Top 3 Benefits of Digital Take-Off | The B1M


Hello! If you are embracing or trying to
make the business case for adopting digital technologies in construction
then this video is going to really help you we have got the top three benefits
of digital take-off. So today we are joined by Tom Young from a company
called Glodon, thanks for being with us today Tom. You’re welcome. Just give you a bit of background, Glodon are the largest construction technology company in
mainland China and they develop a program called Cubicost which is a
market leading digital take-off software. So there’s literally nobody
better in the world to talk to about this subject area than Tom and we’re very
lucky to have him with us today. I suppose before we get into the
benefits, a bit of background people hear the phrase “digital take-off” it sounds
kind of futuristic and space-age what do we mean by digital takeoff and is as
exciting as it sounds? So digital take-off is using software like Cubicost to
obtain quantities from design information much more quickly in an
automated fashion and to then link that to rates to produce a cost plan really
really quickly. Going back to traditional methods,
obviously doing things by hand it’s much more disjointed, it’s much slower and
with digital construction we’re really trying to move away from that now. Absolutely I think when you say design information it’s worth pointing out of
people that that design information can be 2D, it can be 3D or increasingly it
can take the form of building information models and that last bit I just
described there is what’s known as “5D BIM” or the “fifth dimension of building
information modelling” which is far too complicated for this video but there is
another video on The B1M YouTube channel explaining 5D BIM and what that process
means, so I suppose with the definition nailed down let’s have a look at the top
benefits of digital take-off. So our first benefit is improved speed
because the digital take-off enables quantities to be measured faster. Absolutely so traditional methods of measurement and producing a cost plans
obviously quite a lengthy process – using digital tools to produce quantities much
more quickly, access to the right cost data to produce cost plans more quickly
reduces that design iteration process. So I suppose in a more traditional
setting where the design team would issue design information
to the cost team, two or three weeks would go by while the cost team developed
their estimate or their cost plan before feeding that back into the design team
to sort of you know re-evaluate and reconsider where that where the design is at, potentially. Whereas with digital tools that process has been brought down to two or three days or even just two or three hours in some instances. I think as
well the big thing for me is that digital tools can sometimes be presented
as a bit of a silver bullet, but actually it’s just as important to get your
design information right in a digital sense as it is in a more traditional
setting because if you have poor information going into the process you’re going to get poor results out at the end of the day. So our second benefit is greater
accuracy. Digital take-off is inherently more accurate and that can reduce the
discrepancies between different measures by different members of the project team. Yes so, good information produces great automation. So if we can get it right at
the start and agree those principles then we have a much more streamlined
process all around for digital cost collaboration. Yeah I think that’s a really powerful point. I think that’s something that’s more important in a
digital space than in a more traditional setting. You know, agreeing with the design team how 2D and 3D information is going to be
structured and authored from the outset is really really important because in
traditional setting an experienced estimator or QS or cost manager can do
a take-off from the drawings based on what they see, whereas a computer will
measure what it sees. So making sure that stuff has been authored and represented
in 2D and 3D in the right way and that corners haven’t been cut in certain
areas is absolutely critical because if you get that right you can then unlock
the efficiencies of digital take-off down the road. Our third benefit and my personal
favourite is team integration. So digital take-off actually enables cost managers
estimators and QS’ to become better integrated into project teams and I
think that’s really important because there is a bit of a misconception out
there that somehow these digital tools enable you to press a button and
instantly get a magical, fantastic estimate/cost plan, that’s a hundred
percent right and in that kind of environment people hear those sort of
things they can feel their jobs are under threat, they’re gonna be kind of
replaced in some way. But actually that really isn’t the case digital tools
change the cost manager, estimator and QS role and really enable it to have more
value. Yeah you’re right so, as a QS myself, I would want to be spending much more time looking at the data and adding value as a professional and much less
time fetching that data. If the modern QS has this living, breathing cost
document they become much more integral to the team much more collaborative, much
more consultative and they can just get involved more often and not be kind of
shut away. Yeah I was about to say it’s kind of
going away from that concept of the cost manager or the QS estimator
coming to one meeting a month or being down the corridor somewhere, they are
really are the project team table they’re providing what feels like the
equivalent of almost real-time updates on cost information and they’re adding
value they’re steering the project and the direction is going in and direction the design is taking right from the outset. Yeah for me that’s the
that’s the definition of the new role. I think, digital tools freeing up cost managers time as you
said that time we better spent adding value rather than on painstaking manual
take-offs. Just before we go we’d like to make a
wider point. I think quite aside from the benefits we spoke about today there are
some people who will see greater accuracy, greater transparency and
reducing ambiguity in the project costing process as something of a
disadvantage something of a threat to some of those opportunities that were there in project development in the past. Opportunities that
ultimately probably led to a bit of distrust in the construction industry
and led to poor collaborative working amongst the project teams. And while
yes, that is true, digital tools are eating away at those opportunities on
the flip sides they are making you a lot more efficient so you can in theory do
more work with the same team increasing your revenue and increasing your profit. Yeah you’re right and on profit its much more of an elusive thing and really construction companies have to act like tech companies now, we use these tools for
return on investment but also we use them because they’re simply more
compelling more fun and for me that aspect of fun is if I go home and I tell
my children what I’ve done that day I want to tell them that
I’ve worked in a collaborative 3D model environment rather than highlighting
PDFs just simply because it is more compelling and you have to trust in that
process and and if everyone in the company has that kind of lift from from
from the tools then the company is more profitable. We’ve kind of got used to confrontation as part of the
culture in construction, but actually if we were able to not just with digital take-off but with all the digital tools that are available go home having worked in a
more collaborative, positive environment what’s not to like about that? So, thank you so much for being with us today Tom we we really appreciate it. You’re welcome and on behalf of myself
and Glodon, Thank You. Don’t forget guys you have any
questions or queries you can pop them in the comments below and Tom and I will
get back to you. Otherwise if you enjoyed this and you guys get more from our
platform you can subscribe free to The B1M.


