When Turner Construction, a 110-plus-year-old construction company based in New York, was awarded a contract to build the new $26 million central utility plant for the Oakland International Airport in Oakland, CA, the reason was clear: Turner Construction had just been recognized by Building Design & Construction for having the largest volume of projects utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools.
Turner, which oversees about 1,500 projects each year and has 5,000 employees around the world, was one of the first construction companies to develop and use technology tools. BIM allows this global construction giant to improve project outcomes by developing information-rich virtual models that can address clashes before construction even begins.
The utility plant at Oakland, however, proved a mammoth challenge even for Turner. Its 8,300-square-foot-plant contained a complicated network of electrical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, all critical to the efficiency of a busy, 24-hour airport.