne Brothers began looking at 3D modeling software as a way to reduce risk even further. They wanted to respond quicker to client demands, see concrete and rebar details not visible on 2D drawings, and identify potential issues such as omission and errors in design. In May 2012, the company adopted Tekla Structures.
Improving the business
The company calls their 3D modeling program Wayne Brothers Information Modeling, or WBIM. For them, WBIM is more than just using the software to supplement existing processes; it is program that helps them operate their business more efficiently.
“We use Tekla not just to address one little problem but actually embed it into our business to make our business better,” says Daniel Wayne, Project Manager / Director of Technology at Wayne Brothers. “This piece of software simply lets us be more successful in this highly competitive concrete market.”
Wayne Brothers took Tekla software straight into operations, building models for existing projects, before using it to win business.
“We first applied Tekla to operations because we knew that would be the area of our business that would produce the most value,” says Daniel Wayne. After that, we started modeling projects to help win business, which is very effective especially with complex industrial structures with tight schedules. Showing a prospective client their project in 3D is a powerful statement and shows them that we’ve already got it figured out.”
Adding value to the workflow
Going beyond simply modeling their portion of a project, Wayne Brothers is taking a step further to identify potential issues during the preconstruction and preplanning stages — well before construction begins — in an effort to reduce waste and avoid delays and cost overruns. Instead of only looking for conflicts in the concrete and rebar, Wayne Brothers compares the models for the entire project. Because Tekla supports a wide range of file types, Wayne Brothers can easily import and export models and information created in other BIM (Building Information Modeling) and CAD applications. By the time construction starts, the model has been checked by the designer and all of the trades several times, resulting in a high level of confidence that all of the pieces fit together.
“Combining the models improves the level of collaboration between us, the client and the other subcontractors,” says Daniel Wayne. “This allows us to add value to the owner by keeping the project cost down and allowing us to contribute to constructing a higher quality building in less time.”
“There’s a real benefit of putting intelligent information into the model,” says Ryan Barker, CM-BIM, Wayne Brothers’ BIM Manager. “If you take the time to make it right in the model, you can automate other processes. Tekla is the only software that includes the breadth of structural components we need to build accurate project models with the highest level of detail exactly as they are shown on the plans.”
Fast-tracking the process
Like most concrete contractors, Wayne Brothers has to move fast. It is not unusual to be asked to start on site within two to three weeks from winning a contract. Before that, they need to find a vendor to detail the rebar, have it approved by the engineer, and get the rebar cut and delivered to the site. With the traditional preplanning and submittal for approval process using 2D drawings, it is virtually impossible to move that quickly and be accurate.
Under their new process, Wayne Brothers creates the Tekla model in preconstruction with concrete objects as part of their estimate to the client. When they win the project, they send the concrete model to the rebar vendor to add the rebar detail. And when the client submits a drawing change, Wayne Brothers and the rebar vendor can update the model within in a few hours.
“With Tekla, we’ve reduced the time from the award to the first rebar submittal by 50 percent, allowing us to meet the most demanding schedules,” says Daniel Wayne. “This gives us a clear competitive edge because we can respond quicker with more accuracy and provide a higher level of support to our clients.”
Visualizing complex details for better understanding
“You can see much more detail in 3D than you can in 2D,” says Daniel Wayne. “A project manager or project engineer can stare at 2D drawing sheets for weeks and still not have as thorough of an understanding as is possible after just 15 minutes of looking at the model. Modeling in 3D allows us to clearly see even the smallest details, giving us a much better idea of the design intent of the building and how to approach the project.”,
Wherever they find a problem — something is not constructable or elements are occupying the same space — Wayne Brothers flags the part in red to signal a potential problem to the client, field team and other trades.
“Being able to look at an entire model and see apparent clashes highlighted makes it much easier to communicate issues to the client, other subs and our field team,” says Ryan Barker. “It also makes it much easier to track issues and to ensure concrete doesn’t get poured until we’re 100 percent certain that it’s right.”
Taking BIM to the field
Since its inception, the Wayne Brothers Information Modeling program has focused on bringing the Tekla model and its information to the field. Once the team has modeled all concrete on a project in Tekla Structures, including the small details such as pour breaks, column isolations, turn downs, anchor bolts, layout points and rebar, the model is exported to Tekla BIMsight and organized by building and object types to make it easy to navigate. The Tekla BIMsight package is saved to the company server, where project team can access but not alter it in the field office, protecting the master model. Users with very little modeling experience can view the model to visualize the project and use it for coordination and collaboration.
“We have found real advantages in putting the model into the hands of our site staff,” says Ryan Barker. “The field model is used for pour planning, progress tracking, coordination and safety planning. Any user of the Tekla BIMsight model has the ability to add their input and save it for all to access.”
Rebar coordination reduces misfabrication
Wayne Brothers now work very closely with rebar fabricators that use Tekla’s advanced rebar detailing capabilities to model each piece of rebar at its exact size and bends and create a bar list. This information is exported to fabrication software to cut and size rebar to the exact measurements. Tekla also allows them to organize the rebar to manage the flow of material to the jobsite.
“By sharing models with the rebar detailer, we can review their work in 3D to resolve areas of congestion before construction begins and see exactly what it will look like in the field, ” says Ryan Barker. “Tekla substantially reduces our review time and the number of mistakes due to detailing errors.”
Tekla also helps Wayne Brothers reduce rebar waste to support their sustainability mission. During the first project modeled in Tekla, a 90,000 square meter (1 million sq. ft) industrial complex, 99 percent of the rebar was fabricated correctly. Only four of the 2,500 tons were misfabricated. Because the Tekla model was so accurate, Wayne Brothers could pass these savings on to the owner.
“With Tekla, detailing and ordering rebar is a more exact science,” says Daniel Wayne. “With 2D drawings, 10 to 20 percent of the rebar was typically fabricated wrong. From the first project, we saw a dramatic improvement in the detailing workflow, from more accurate reviews to fewer fabrication errors. The same applies to concrete pours. We can reduce waste by quantifying exactly how much concrete we need by pulling the information straight from the model in Tekla BIMsight and knowing exactly where to put it.”
Streamlined projects produce high quality results
Tekla allows Wayne Brothers to collaborate, coordinate and execute projects more effectively and efficiently by providing a single source of project information to use throughout the project lifecycle. The time saved as a result of good planning and coordination is spent on quality control in the field and in the office. This aids the company in its mission to provide a top quality product, with service to match.
“Using Tekla was a business decision,” says Daniel Wayne. “We have come to value the WBIM program and this software the same way we value the best truck or excavator.”