3 key benefits of leveraging AI at the preconstruction phase

We’ve all heard of AI in construction, especially in the last 7 years. The term has been used as a favored “disrupter” in the Contech space for nearly a decade but with little or no practical adoption. But times are changing. 

Artificial Intelligence is not just for content creation or image manipulation; it’s a powerful asset that should be a part of any team’s daily work toolkit. Innovative preconstruction teams are already reaping practical benefits from AI on projects every day.  

Flintco, one of the top contractors in North America, is an industry-leading champion of technology and innovation. Its focus is on making projects safer and more efficient, with high-quality outcomes for owners. 

In a recent case study, Flintco discussed its use of AI and what led to implementing the technology across its preconstruction teams. They identified the handover process from preconstruction to field operations as an area that could benefit from a process update. Flintco looked at RFIs, constructability reviews and how information applied during preconstruction could help operations teams deliver more schedule and budget certainty for owners.   

Flintco applies constructability reviews on their projects based on risk, complexity and size. These reviews are typically done at the DD and CD stages in concert with prepping the estimates from their preconstruction teams. Flintco applies subject matter experts in areas like building service systems, building enclosure and structural systems, to review the drawings together with the preconstruction team. So, if project elements require quality controls, they can account for costs around those in their early estimates. 

This is where Flintco sees the most value and achieves, a minimum of 3 key benefits:  

1. Efficiency

Manually reviewing a plan set can take up to three weeks, depending on its size. Firmus’ AI can complete a comprehensive analysis in as little as 48 hours.

Michael Thole

Michael Thole, Director, Corporate Quality


“Firmus AI meticulously completes the more repetitive ‘mundane’ tasks required during a review with great efficiency and accuracy,” said Michael Thole, Director, Corporate Quality at Flintco. “Using Firmus allows our preconstruction teams to focus on the technical aspects of the design while delivering a reliable and thorough plan check of the drawing set itself.”

2. Risk Mitigation

Contractors often work with early work packages and procurements when the design isn’t fully complete, presenting an obvious challenge to the operations side. 

Flintco used Firmus AI in advance of putting a large glazing and curtain wall bid package on the street. The glazing schedule showed various curtain wall, storefront and spandrel glass systems by color code to help identify placement.

Glazing Tags

Firmus AI flagged multiple inconsistencies in the drawing set where curtainwall systems were incorrectly tagged as spandrel glass. Flintco’s preconstruction team was able to quickly review the design documents and verify the unique quantities necessary before purchasing. The result improves “first-time quality” in the field.

Quote Firmus Story Jul8 Final

Flintco also uses Firmus AI to review and confirm Civil and Mechanical scope, such as checking that piping entering a building, and inside it, has the same diameter pipe, for example. Resolving these types of details during preconstruction — before operations mobilizes on-site — helps project teams deliver more schedule certainty for owners and potentially eliminate costly rework. 

For the 3rd benefit and to read or download the full eBook CLICK HERE.

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