KBR Building Group's Virtual Design & Construction (VDC)/BIM Team Kicks Off Industry-University Collaborative Initiative
September 9, 2013

KBR Building Group's Virtual Design & Construction (VDC)/Building Information Modeling (BIM) team is collaborating with VDC department heads and professors from two universities with outstanding construction programs — Virginia Tech of Blacksburg (Va.) and Clemson University of Clemson (S.C.). According to Aaks Luthra, VDC Manager, KBR Building Group, the effort should help bridge the gap between academia and the construction industry, particularly as it applies to on-the-job construction.

"Last month, we invited representatives from Virginia Tech and Clemson to spend a day touring two of our projects in North Carolina to see how we use VDC and BIM tools and processes for projects," explained Aaks. "We walked the Duke Medicine Pavilion project in Durham, then visited the multi-phase Alamance Regional Medical Center project an hour away. We discussed our VDC process from preconstruction to installation. It was an extremely worthwhile experience for all parties."

Following the tours, participants met to discuss KBR Building Group's VDC scope of work and execution plans for the two projects. Both Virginia Tech and Clemson are interested in further collaborating in terms of educating owners about the potential of VDC for Facilities Management (FM) and creating examples of VDC FM solutions for KBR Building Group projects. In addition, both schools have expressed interest in having KBR Building Group's VDC staff to teach an industry session/class once or twice a semester.

"We are excited about where this initiative is headed," said Aaks. "We believe this type of partnering assures a smooth transition between education and practice, and paves the way for research areas that have a direct impact on technology used in the construction industry. We kicked-off the program with these two schools and are developing plans for similar collaboration with other educational institutions."

Photo (left to right): David Heath; AJ Mullins; Walid Thabet, Professor of Building Construction (Virginia Tech); Jason Lucas, Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Science and Management (Clemson University); and Aaks Luthra.