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Monday, Mar 29, 2021

Three Tips for a Successful Pull Planning


pull planning

Conducting either a Pull or Phase Planning session with stakeholders is critical to a successful construction project.

Phase Planning Sessions are typically used before a construction project begins, or a major portion of a project kicks off, to successfully navigate possible complexities in the construction process. A Phase planning session creates activities in a schedule with 8 - 25 day durations.

Pull Planning Sessions are used during the construction project to assess durations, relationships, and to navigate which subcontractor might have difficulties during the construction process. A Pull Planning session creates activities in a schedule with 1 - 7 day durations.

In this blog I will refer to both as PPS as they typically share the same techniques to have a successfully session.


A PPS session is often referred to as Last Planner® System which was developed by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI). LCI’s definition of the Last Planner® System is defined by “The collaborative, commitment-based planning system that integrates should-can-will-did planning: pull planning, make-ready look-ahead planning with constraint analysis, weekly work planning based upon reliable promises, and learning based upon analysis of percent plan complete and Reasons for Variance.” The Last Planner® System incorporates more than a PPS and for this blog we will focus on improving the PPS with a couple of tips.

The first tip to have a successful PPS is to schedule the PPS 2 to 3 weeks in advance with clear, defined goals or milestones being discussed. A 2 to 3-week written (email) and spoken (phone call) notice will allow the session to be staffed with both the Superintendent and Project Manager (PM) from each trade along with owner representation. The buy-in from both the PM and Superintendent is essential to a successful PPS. The Superintendent has the knowledge and the plan to construct their respective portion of the project, and the PM controls the purse and manpower. The 2 to 3-week notice will force both the Superintendent and PM to look at the plans, communicate between themselves, and to deduce a strategy before the PPS to accomplish their goals within their budget and schedule. If both the PM and Superintendent are in the same room, understanding the coordination of the project allows each of them a time to discuss the plan, manpower, supplies, materials, and budget for their respective portions of the project. This time will also allow the PM and Superintendents a time to discuss the complexities that may arise during the construction phase of the project between the various trades. If the PPS facilitator passes out the stickie notes for the PPS 2-3 weeks in advance with the expectations that the stickie notes will be completed before the session begins, this will allow for a much smoother and efficient PPS.

The second tip is to have a facilitator who comes to the PPS with an expectation of cooperation, collaboration, encouragement, and professionalism. The facilitator must understand that the group is smarter than any one person in the room and the facilitator will not be the expert. Expect the facilitator to ask a lot of questions such as:

  • “Who will need access first?” or “Who is critical to this goal?”
  • “What are the limitations or restrictions on this activity or goal?”
  • “Why will this activity go before that activity?”
  • “When can we allow the next trade to come into the area?”
  • “How many man hours are planned for this activity?”
  • “Are these durations excessive or weighted heavily on a certain task or procurement item?”
  • “Can certain tasks be concurrent?” or “How can we make these activities concurrent?”
  • “Where can we divide the layout of the building to allow activities to run concurrent to accomplish the goal faster?”

These along with other questions will allow for further discussion of the trades. The goal is not to have the trades discuss with the facilitator but with each other.

The third tip for a successful PPS is to have the Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordinator flying through the 3D model or BIM model on a large screen in the same room as the PPS. A great example of software for BIM modeling is VICO Office Suite. With Vico Office, building owners and general contractors can collaborate efficiently, manage costs, and optimize schedules on complex building projects. Vico Office is a 4D modeling tool that allows users to interact with the 3D model as the PPS is in progress.

Questions should come up during the PPS which will require the participants to fly through the model. Having the 3D model open and displayed allows participants a chance to see what is being discussed, question the validity of the model, and ensures all participants are engaged. Often the PPS is conducted with just a plan sets of drawings. We find not all participants come with the most current sets of revisions, which often bogs down the process, and creates confusion or in accurate durations. A 3D BIM model allows for a visual model where participates can ask for clarification to a specific portion of a project by sorting, hiding, modifying, or deleting scopes which will allow for more accurate what-if discussions.

