How Skyline Electric Made the Move to BIM
Skyline Electric realized that avoiding projects with BIM requirements was potentially costing them business. “The whole process seemed very daunting and we didn’t understand what BIM truly was,” said Brandon Willard, emerging technologies director for Skyline Electric, West Valley City, Utah. “We thought it was a software program and we were doing well in our niche markets, so it was one of those ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ mentalities.”
Skyline Electric added both people and technology because that was part of the firm’s plan to eventually bring BIM capability in-house. However, Willard noted, a contractor doesn’t have to spend much of anything when engaging with a BIM consultant. “We really didn’t know what we didn’t know at the time,” Willard recalled, “but in hindsight, there were projects being developed that we were not invited to bid because we didn’t have experience with BIM."
Willard contacted U.S. CAD’s Salt Lake City-based construction services director to see if the U.S. CAD team was a good fit for the Skyline Electric culture. Willard found U.S. CAD’s ability to train contractors on the entire BIM process intriguing and the rest, as they say, is history.
Willard found that it forced the contractor to clarify thinking and planning for a project. “We have definitely seen advantages because of the adoption of the BIM process,” Willard said. “We are finding that it is a tool and not a solution to all construction problems. It has forced us to plan further ahead, which, in my mind, is a huge risk mitigation tool. Once we get through the coordination process, the projects definitely seem to run more smoothly than they would have otherwise.”
“I have found huge success in my life by finding someone who has achieved something that I would like to achieve and then shadowing them to get me through the learning curve as efficiently as possible,” Willard said. “This is what U.S. CAD is doing for us currently as we are receiving training from them. There are way too many options out there and someone could spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out the best path... but U.S. CAD is showing us what I believe is the best route."
- MEP Engineering