The latest in 3-D technology is being used in the virtual construction of the Children's Hospital of San Antonio as part of its real-world $135 million expansion.
"It really gives us a sense of confidence that this is being done correctly," said Pat Carrier, president and CEO of Christus Santa Rosa.
Bartlett Cocke, the project's general contractor, has relied on BIM, or building information modeling, to look behind walls, floors and ceilings, through laser scanning to check for potential problems in hopes of avoiding costly delays.
"We're actually detailing out every aspect of the building," said Luis Berumen, BIM manager. "The architecture, the structure, the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and dry wall trades are in the model."
Berumen said the hospital expansion is the first project in Bexar County to use every aspect of BIM technology.
He said BIM has been helpful from the design to coordinating the trades being used on the job.
Berumen said everyone from architects to subcontractors review the images in what they call the I-Room, before being put on iPads that have replaced reams of plans and blueprints on the job site.
He said BIM allows them to visualize important construction details.
Since most of the buildings go back half a century, Berumen said the original plans and drawings of repeated renovations are no longer around.
"The whole premise is (to) work through potential problems, issues and hang-ups in the model where it doesn't take time or money to fix things," Berumen said.
"It's helped us stay on time and budget with our construction project," said Carrier.
He said the first two patient floors will be ready in October, and the following month, half of its new 30,000-square-foot emergency room will be finished.