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Fast Pace Of Construction Forcing A Collaboration Revolution

As demand for construction has gone up, developers are allotting less time for construction. To provide a quality building on budget and on schedule requires a fundamental rethinking of the real estate process, said the speakers at Bisnow’s recent Peninsula Boom event.

Michael Dern, Jeff Brink, Craig Rossi, Gene Klein, and Krista Raines

A holistic design approach to construction and property management can greatly improve the construction process, according to stok's Krista Raines. The most progress is being made in documentation tools that improve cross-team communication, she said. VR and 3D will follow soon, if slowly. Advances in telecommuting will also reduce carbon usage as more teams talk via videoconference or VR rather than drive across the Peninsula, she said.

Above are panelists Michael Dern, Jeff Brink, Craig Rossi, Gene Klein and Krista Raines.

Michael Dern, Gene Klein, and Jeff Brink

DCI Engineers principal Jeff Brink (left, with moderator and Dern Architecture + Development principal Michael Dern and Gene Klein) said the fast-track nature of projects forces all stakeholders to integrate design teams and build teams much earlier in the process to increase communication and decision-making. Structural engineers are now being called much sooner to deliver on time. The next step in accelerating timelines is moving to a modular-construction paradigm that will remove many of the roadblocks builders face as the components are already prefabricated and only need assembly, he said.

BarkerBlue CEO Gene Klein said a shortage in manpower has led to a greater emphasis on collaboration and reliance on technology. The challenge lies in integrating these different software products to glean meaningful data to keep the process on schedule.

Gene Klein and Craig Rossi

Rossi Builders president Craig Rossi (right) said collaboration’s role is to primarily limit “design creep” to ensure projects remain feasible and on schedule. Early communication also can prevent disastrous situations where the project is nearly finished and the builder wants to change plans, he said.

He said many deals in the area were dying because of burdensome sustainability regulations, adding “mayors, get your plan checkers to show a little bit of empathy!”