Healthcare Additions & Renovations in DESTINI Profiler

Korte, with four offices across the country and an original founding member of the Design-Build Institute of America organization, shared four healthcare case studies in our recent DESTINI Profiler webinar. Craig Mulliniks, Director of Visual Construction at Korte, discusses how DESTINI Profiler sets the foundation to create a partnering relationship with project owners early in the decision making process.

The visuals from DESTINI Profiler has allowed Korte to give their project owner’s a better understanding of project scope and budget. At times only having one week to three weeks for a project pursuit, Korte is able to give the owner multiple options for their specific project and within their budget. The owner is able to refine the scope with the project team and expectations are agreed to during the conceptual phase.

To see the recorded webinar, click below.

Create & Organize Cost Models Using DESTINI Data Manager

Taimoor Khan, Preconstruction Manager at Tonn & Blank, presented in our October 28 webinar on DESTINI Data Manager. Taimoor stated in the construction industry today, estimators are expected to be magicians by delivering estimates in a few days (sometimes within hours or minutes), and the estimate is expected to be extremely detailed.  Additionally, if the estimate is not completely accurate then the estimator is the one to blame.

In an ideal construction world, the estimator would be able to deliver estimates in very little time, be detailed and accurate, and meet everyone’s expectations. This ideal world is more productive, allows time for continuous development, and encourages organization.

“[Estimators] not only prepare estimates but we keep track of all the data and information,” said Taimoor. “Being organized is a key to being a good estimator.”

DESTINI Data Manager is an incredibly useful tool to keep estimates and estimators organized, synced, and generating better data.

To see the recorded webinar, click below.

First Commercial Release of the DESTINI Suite for Integrated Project Preconstruction

Data ManagerEstimatorProfilerBeck Technology, Ltd. announces the release of DESTINI Profiler 2015 1.0, DESTINI Estimator 2015 1.1, and DESTINI Data Manager 1.1. The three releases are part of the DESTINI suite of products and will allow users to take projects from the Macro-level to the Micro-level of detail while providing cost and information to manage projects more effectively.

Beck Technology was built on the foundation of providing solutions that enable better, more informed decisions, throughout the life of capital projects. Our technology is called DESTINI, an acronym for Design ESTimation INtegration Initiative. This release allows for a seamless transition from DESTINI Profiler (preconstruction and conceptual design software) to DESTINI Estimator (lightweight, robust estimating software) supported by DESTINI Data Manager (a database organizer). “We have a vision that by bringing more clarity to the preconstruction process our customers can make better more informed project decisions,” said Michael Boren, Director of Research and Development at Beck Technology. “The DESTINI suite release is a major milestone that enables our customers to establish project targets at the outset of a project and then manage the project against these targets thus providing a more collaborative and information rich platform that will result in better quality projects, delivered with more predictable costs and schedules.”

Read More

The Changing Landscape of Estimating

This post was published in the July/August edition of DCD Magazine.

The technology evolution in the A/E/C industry is happening. Advancements in smart equipment, integrated software solutions, innovative uses of current products, and the involvement of forward-thinking leaders are driving this evolution. The majority of these new advancements revolve around being more efficient with our traditional practices and reducing waste. Preconstruction has now entered into the technology evolution environment and the estimator’s options are lighter, more robust, and more agile than ever.

Estimating is not a new practice and the tools used by estimators to build their estimates have changed little in the past 20 years. The incumbent estimating software vendors (Sage Timberline, MC2, WinEst, and US Cost) have been serving the industry for the past 20-30 years in various roles beyond project estimating and have helped develop the traditional process of building estimates. The vendors’ products collectively are similar in nature taking the form of a spreadsheet, with varying levels of sophistication around user tools, a database backend, reporting and line item generation through assemblies, and cost models.

Read more

BIM+Lean+Integration = Industry Revolution

This post was published in the April edition of MARKETER.

marketer_aprilThere has been a lot of industry press over the last few years about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and most recently Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).  Other trends such as sustainable design and most recently Lean Construction also seem to be picking up quite a lot of coverage. Our industry is notoriously slow to adopt change.  However, for those forward thinking firms ready, willing and able to adapt and change, these converging trends offer enormous value and possibly could lead to a revolution in our industry.

Many in the industry have spoken about the sequential nature of the design, bid, build process where the architect develops a concept at the conceptual phase of the project, and provides the owner with a guess at the design (after all they typically have not even been hired at this point), a guess at the cost (usually based on a simple $/SF or merely the cost of their last project), and a guess at schedule (typically with no general contractor involvement).  Based on these guesses, the owner/developer will establish their financing and pull the trigger on moving forward.  Not until months down the line will a general contractor provide pricing, based on subcontractor input, which in my experience is 9 times out of 10 dramatically different to the guesses at the beginning of the project and results in value engineering.  It has always amazed me that we use this term, since in this traditional approach, there is no value provided and no engineering processes followed, but rather value engineering becomes an exercise of cost reduction, and in reality results in taking out all the valuable elements, such energy efficient glass and HVAC systems, in order to reduce cost. Overall, many believe that this methodology provides the least value and the most costs.  Yet it is still the most dominant delivery model. Read more

DESTINI Estimator is Newest Estimating Software in 12 Years

Beck Technology, Ltd. announces the release of DESTINI Estimator, the first software product created separately from its flagship Macro level Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, DESTINI Profiler. DESTINI Estimator is considered to be the next generation in estimating software and can be used in conjunction with DESTINI Profiler or as a standalone project tool.

