Tech Talk with Eoghan Harris

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Eoghan Harris holds Autodesk certifications, an MSc in Construction Informatics from CitA/TU Dublin, and BRE BIM Level 2 certification. As Digital Operations Manager he is now leading mac-group’s transition to what is the contractor’s next big development in project delivery – Autodesk’s Construction Cloud.

Can you describe your role within mac-group?

As Digital Operations Manager, I manage how mac project teams collaborate through innovative digital solutions and oversee BIM Level 2 implementation. A key focus is to mediate between design, build and client requirements as we are all entering a new age of cloud-based collaboration, full of potential to automate with more efficiency. 

Can you tell us about the main projects that you have utilised BIM 360 on?

Following mac-group’s award-winning fit-out of Autodesk’s EMEA headquarters in Windmill Lane, we have recently completed our third project on BIM 360 Design Collaboration with the in-depth support of Autodesk’s technical experts. Our latest project, a Dublin based data centre, used 360 as the primary CDE including the Docs, Project Management, Coordination and Design Collaboration modules. 

How do you see BIM 360 delivering value and how has it helped the design team and mac-group deliver projects?

The benefits of working on a single source of truth out-weighed the advantages of stand-alone software functionality. For example, our typical use of Navisworks was surplus to requirements with 360 automating model federation, work-sharing, clash detection and issue tracking, saving us many hours weekly and ensuring the team was always working on the latest version. The advanced reporting functions of Navisworks were unnecessary with live and editable issues being tracked on 360. The use of Revit linking through 360 also removed the need for LAN based work-sharing and cross-discipline downloads.

What were the main lessons you learned from this approach?

Teams are willing to compromise on specialised functionality of stand-alone systems in place of

gains from increased collaboration efficiency. With Open Office 365, we moved away from desktop MS Office. With transmittals, emails significantly reduced. Through the Coordination and Design Collaboration modules, we moved away from Navisworks. Revit extracted sheets reduced the requirement of PDFs to milestones only. With the Insight dashboard, we moved away from monthly contractor reports. Metrics also played a key role in exposing both high-risk contractors and hard-working individuals, so teams quickly learn to contribute, resulting in a higher trust environment. 

Can you describe the innovation goals for the company over the coming years?

Technology moves fast and informed innovation is key, which is why mac-group partner with Autodesk. Innovation is walking the fine line between opportunity and risk, and while Autodesk lead the field in developing the big picture, they also mitigate risk with supplementary support expertise. The grand vision includes Construction Cloud (Design/Build Collaboration), Generative Design (Lean manufacturing), and Dasher 360 (FM/IoT). mac-group fully support these initiatives and have also joined forces with modular as macSkystone, while utilising Autodesk Kit-Connect, will be Europe’s solution for fast track build for hotels, PBSA and high-rise volumetric residential schemes.

Can you tell us about Autodesk’s Construction Cloud?

If you look out your office window, the likelihood is, most construction over the last 25 years was designed using an Autodesk product. Autodesk’s immense influence over the design industry and current shift in focus to the construction sector brings new excitement through their recent unveiling of Construction Cloud. This will provide more advanced solutions, capabilities and digital construction tools from cradle to grave, offering a single source of truth to all disciplines using a 3D methodology. With unique work-sharing capabilities, this will be the natural progression of the industry.

What technologies would you like to read about on BIMIreland.ie?

Platforms which integrate with the live 360 model and 4D visualization platforms eg. Assemble, Twin-motion, Fuzor and Lumion.

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