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Case Study: Blach Construction

More and more construction firms are using SketchUp Pro to help them visualize and communicate the 3D aspects of their work. Blach Construction, based in California, is one such firm. They've been kind enough to furnish us with a description of how they use SketchUp:

Blach Construction Company has utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) for almost 3 years and includes Google SketchUp as part of our modeling program because it provides a variety of tools to create quick, 3D building models that assist our teams during each phase of the construction process.

Accessibility. Blach Construction was initially drawn to SketchUp because it creates quick, interactive virtual models that allow our clients and construction partners to visualize projects in 3D, as opposed to traditional 2D plans.

Instant Value. Our engineers learned SketchUp quickly and were able to use it immediately. SketchUp’s modeling tools are intuitive, allowing our teams to easily create models and custom objects like plumbing fixtures for use in other BIM programs.

Blach Construction relies on 3D modeling to assist our teams throughout the construction process. Utilizing a range of tools, our teams create SketchUp models to:

  • Ensure accurate bidding. In conjunction with other modeling programs, SketchUp models assist our subcontractors’ understanding of a project’s scope, thereby increasing their confidence in the project and the accuracy of their estimates.
  • Aid constructability. SketchUp models assist our constructability reviews and create a deeper understanding of complex building and structural systems. The ability to quickly generate virtual models that produce volumes and areas, help our construction teams generate accurate material take offs and the opportunity to identify and prevent significant design issues that may otherwise lead to setbacks during construction.
New Middle School Multi-Use Building, Concrete Footings
  • Promote job site safety. SketchUp assists Blach Construction in creating safe, productive building environments and helps to reduce construction costs by equipping projects with the correct safety systems and fall protection plans. Using SketchUp, our project teams can quickly assess possible safety risks and evaluate a variety of safety solutions, reducing potential hazards and ensuring a safe job site.
New Animal Care Facility, Zoned Safety Analysis Plan

SketchUp makes 3D modeling accessible to all parties involved in the construction process. Working from a shared platform of knowledge, SketchUp provides our projects and teams with:

  • A shared vision. The use of 3D modeling ensures that Blach Construction and our clients and construction partners see the same project, increasing collaboration and effective communication. As a result of sharing the same vision, all parties involved experience enhanced coordination, substantial cost and time savings and greater satisfaction.
Performing Arts Center
  • Enhanced client involvement. SketchUp’s 3D models are easy to understand, and clients, and other decision-makers that may lack technical knowledge, can more easily understand the construction process when it is presented via 3D. With a better understanding of their project, clients are more involved and informed during project planning and throughout the course of construction.
New Animal Care Facility
  • Increased communication. Throughout the course of construction, our clients, project teams, subcontractors and architects can easily review the virtual models and walkthroughs created in SketchUp. This enables clear communication between clients and construction partners, and results smooth-running projects.

  • Marketing opportunities. As an added advantage to employing SketchUp’s 3D modeling, clients have the opportunity to promote their project prior to its completion, presenting their model to boards, agencies, investors, and the communities, to gain support or to mitigate concern.

By enabling clients, architects, engineers and contractors to utilize 3D modeling, as opposed to traditional 2D plans, SketchUp aides us in building projects more safely and cost effectively, and provide our clients with powerful marketing opportunities. SketchUp enables Blach Construction to deliver greater value to our clients while also enhancing the overall construction experience for everyone involved.

Blach Construction Company has been building structures of enduring quality and value throughout Northern and Central California for 38 years. Blach’s experience encompasses a broad cross-section of commercial, industrial and institutional building types, including education, healthcare, technology, life sciences, professional services and civic/community facilities. The company is also a leader in sustainable construction and historic preservation.

Update We included the entire text of the case study to save you a click.

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Sheldon said...

Sketchup is an amazing program, I'm becoming a huge fan of layout also.

Jim said...

It's awesome that contractors are beginning to utilize Sketchup for construction vizualization, I wonder if when working with designers who use Sketchup as well if they share their models or if the designer charges for that? Someone should rescue those poor dogs and cats that are stuck on the entry canopy.

Anonymous said...

Those animals on the canopy are probably painted steel cut outs used for signage.

Blony said...

SketchUp has enjoyed a healthy amount of interest from users and the third-party community ever since Google purchased the software and introduced a free version. Besides the aforementioned 3D Warehouse that Google says is packed with millions of shared models, a wide variety of SketchUp plug-ins are also available, including one from Adobe that allows Photoshop CS3 Extended to search and work directly with models from the warehouse.

Stephen Hammontree said...

I'm a small Green builder/remodeler in Northern Michigan and I've been using SketchUp for about a year. I really enjoyed this blog entry and am excited to see firms using SU. I use it in many of the same ways as Blach Construction. It is a fantastic visualization and sales tool. I really appreciate this blog, 3-D Bootcamp and all the tutorials. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What did they make the fly-through in?

kiwimaster said...

The fly-through would probably have been done within sketchup using animation tool option of the Scenes saved in sketchup model itself.

So easy to do in SU~!

Anonymous said...

sketchup site is really helpful to all the engineers as well as for students.

AnDo said...

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