DESTINI Estimator stems from ideas generated by Sundt Construction in collaboration with Beck Technology’s Research & Development department.  “Because of the familiarity we had with our previous applications we were able to pick and choose what we wanted,” said Donald Goodrich, Vice President and Director of Preconstruction of Sundt Construction.  “We wanted the ease of use of Excel as well as the same reports that we generate from DESTINI Profiler.  From a management perspective, I am looking for the database application.  DESTINI Estimator reduces inadvertent mistakes.”

A high level list of features of DESTINI Estimator 2015 1.0 are:

  • Innovative custom reporting with no limits that can be created by an estimator
  • Ability to compare an unlimited number of estimates
  • Able to merge multiple estimates into one
  • Intuitive, flexible, and interactive custom reports
  • Innovative customizable estimate comparison
  • Live interactive dashboards
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Seamless transition from DESTINI Profiler that includes model intelligence
  • Unlimited number of classifications can be assigned to cost items
  • Unlimited amount of data such as planning, location, and images can be associated with cost items
  • Unlimited WBS, sorting, filtering
  • Customizable fees and indirects
  • Quick and flexible cost escalation & de-escalation
  • Fast import of cost data
  • Innovative estimate specific assemblies

“This is the first estimating platform of this magnitude the A/E/C industry has seen in 12 years,” said Michael Boren, Director of Research & Development at Beck Technology.  “Many of the estimating softwares on the market are burdensome and weighted down with functionality that the industry either does not use or does not need.  DESTINI Estimator was created to be agile for our evolving industry.”

Beck Technology is offering DESTINI Estimator on a monthly subscription basis that includes maintenance and support.

Three Pillars of Conceptual BIM

This post was published in the January edition of DCD Magazine.

“Before we show the owner a rendering we want to make sure the ownercan afford that rendering,” said Jeff Ratcliff, Senior Project Manager at BeckGroup, said of their Methodist Mansfield Medical Center project.  Being able to show a client a rendering oftheir building with the knowledge that the image portrayed fits within theirbudget is powerful.  It opens up re-work discussions during conceptual and schematic phases so the client stays educated as to what their final project will entail with less likelihood of incurring change orders or value engineering discussions later.  The Beck Group healthcare department utilizes conceptual modeling and estimating during project planning.

This type of project planning allows a project team to share data on all decisions as they relate to budget, schedule, and design intent.  John Reich, Preconstruction Manager in healthcare at Beck Group, says, “All the designers see the estimate and question line items.  Preconstruction will also question why things are drawn a certain way, too.  It is a free exchange of information.”  Having this open dialogue also insures that all the decisions are made for the good of the overall project.  It also blurs the harsh lines of job roles and creates a unique, solidified project team. “The entire team is extremely solid,” said Denton Wilson, Vice President of Design and Construction for Methodist Hospitals. “It’s the culture and environment that allows them to grow, serve the team, and raise the bar.” Read more

Do You Want a Bear Claw with That?

At Beck Technology, we are pretty open about our development process in R&D.  If our clients are interested in how we do things, we’ll walk them through our process.  Our R&D team even speaks with R&D teams at other companies to determine the best way of handling situation “Foo” or accounting for scenario “Bar”.

One of the lesser known process points outside of R&D is how we code name our releases.  We started code naming our versions of DProfiler in 2009.  Our first code name was more of a joke and called Frito.  All joking aside, what comes after Frito?  My favorite dish: Beef Stroganoff.  Now how do you follow a code name as great as Beef Stroganoff? Luckily someone at Beck Technology told a story about a tomato stand he had as a child but had misspelled tomatoes on his sign.  Thus, the next code name was born: Tomtoes.  What comes after Tomtoes?  Mac-N-Cheese, of course.

After Mac-N-Cheese, we realized we needed to start taking this code name business seriously because picking random food names was not making any sense.  So now we have a formal process.  We started our naming over at the letter A, and each version moves on to the next letter in the alphabet; this finally gave order to the random chaos we had before.  Next we had to fix the issue of people just picking food names.  You can’t just go around picking random food names.  We settled on pastries.  Our 2014 DProfiler version came from Apple Fritter and the versions in development now all fall under Bear Claw.

What will come next?  We should probably start thinking about that one.

Linetek Systems Celebrate 25 Years

Beck Technology has been partnered with Linetek Systems since 2011.  Linetek Systems is a Korean software and services company servicing the AEC industry for the past 25 years. Members of Linetek have been trained on DESTINI Profiler and have been conducting DESTINI Profiler-related services to a number of large Korean construction companies over the last year. In January 2014, five employees from Linetek traveled to Dallas and spent a month observing the use of DESTINI Profiler and other BIM technologies on both traditional and integrated Beck projects.  Additionally, members of the Linetek team worked with Beck Technology to refine the Korean language (Hangul) version of DESTINI Profiler and the Korean cost database developed by Linetek.

The week of May 11, Peter Beck, Kelly Cone, and Stewart Carroll traveled to South Korea to attend the 25th anniversary of Linetek Systems.  The 25th anniversary was celebrated by the first of its kind industry day in Seoul where 250 of the leading public and private construction-related companies attended presentations by Beck and Linetek introducing BIM-related technologies and workflows to the audience.

Read more

BIM Forum 2014 Boston Recap

This year’s BIM Forum shifted the focus from facility management back to design by showcasing examples of collaboration, optimization, and sustainability within the industry.  Patrick MacLeamy, CEO of HOK, opened as the keynote speaker.  He challenged attendees to consider if we are fully using BIM to get the most optimized design and what metrics are being used for that optimization.  In presentations throughout the day, macro and micro optimization approaches were utilized, with examples of optimized cities, MEP analysis for building performance, and digital fabrication from models.

Frank Fralick, Procurement Manager at the Beck Group, presented design to fabrication workflows and visual programming.  He remarked on lessons learned from moving design data from a BIM environment to a digital prototyping environment.  Specifically, he shared project experience from First Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas. Read more