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DPR Construction: Bidding with a solid plan by engaging the team and creating an zccurate 3D model

Using Tekla software helps DPR Construction win the projects with solid plans, engage their team in an entirely new level, streamline the mobilization, and keep connected with all the relevant stakeholders. 

DPR Construction is a large national and international commercial contractor and construction management company based in California. Their core markets are advanced technology, healthcare, higher education, life sciences, and commercial buildings. They have 27 offices across five regions in the United States of America, and four offices overseas. DPR employs 3500 full-time employees and 3300 craft employees in the field. 

In our Webinar: A Pour Focused Approach to Concrete Construction Andy Dickey, Business Development Manager for Cast-In-Place, had a chat with Bo Snyder (VDC Manager, Self Perform Work) and Scott Kahler (SPW Concrete Project Manager) from DPR on how they are using Tekla Structures. In this post, you will discover how they have benefited from creating a 3D model already at the bidding phase and how important it has been to get their team members involved to get the accurate 3D model and, therefore, the precise quantity takeoff.

Left of the line involvement: winning the work with a solid plan.

DPR Construction takes biding very seriously. Although they are aware that sometimes you win and sometimes lose, they use a 3D model to prepare the bids and have a clear plan for the very beginning. It does not matter what the result of their submission will be.  

“Most people in the industry have the line drawn on mobilization but, when we move the line back to winning a job that allows us to put a lot of our planning effort in effect early, so we plan the job right, we get the budget right because we are planning on going and doing,” says Scott Kahler, from DPR Construction.

  • This approach of getting the numbers and the plan as straightforward as possible from the early bidding stage facilitates future work: 
  • First, making accurate estimations gives them mental peace as they know that there is a low risk of unexpected cost increases. 
  • Second, they engage the team from the very beginning, saving time, especially misunderstanding and a lack of alignment when the production starts. 
  • Third, they can create and keep up-to-date most of the deliverables, such as construction drawings from the model. 
  • And finally, they can visualize what they are going to build, including different elements such as formwork, reinforcements, and even logistics and warehousing needs. 

The way of using Tekla Structures is not set in stone. At DPR Construction, Tekla Software is used in different ways. Their approach for creating quantity takeoffs and models is what they call a hybrid, meaning that sometimes they can make the model from scratch, or other times they might use the data from other parties. It might depend on the project itself, the data they have, and the quality of the information they might get from the different sources. However, Tekla Structures open collaboration approach gives them the flexibility to use, create, and share the data depending on their specific project needs.

They have adapted Tekla Structures software to their own way of doing and not the other way around. For example, they have created and usually use their own attributes in the model. All their estimators organize their work and see the data in the same way and consistently do their estimations. The estimators can play around with the attributes and the different scenarios. When they are done, they will take the data and add it to Winest, their final estimation solution.

Getting accurate quantity-takeoff is essential, but engaging their people is vital.

DPR construction gets the most of using the Tekla 3D model by engaging the team members early. They believe the right way to get the proper calculations is by working together and creating an accurate model.

It is crucial to engage people as they add valuable information to the model. At the beginning of the process, team members can look through the model and find things that jump out, issues that might cause delays onsite or missing information, and later incorporate those changes into the model. At DPR, they make their marks on a 3D mark tool or use a BIM track app from Tekla Warehouse to track some issues and communicate those. The 3D model enables them to get a unique source of truth. And due to the involvements of people, the information flows, and it is not just staying with the detailing team. It is communicated with other relevant groups. 

Getting the right model, the right quantities, and the people aligned translate into a uniform understanding of the construction, the sequences, and the details. 

Watch our webinar to learn more about how DPR uses Tekla Structures for quantity takeoff and the entire workflow.