Sep 29, 2013

3D scale modeling planned for K-8 building

BY BOB ROBINSON
ASSOC. EDITOR
GREENVILLE – Bruce Miller of Garmann Miller Architects Engineers, Minster, told Greenville City School District Superintendent Doug Fries, other school officials and board members, and Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC) representatives of the company’s plans to use 3D scale modeling for the district’s recently approved K-8 building project on North Ohio Street.

“This will be the fourth school we’ll have used it for,” Miller said in a phone interview. The first one was two years ago. “Greenville will be the largest.”

Miller noted he didn’t think there would be a problem using the software program in the planning stage but was seeking approval from the commission to use it in the field.

“Our goal is to allow us to use it from start to finish,” Miller told OFCC representatives Wayne Coleman and Nathan Jones Sept. 20 in the Anna Bier Room at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.

“It makes a huge difference,” Miller said. With 3-D scale modeling they can see where every pipe goes, every fitting, every concrete block… if a pipe is crossing where it isn’t supposed to, they can catch it and fix it before it ever gets to the construction stage.

“The model tells you exactly how many blocks are in the building. There’s no guesswork.” Miller added there is no additional cost to the district. The company absorbs it but it saves time in the field with mistakes.

“Just knowing the exact number of concrete blocks that will be needed in one project saved over $100,000,” he said.

OFCC’s Coleman said from their perspective they have to look at the various issues involved, but added they didn’t want to delay the process. “It’s a tremendous step to take that kind of leap into that expense,” he added.

“This is a bigger project,” Miller responded. “It will be using bigger players who can use it as a construction tool.” He noted the construction manager would be working with the owners, OFCC and Garmann Miller to build the project.

“For a project like this, we pre-qualify the players,” he said. For those not used to 3D modeling, traditional 2D line drawings still allow them to see the scale.

Miller noted when it was used in the past it has gone well.

“When we did Kenton (City Schools) there were no problems. It was surprising how close the numbers came in. Just catching two or three things could save a couple hundred thousand dollars. It’s better; more complete.”

Miller told the group they were still in the discussion stage regarding specific plans for the school. There will likely be two wings on two floors: K-2 lower level with 3-4 above in one wing; 5-6 lower level with 7-8 above in the other.

Questions that need to be addressed include administration, possibly to separate the two wings; the gymnasium, media center that needs to be flexible, security, access points, bus issues and more.

“We have an old traffic study,” Miller said, noting it was dated 2002. “We’ll need an updated one. We’ve had meetings with the city, with ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation)… There are no sidewalks, so we’re looking for grants.”

He added release time shouldn’t be a big issue, but parent pickups are always a concern.

“They are the worst at reading signs,” he said.

Miller noted every community is different. “Do we want a conservative look? Cutting edge? Or do we want the more traditional educational look?” These areas still need to be explored.

Coleman asked if the (Greenville) district seemed amenable to 21st Century technology.

“Yes,” Miller responded, but noted if the district really wants to get into the 21st Century, people can be brought in.

There was discussion about how often Garmann Miller would be on site.

“We’ll be here for the important things, like starting on the roof… things like that,” Miller said. “Also we’ll be here for the high school so we can go to the other site.

“There is a lot of incentive for everyone to get along at the job site. We work well or we lose money. We have to trust each other… start to finish. There will be problems. We resolve them, the sooner the better.”

Coleman responded, “There is a certain amount of trust… but we are the owners.”

Miller said later construction on the K-8 building can begin as early as late summer 2014 and will take approximately two years to complete.

“This is too important,” he said. “We don’t want to rush it.”

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