We all know how cool virtual design is—the awesome models, the ability for clash detection, etc. But there are other facets of coordination that go on behind the scenes that don’t receive quite as much attention. Because of the complexity involved in coordinating structural drawings and assessing constructability for concrete projects, Haselden added a new position to the Virtual Design & Construction Team: a structural engineer. Enter Lisa Johnston, PE, SE.
Lisa is a structural engineer who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering (with an emphasis on Structural Engineering) from Colorado State University and her Master’s Degree (also in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Structural Engineering) from University of Colorado Denver. She works closely with both the designers (architects and engineers) and our self-perform concrete team to ensure coordination and communication between the two groups, as well as the constructability of the design. By addressing potential issues before they actually become issues, Lisa can prevent not only rework in the field, but also potential time lost to RFIs in the field.
Taking It from the Top (or Bottom?)
How does Lisa accomplish this? She begins by taking the structural drawings and attempting to build a virtual model of the structure off of the contract documents with no other information. If she’s missing key information required to build the model, she’ll first check the architectural documents to see if it is available there. If not, she begins submitting RFIs. Essentially, she initiates a process that most often begins in the field. By starting the process earlier, it saves the project time, and therefore money.
Once she has created the virtual 3D model, she creates placement drawings containing all dimensions for concrete and placements for anchor bolts, blockouts, embedments, and brick and/or slab ledges. These point-of-placement drawings are invaluable for the field crew as it enables them to look at a federated sheet and not have to flip between different drawings from different disciplines (e.g., architect, structural, civil, etc.).
Lisa’s position plays an integral role in the logistics of Team Haselden and how we keep our self-perform concrete operations running smoothly.