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Friday, Feb 26, 2021

The Path to Building Digitalization - Contractor


Implementing Digital Twin in the Built Environment - Digital Construction Week

(4:00) Video by - IET

The adoption of building information modeling (BIM) is more prevalent with today’s plumbing and mechanical contractors because of the myriad productivity and profitability benefits. More importantly, BIM has helped the contracting community evolve into implementing digital twin technologies to monitor and maintain buildings through their entire life cycle.

Benefits of 3D modeling on commercial/industrial projects include increased labor productivity, increased profitability, improved fabrication process, better utilization of resources, improved cost performance, reduced errors, better collaboration between stakeholders, enhancing industry reputation and improved schedule performance, notes Dodge Data and Analytics in its 2020 “The Business Value of BIM for Mechanical and HVAC Construction” SmartMarket Report.

Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of mechanical piping contractors report that BIM is used on 50 percent or more of construction projects; just over half (55 percent) say BIM is a formal contract requirement for most jobs. The number is similar for plumbing . . .Read More

Digital Twins

Thursday, Feb 25, 2021

Continuing Education: Join Trimble for Live and On-Demand Webinars



Video Resources for MEP Contractors

The video resource library contains over 30 videos designed to enhance your use of SysQue, help improve your estimating skills and bid accuracy, as well as several tips on creating Revit and CAD workflows.

Visit Library

Friday, Feb 19, 2021

Connected Construction: How We'll Rebuild and Revive US Infrastructure - Constructible


Realizing Connected Construction

(1:01:33) Video by - KHL Group

Even on the heels of a divisive and hotly contested election, leaders on both sides of the aisle can agree that we need to channel investment into new and innovative ways to modernize and upgrade our critical systems for the future. The plan put forth by president Biden proposes spending $2 trillion on infrastructure improvements encompassing transportation, clean energy, water, and digital policy.

To the extent there will be meaningful government investment, a tremendous opportunity exists to rebuild the infrastructure needed to ensure the continued health and well-being of the country. But it requires the construction industry to rise to the occasion. To revive our American infrastructure and boost its capacity to serve our needs today and into the future, the construction industry must first face its own failings.

Some Construction Companies Are Holding Us All Back

Said more simply, it’s time to put the stubborn resistance to change to rest and accept our own need for modernization. A concerted effort across the construction industry to accelerate technology adoption and digital transformation is needed. By harnessing the technologies available to us right now, we can make long-overdue productivity improvements, overcome the labor shortage, and rise to the integral role our country needs us to play in modernizing our most critical . . .Read More

Connected Construction

Monday, Feb 15, 2021

Southland Industries Performs 30% Faster Layout on Massive LAX Project with Trimble GNSS Technology - Trimble Field Technology


The Future of LAX - Automated People Mover

(0:44) Video by - LAXAirport

Bringing Efficiency to Layout and Streamlining Workflows Using Trimble SPS986 GNSS Smart Antenna and Trimble FieldLink

Founded in 1949, Southland Industries is one of the nation’s largest MEP building systems experts, providing innovative yet practical solutions through a holistic approach to building performance.

Advocating a design-build-maintain model, Southland, a BuildingPoint Pacific customer, specializes in the design, construction and service of mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, process piping, automation and control systems, as well as comprehensive energy service needs. Offering standalone services as well as integrated solutions, Southland’s in-house experts remain connected, sharing knowledge and information to produce the results that earned Southland its reputation as one of the top design-builders in the nation.

Large Facility Requiring Significant Layout

In 2019, Southland’s Southern California Division was awarded a contract to develop a consolidated car rental facility at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). At roughly seven million square feet, the new facility will consolidate the existing rental car companies into one convenient location adjacent to the 405 Freeway. Southland was tasked with performing all of the mechanical HVAC and plumbing, including storm, sanitary waste and vent, air-cooled variable refrigerant flow (VRF), split systems and general and specialty exhaust systems.

