March 2019

Using Technology to Improve Project Performance

2019-03-07T07:50:53-05:00March 6th, 2019|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Shook continuously searches for ways to dramatically improve our performance. As the industry evolves, it is increasingly apparent how essential technology is. Not only does it save us time and money, but also it attracts new talent and customers. Recently, we introduced the enhanced technology processes, which have tremendously benefited our projects.

DRONE TECHNOLOGY

James Hillegas, a project engineer at Shook, has been an avid drone pilot for years. When he became aware of the opportunity to use them onsite, he was ready to help.

Mapping Existing Site Work  

At the Community Tissue Services project in Kettering, Ohio, James used drones to gather sitework images which he then shared with Project Manager Matt Wendel. The data collected assisted Matt in narrowing in on the site work estimations, which in turn freed up funds to reallocate to other project needs.

Bringing the Project to Life: Augmented Reality 

Hillegas also used a drone to gather photos of the existing facility, which then were used to create a model of the new building. This model allowed the owner to visualize how their new building would look when completed. “Augmented reality helps the owner better understand the project,” Hillegas said.

Source: John Poe Architects

Ensuring Safety

On the Summa West Tower project in Akron, Ohio, a drone helped us proactively prepare for the possibility of an emergency. As the project progressed, James flew the drone to collect updated site photos. These images were sent to the fire department to communicate where access points were in the event of an emergency.

PLANGRID TECHNOLOGY

Improving Onsite Efficiency  

Source: firstround.com

Another device introduced on the Summa project was PlanGrid, a cloud-based program that grants users mobile access to project information, including document drawings. PlanGrid has been incredibly helpful with organization and timeliness. All the project drawings were accessible in the program, which kept the project team from wasting time flipping through pages of drawings.

Project Engineer Rachel Mulholland shared the benefits of using it, stating, “Having all the drawings on the same system has saved us a considerable amount of time.”

Holding Subcontractors Accountable

PlanGrid alleviated some of the stress during closeout procedures. Shook asked their subcontractors to use the program to track and report the overall schedule. This helped keep everyone accountable. The team would open PlanGrid to check the floor plans and, based on the information, assign tasks to certain people. Rachel found this to be one of the greatest benefits of the program.

Technology is improving our productivity and enhancing our ability to communicate. From saving time to solving problems proactively, these tools have drastically changed the way we perform our work.

February 2019

Employee Spotlight: Kyle Canon

2019-02-25T15:02:58-05:00February 25th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Kyle Canon understands the importance of teamwork and project collaboration. Having worked in multiple positions himself, he is a firm supporter of learning about the different types of work performed on site. This has helped him tackle problems and perform his best work.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I’ve worked in multiple market channels since I started my career. In each channel, I’ve had different roles such as estimator, project engineer, and superintendent. Each position taught me a great deal about construction.

Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

Challenges can be tackled when we work as a team and successfully implement project collaboration. There are always several disciplines on site. Instead of working individually, we unite, communicate, and do an outstanding job.

What is the most important thing you do each day when prepping for your work day?

I like to start each morning by making my to do list and determining the order of importance. This is a great way to keep me organized. It also helps me keep track of the products that have been approved, as well as their scheduled installation. Tracking this ensures that we stay on schedule with installations.

Who inspires you?

My dad has always been my greatest role model.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?

Never be afraid to ask questions. Construction is complex; it’s better to be certain how to do something rather than guessing. The more you know helps you and the team perform at a higher level.

What piece of technology helps you most with your job? And why?

At Summa [Health’s Akron City Hospital] West Tower, CAD and the modeling programs were tremendous in helping me do my job. While I was not the operator of these programs, they were key in my management of the envelope team coordination. These programs allowed each team member to confidently install the steel embeds, structural steel, curtain wall embeds, curtain walls and envelope framing/finish systems.