28 Responses

  1. Eric Alexander

    September 4, 2018 9:10 am

    Fred, you are a breath of fresh air on You Tube. Thank you for giving us the information by talking to us like the intelligent adults that we are.

  2. Brad

    September 4, 2018 9:35 am

    As a 2nd year student with ambitions to become a an engineer and design buildings in the future, how would one best adapt early to BIM and digital tools? Thank you for the video 🙂

  3. Instakardo

    September 4, 2018 1:03 pm

    Great subject, my final year project is about AI in construction and videos like these will definitely help me out 🙂

  4. Plxton

    September 4, 2018 3:08 pm

    So B1M would you say that the future looks bright for Architectural Technologists (members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists)?

  5. Steve McMillen

    September 4, 2018 4:41 pm

    Suggestion for future videos about buildings specifically. Maybe refer to just one of the measurements for building height and add the other as subtext within a video (i.e narrate in feet, and add subtext in meters). It sounds a lot more professional than going xxxx feet xxxx meters, especially if you're talking about 10 different buildings for example. That's a mouth-full of numbers!! Otherwise, I love you guys!

  6. Simon

    September 5, 2018 1:35 am

    A good architect or designer would have all that in his head
    to get to within a budget ballpark put architects like to push envelope for there resume haha
    forget the 5th dimension I want those balconies haha oohh and natural tree's all over the building

    good designers make investors $$$$ and the builder $$$$ and less chance of errors

  7. Andri Ksenofontov

    October 14, 2018 10:19 am

    This system is dependent on input data accuracy and predictability of building process. It is difficult to apply it in repair and restoration which navigate incomplete data and unpredictable results. I hope the implementation of this technology does not motivate the building industry even more to build only temporary buildings and demolish those which are able to last for centuries with relatively low maintenance cost. But this instrument seems to be perfect for documenting the buildings' histories and survey data.

  8. Ste Bradbury Design

    December 8, 2018 12:35 am

    Why is the Beetham Tower in the thumbnail? I was expecting something about Manchester in this video


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