“The size of this project is substantial,” said Chris Eskridge, senior project manager for Southland’s Southern California Division . . . Read More

Field Solutions

Friday, Feb 05, 2021

Greetings and thank you for taking a moment to check out our blog!

Over the last few years, I have been privileged to work as a member of Building Point Pacific’s construction scheduling services and training team. During this time, I have had a variety of rewarding experiences, but nothing seems to top the sense of satisfaction I found in teaching the Introduction to Scheduling with Primavera P6 workshops.

Having an Effect
Personally, I have always found work the most fulfilling when I feel like I have had a substantial effect. This source of gratification has been universal throughout my work history. I have managed to find it in a variety of project deliverables, from a client’s direct gratitude, and indirectly from achieving project goals by assisting a coworker. One of the most gratifying things for me in my role at Building Point Pacific has been when I have had students start my class with little to no understanding of P6, and over the course of two days guided them to a place where they are comfortable navigating the program and feel confident enough to return to their team and start working directly with schedules as their role(s) may demand.

Our Intro to P6 workshops have two full days of instruction (~7.5 hours x 2 = 15 hours). We manage to get every student to a functional level (from zero-sixty MPH!) with P6 by the end of the workshop. If for some reason we aren’t able to bring everyone to the finish line together, we are able to take the extra time with individuals to bring them up to speed.

Who Takes This Class?
People attending our workshops range widely; some job titles have included Project Engineers, Project Managers (Jr/Sr), VPs, Construction Managers, and Superintendents. People have also attended our classes who are just seeking to enrich themselves and add another badge to their professional development journey. All levels of proficiency are welcome in our Intro to P6 classes.

In P6, Sometimes Working Smarter = Working Faster
Of the many fundamental tools we cover within the workshop, even experienced users find many of the tips and tricks covered in our demonstration very useful. Some examples: a quick way to change the view of the Gantt chart and filling in repetitive information with the ‘Fill Down’ feature.

Teaching is Often the Best Way to Learn
Although all the topics covered in the class are introductory level and we frequently have attendees with more extensive P6 experience, I have often found that this helps everyone gain a deeper understanding of Primavera P6 as a tool and how to better use it to accomplish their professional goals.

Virtual Classroom vs. In-Person Classes
Like many people, I prefer to teach the classes in person, but (even before the pandemic) we offer the course on a remote-instruction basis.

Please contact us for a quote or more information on our Intro to Scheduling with Primavera P6 courses or other training opportunities here at Building Point Pacific. We look forward to working with you!

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021

Introducing the Trimble Dimensions Spotlight Series - Trimble


A Virtual Educational Series

Trimble continues to uphold our mission to transform the way the world works. Right now, the way the world works is different. That's why we reimagined Dimensions as much more than an event.

We are excited to announce our Spotlight Series of unique interviews with top industry experts, who share their thoughts on four trending topics - infrastructure, sustainability, automation, and the evolving workforce. Each series will include episodes that inspire you to think about how technology is driving change and what you can do to be prepared in today's fast-paced world.

In our premiere series, we turn the spotlight on the role of technology in supporting informed, data-driven decisions, and why that is key to reviving our nation’s infrastructure.

Save the date for the release of Episode 1: Unleashing the Power of Collaboration and Data for Digital Delivery premiering March 10, 2021. Register once for the entire series.

Register Now

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021

Free Modeling Promotion!


Trimble Field Technology - 3D Laser Scanner

(1:16) Video by - Trimble MEP

It's the giving time of year and our VDC Services Team wants to gift you 10 hours of free 3D modeling!

3D modeling is a standard in the modern contractor's digital toolbox and contractors know that an experienced and communicative VDC team can provide immeasurable benefits in coordinating design. Trimble VDC Services has over 200 modelers and can augment your VDC team or be your outsourced VDC team.

Our office has worked on some of the most impressive new buildings and structures around the world against demanding deadlines and last minute design changes. We prize production level turnaround times whilst following a quality first approach. Our approach is only possible because our team is made up experts in their field. All MEP leads have a minimum of 10 years construction field experience to ensure that interpretations or choices during modeling and coordination are made by those who are intimately familiar with US Building Codes and Best Practices.

