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A major university in Iowa faced some unexpected delays to a new multi-million dollar, 65,000-square-foot addition to an engineering education center due to emerging conflicts with mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The project was running behind schedule, and the general contractor sought ways to get the project back on track. The general contractor looked to Price Electric, a leading commercial and manufacturing electrical contractor in Eastern Iowa, and its technology-enabled techniques to get the project back on track.  

Virtually Designed

Price Electric was contracted to install all electrical systems within the new addition, including a particularly challenging area. 

The new addition’s electrical system included the installation of six 4-inch raceways with over 1,000 degrees of bend along a 300-ft corridor.  As well, the twisting electrical raceway needed to be coordinated around existing installed plumbing, sprinkler, and HVAC systems as well as systems that were being added in adjacent classrooms.

The work within a congested work area needed to be complete in a tight three month time-frame.

Price Electric has incorporated technology into its processes for a number of years. Specifically, the firm uses Revit for 3D design, Faro Scan for as-built data gathering, Southwire SIMpull Solutions® Configurator app for wire feeder scheduling and the assembly of paralleled runs and, new to the toolbox, SysQue for Revit MEP to model mechanical, piping and plumbing to LOD 400.

Daniel Johnson, Construction Manager and Virtual Coordination Manager for Price Electric, says, “We were looking to avoid interference issues with other systems and minimize time spent in the field. With SysQue and Revit, we’re able to see and correct any potential conflicts with mechanical or plumbing systems and modify the parts as needed in the virtual environment. Once designed in SysQue, the parts are ready for fabrication in our controlled facility.”

SysQue lets users design in Autodesk® Revit® with real-world, manufacturing-specific content that’s ready for fabrication. Engineers can create accurate project plans that line up with MEP contractors’ detailing, fabrication, manufacturing, and installation requirements while reducing labor costs and accelerating project timelines. SysQue includes an intelligent interface that automates sheet views, bill of material (BOM) schedules, component annotation and the dimension process while standard naming conventions makes isometric spool creation fast and accurate.

“Because all the parts are prefabricated, our crews required less room for equipment staging in the already tight and busy space and have confidence that everything fits as designed,” adds Johnson.

When asked about the specific SysQue capabilities that he relies on the most, Johnson notes, “We especially like the accuracy and detail of the components that SysQue facilitates. We’re able to locate anchors and the conduit rack mounts, and then spool and place couplings well in advance.  Visualizing the placement of couplings is a huge advantage to our crews. Then, we were able to prefabricate the raceway and deliver it with detailed instruction sheets. Every component is stacked or palletized in order of installation. I especially loved how we had absolutely zero scrap involved out in the field.”

Field Optimized

One of the key benefits of tools such as SysQue, according to Price Electric, is its ability to stay competitive in an environment where labor and workforce is diminishing.

“We are constantly finding features and functionality to improve our processes.  Just when we think we have optimized our processes, we see a new advantage/option that we are able to implement,” Johnson explains.

“In today’s highly competitive market, we need to stay ‘lean’ on labor and material to meet this demand.  Also, those who are able to take the lead in electrical installations are increasingly rare as are those with extensive experience. With help from technology such as SysQue, we are able to demonstrate our expertise, optimize our labor resources, and deliver solutions faster, safer and with exceptional quality.”