Bringing BIM to the job site: Solving connection challenges with the KNAACK DataVault

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Florida Construction News special feature

One of the biggest challenges in implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM) is bringing the technology to the job site’s last mile – or more accurately – the last feet.

Conventional hand-held mobile devices lack the depth, scale and data storage capacities for proper BIM work stations, yet there is much inconvenience in locating this equipment at the main trailer rather than the immediate work area as superintendents need to travel back and forth access information.

One solution, reported in a Chicago case study, involves specialized joist storage data equipment such as KNAACK’s “first fully protected digital storage plan solution for onsite job management.”

The KNAACK DataVault, described in the case study as “a complete storage solution that safely hosts the hardware and software all in one place,” has been custom-designed for onsite BIM and “includes a 40-inch monitor, a color-laser printer, retractable keyboard, whiteboards, back-up battery power and the technology components necessary to run any project,” the case study reported.

Chicago contractor Pepper Construction integrated this equipment with StratusVue’s cloud based project and document management software for a time-sensitive major corporation headquarters expansion project.

Pepper reported that superintendents saved about 50 per cent of their time in accessing BIM materials and documentation, and workers and subcontractors at all levels could easily interconnect and communicate through their mobile devices.

There were some connectivity challenges. “Because they were working on a remote job site with extremely thick concrete walls Pepper would occasionally lose their wireless signal and have difficulty accessing the Internet,” the case study said. “It’s important to have a connectivity strategy in place, especially if there are multiple DataVaults that are implemented on the project.”

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