Whether the project is a small mechanical room, a massive historical restoration or anything in between, our team is equipped to be your VDC bench for any type of job whenever you need to utilize us.

Reach out to us at info@buildingpointpacific.com and ask about our free gift of 10 modeling hours and we'll be happy to set up a call to discuss your thoughts or needs.

Additionally, we have work samples that can be shared upon request.

More Information

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021

EEC Group Creates a 21st Century Workflow with Trimble Cloud Engine - Trimble Field Technology


Trimble RealWorks 11.3 What's New

(12:30) Video by - OfficialTRW

Recognized as one of Ireland’s foremost engineering companies, the award winning ECC Group operates out of the UK and Ireland and has established its reputation as a business that consistently delivers complex and demanding infrastructure projects. Current live examples include the construction of numerous data centers for one of the world’s largest social media platforms, often up to 400m in length, along with other vast structures for pharmaceutical and life science companies.

With 2020 throwing up innumerable challenges, ECC Group CEO, John McGoey, was intent on delivering an enhanced service for his clients that would keep their large infrastructure projects on track. Required to provide structural and layout information to the contractors on these projects, John was using 3D Laser Scanning as the best option for the fast collection of accurate point cloud information that would record every detail. The existing workflow would then see this scan data sent to the office based ECC BIM team where it would be processed in Trimble RealWorks software and then stored, ready to be retrieved when progress meetings etc were scheduled. However, with the potential delays that the global pandemic could cause and the need for remote working, John felt that a fresh look at how he collected, processed and shared each project’s survey data would bring enduring benefits to both existing and future contracts.

Safe data sharing a priority

As a curious and committed supporter of technology and a long-term user of Trimble instruments, John contacted Trimble’s UK and Irish distributor, KOREC, to talk through some possible approaches on how to get . . . Read More

Trimble RealWorks

Friday, Jan 08, 2021

What's New in Trimble FieldLink v5.8 - Trimble Buildings


Trimble FieldLink v5.8

(0:57) Video by - BuildingPoint Midwest & Gulf Coast

Trimble FieldLink Construction Layout and Scanning Software provides your team with a flexible, scalable field layout and scanning solution that performs 200% better than traditional workflows. The recent updates increase productivity and accuracy in the field and as-built collection processes even more robust.

eneral Changes

  • Corner Bullseye: Size increase of corner bullseye and the ability to control the transparency.
  • Zoom Control: Zoom-in is not limited to 1/16" to better align with Graphics Engine capabilities.
  • Reference Elevation/Benchmark Transfer Tool: Now includes Laser Mode with Auto Adjust.
  • Updated Icons for RTP600 and X7

Job Changes

  • Section Box Export: Improvements to export using section box selection.

Measure Changes

  • Layout Digital Terrain Models: New ability to layout using Digital Terrain Models. Current supported file format is LandXML. (You must be licensed for the Surface Model to use this new feature).

Scanning Changes

  • Component Based Setup: The Trimble X7 can now utilize Component Based Setup.
  • Remove Level Constraint: During the refine process you can remove and then level constraint from a station when required.
  • Field Calibration Report: A new report that provides details about the Trimble X7, including laser status, firmware version, battery level, and calibration information.
  • Model Inspection: The new Inspection feature provides the ability, in the field, to compare a point cloud to the design model. This is an exciting evolution for use of scan data in the field, enabling a customer to identify potential issues or validate installed elements based on the comparison of 3D data sets.
  • Floor Analysis: The new Floor Analysis feature for Floor Flatness and Floor Levelness compares the scanned surface to a selected or entered reference height and calculates high and low points and contours, based on a user defined tolerance, that can then be identified and marked out in the field. Within the Floor Analysis tool, you can also run an FF/FL analysis and report.

GNSS Changes

  • Device Management: A Trash Can button has been added to each paired device in list so user can clean up the list to only used devices.

Download Release Notes

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