V&C Drywall Contractors Inc. is a family-owned contracting company specializing in drywall, plastering, acoustical, fireproofing, gypsum flooring and firestopping. With over 30 years in the Hawaiian construction market, V&C has a very diverse portfolio that includes a wide range of projects such as industrial, commercial, residential and military construction.

The Hale Pawaa Project

The Hale Pawaa project recently completed by V&C is a 10-story structural steel medical office building with an adjacent eight-story parking garage. The parking garage features more than 400 covered parking stalls. Located in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii, this was an extremely challenging and labor-intensive project because of its scope and location.

Hale Pawaa required exterior light gauge metal framing with heavy gauge header boxed beams, sill boxed beams and posts. Scaffolding and equipment for the exterior had to be planned accordingly to allow for a continuous flow of labor. The unique design of the building mandated that each floor vary in height requiring greater attention to detail in order to successfully manage the material ordering process. Furthermore, there were many environmental concerns with the project because of its close proximity to both residential and commercial buildings. Extra steps in masking, prepping, tarping and cleaning needed to be done thoroughly and on a daily basis to avoid any issues. The use of advanced construction automation technology played a key role in V&C’s success in completing the project on time and on budget.

Preparing For The Task Ahead

V&C was hired a full year ahead of the project start to be a team member in this design-assist project with the general contractor and to help set the project budget and systems. Leveraging On Center Software’s On-Screen Takeoff and Quick Bid solutions, V&C was able to easily adjust plans as modifications occurred, by overlaying plan changes within the software program. Material quantities, pricing and other relevant take-off data were automatically modified as each change was made within the system. For a job such as this, which had seven major change orders before it actually began and additional ones after the contract started, significant time was saved using automation technology by eliminating the need to go back to square one each time a major change occurred.

While each of the project’s 10 floors were similar, there was just enough variation in height elevation, inside corners, etc. that each floor would have had to be handled independently without the use of automation technology. This would have required V&C to develop takeoffs, compile cut and stock lists, then put everything together and develop job and labor costs for each floor. Rather than one job, the Hale Pawaa project would have required the development and management of 10 separate plans. However, using estimating technology, the variations were easily addressed in a single project plan. V&C estimates saving several weeks, possibly months using automation technology for this project.

The Power Of Automation Technology

The ability to merge the data within TakeOff and Quick Bid into On Center’s Digital Production Control software enabled V&C to easily monitor where things stood at each stage of the project without having to be onsite every day. The real-time insight provided a snapshot of how the job was progressing and if production and budget goals were being met. Using this information, V&C responded quickly and efficiently when issues were identified.

It allowed the company to remove the human element and show a black and white view of the status of a project. This is very important in the construction industry.

From take-off, to estimating, to managing the project after the bid, V&C was able to accurately manage this complex project and its crews with relative ease. Using estimating software, the right information was in the right hands of project managers, foremen and superintendents at all times.

Automation technology changes how you look at and manage projects for the better.

Advanced construction automation technology is constantly evolving, making processes substantially easier and less time-consuming. It is a very powerful tool, and using it is a competitive advantage.