Nowadays you can find QR codes on pretty much everything—from candy … to cars … to construction … wait construction? Darn right! While a typical QR code informs and educates their buyers, Haselden Construction is virtually taking that technology into our own hands, all in the name of efficiency. Pioneering the use of QR codes for punchlist items at UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont, Colorado, our Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) team has seen remarkable results.
Pushing the “Envelope” . . . Again
Using time-saving, innovative building techniques like prefabrication is nothing new to Haselden, and the Longs Peak Hospital project is no exception—a 220,000 SF hospital being built in 14 months is wicked fast! However, using QR codes in this manner is a first for us. Speed to market is a key driver, especially for healthcare providers jockeying for pole position. Haselden realized long ago that pushing the envelope was the new norm in the industry and we’d have to be more nimble and innovative than our competition to survive. Today, basic prefabrication is like table-stakes … but when we first implemented it many years ago, it was unheard of. Expediting the schedule without compromising quality is the name of the game. Fast forward to today: using QR codes. The idea appealed to the team—from people here at Haselden to subcontractors to the owner—for two main reasons: making the arduous task of the punchlist much more efficient, and providing the owner with an invaluable end-product for the maintenance team.
And so it began …. The QR code project was spearheaded by Team Haselden VDC Specialist Lauren Martinez. Having worked on Longs Peak Hospital since the ground breaking, Lauren was intimately familiar with the project and possessed a knowledge of the building information models that would come in handy throughout the QR code set-up. The general steps involved included:
- Generating an equipment list from the AutoDesk BIM 360 Glue
- Determining which custom fields were needed (custom fields vary by trade and equipment type from approximately 4 to more than 20 components).
- Creating a component matrix outlining the custom fields required in QR code models, broken out by trade.
- Printing QR codes and placing them on door frames and individual pieces of equipment.
Thousands upon thousands of stickers. In Longs Peak Hospital, there is a QR code sticker on nearly every door frame and over the next two weeks there will be on most every piece of major MEP equipment/system. The door frame QR codes connect to the information related to all the equipment housed in that room. Examples of equipment/systems that are physically stickered are: active chill beams, reheat coils, electrical distribution boards, etc. In the case of the active chill beam, the QR code contains the information on the manufacturer, model number, model name, size, and pressure.
What does this mean to the construction team and owner?
Let’s start with the construction team. A traditional punchlist involves walking the project, documenting found issues, and disseminating that information to the appropriate parties so they can track and fix the outstanding matters. It’s a time consuming process that is certainly no one’s favorite part of the project. Even using iPads for a punch, you still have to find the electronic file for the room, find the issue, etc. With the QRs on the door frames, you simply scan—instantaneously pulling up the room location—and click. Watch our short video to truly understand how easy it makes the process. Once the issue is recorded, it coordinates all punch items to everyone’s iPads, tasks become assignable and shareable with all subs, and team members can all notify each other and send reminders. Because of this QR code system, the punchlist on this 220,000 SF building is being recorded and completed in record time. The UCHealth Haselden team has received numerous compliments from the owner and the design team regarding the efficiency and organization of the punchlist process.
But the great thing about these unassuming little stickers is they keep working well after Team Haselden leaves the site. The QR codes will remain in place after turnover of the building. As the project team tests the codes in action, the goal is they will have the capabilities for the facilities management team to walk up to a room, scan the code, and pull up relevant information regarding the equipment in the room and any quality control, maintenance, or warranty issues within that space. Imagine how this can impact a busy healthcare facility: if there’s an issue in an occupied patient room or operating room, a facilities staff member can scan the QR code, get the pertinent information, then go in when there’s a window and not interrupt procedures or patients. Facilities management can track maintenance both within the building information model and the QR code, keeping it in one central, efficient, easy to access location. It means having vital information at their fingertips.
Lauren’s amazing work on this project won her Haselden’s internal Most Valuable Player award! (pictured here with JJ Rams, Vice President)
comments from Lauren’s Haselden Teammates at Longs Peak
“Who would have thought punchlist could be a cause for excitement, but you have to see it to believe it! We cheered when Lauren told us the QR codes were installed, and everyone was excited to use the new technology. The QA/QC team had been using BIM 360 without QR codes before Lauren made it happen, and the increase in efficiency after using the QR codes is astounding.”