Conference Program

Wednesday
2020-01-29
Thursday
2020-01-30
Friday
2020-01-31
13:00
Registration Opens
14:00 - 16:00
Getting Started with Technology

Getting started with technology can be a daunting proposition for many companies.  For those in the beginning stages, learning how to sidestep some of the initial landmines can be an invaluable tool.

 

In this session, two of the industry’s leading construction technologists will take you through some of the initial stages of digitization efforts and make recommendations on how to research and implement new technology, how to adjust your workflows to account for new processes and initial steps to take in staffing and resources.

Getting Started with Technology image
Travis Voss
Leader of Innovative Technology / Mechanical, Inc.
Getting Started with Technology image
Doug Smith
Corporate BIM Manager / Dynamic Systems Inc.
14:00 - 16:00
Data Capture Workflow

3D Scanning offers large productivity gains when working with existing buildings.  MCAA and MSCA members are using the devices to not only get hi precision scans of existing areas, but for a number of other creative uses.

 

In this session, attendees will learn the workflow of capturing these spaces as well as some ways that contractors are using 360 degree cameras and photogrammetry scanners to simplify tasks or share information more easily.

Tim Bodor
Manager of Virtual Construction, H.T. Lyons
14:00 - 16:00
Field Software

This session is meant to be an in-depth walkthrough of the software that shares information from the office to and from the field.  Software explored will be Plangrid, Autodesk 360 and Bluebeam.

Field Software image
Mike Zivanovic
Technology Manager, Pipefitters Local Union 597 Chicago
Field Software image
Britton Langdon
Founder and President, MSUITE
16:15
Opening Session – Futuristic Innovations Being Used Today

The future of technology is happening now.  The tools that we thought were years away are becoming integrated in jobsite workflows today.  In this session, James Benham, CEO of JBKnowledge will share tools and technology that cutting-edge contractors are proving productive today.  In his presentation, he will be joined by leading industry innovators to demonstrate how their devices and software are changing the industry.

Opening Session – Futuristic Innovations Being Used Today image
James Benham
CEO, JBKnowledge
17:30 - 19:30
Reception & Exhibit
07:00 - 08:00
Breakfast & Exhibit
08:00 - 09:00
Opening Keynote: Why Generalists Succeed in a Specialized World

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.

 

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

 

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

Opening Keynote: Why Generalists Succeed in a Specialized World image
David Epstein
Author, Range
09:15 - 10:15
General Session: Using VDC Workflows to Find Blind Spots in your Business

MCAA’s new VDC Workflow Tool is a great way to formalize a lot of your internal processes and procedures, especially as it relates to how BIM can impact your organization.  As an added benefit, you can also use it as a way to figure out what steps you are missing and how you can be more organized on your projects.

 

This session will provide and introduction and overview of the optimum VDC Operations Workflow and highlight the importance of having standard procedures for VDC operations and some of the problems that can happen when VDC and BIM based technologies are not tied to strong processes. The session will then take a deep dive into the components of the flowchart and how you can use this flowchart to find the blind spots in your company’s workflows.

General Session: Using VDC Workflows to Find Blind Spots in your Business image
Jonathan Marsh
MEP Innovation Lab
09:15 - 10:15
Breakout: Machine Learning as the New Scripting

Machine Learning (ML) and other advanced computation generate media buzz, which has resulted in preconceived notions about how ML should be used.  At a fundamental level, ML is really an advanced form of automation, just like many of our other forms of automation like scripting.  This session will focus on how ML can be used to create automation for every day tasks with fewer lines of code than you’d otherwise use in traditional, algorithmic ways.  This session relies heavily on the use of ML Agents, the open source ML environment on top of the Unity development environment.  We will demonstrate concepts and code examples about how ML techniques can be used for pipe hanger layout and optimization, pipe sizing, and MEP coordination.

 

Take-home Points:

  1. Key concepts for ML, applied to automation tasks.
  2. Examples of how to write automation routines using ML Agents on Unity.
  3. The ability to discuss ML concepts with other AEC professionals.
Breakout: Machine Learning as the New Scripting image
Brett Young
CEO / M2X
09:15 - 10:15
Breakout: Autonomous Building Systems: Managing IoT and Control Challenges

Autonomous Building Systems will revolutionize both how we control buildings and the business of making buildings. Using deep digital twins, these systems enable automation to understand the operating principles of building systems — and how to optimize, manage, and commission themselves — solving many of today’s hard business challenges.

 

Bringing physics-based organizational intelligence to control systems, an Autonomous Building Platform enables data fusion of sensors, IoT, and equipment & control as a whole interconnected system.

 

It enables a new type of control loop: future-forward control. This approach allows control systems to look ahead at what will happen in the near future, rather than reacting to the past, enabling buildings to “think” before they act.

Breakout: Autonomous Building Systems: Managing IoT and Control Challenges image
Troy Harvey
CEO, Passive Logic
09:15 - 10:15
Breakout: Avoiding Pitfalls When Outsourcing BIM

With the number of projects requiring BIM and BIM technicians hard to hire and train, outsourcing your BIM operations is becoming a common strategy.  Working with a 3rd party BIM company can present a host of challenges.

 

This session will explore ways in which you can be more effective in hiring the right company to outsource your BIM as well how to work seamlessly with them in order to successfully maintain expectations, schedules and project requirements.

Breakout: Avoiding Pitfalls When Outsourcing BIM image
Danielle Dy Buncio
Co-Founder & CEO / VIATechnik
10:30 - 11:00
General Session: Who’s Data is it Anyway

Increasingly, general contractors and owners require that all coordination and field report data (RFIs, Daily Reports, etc) be submitted directly to their online project management system (i.e. – Procore, CMiC, e-Builder, etc). For Mechanical Contractors to remain competitive in the digital age, they must learn to take control of their project data, while also dealing with the competing challenges of waste from duplicate entry and risk from manual errors and omissions. This presentation brings together a panel of different industry and technology perspectives to understand the purpose behind new project data collaboration requirements, before debating the role of people, process, and technology to solve these challenges with data access and integration.

 

When it comes to adopting a more integrated data strategy from fab shop to field to back office accounting, the tools exist for Mechanical Contractors to control their own destiny. Ultimately, the adoption strategy comes down to communicating and aligning “what’s in it for me” between internal company stakeholders and external project stakeholders to drive the future of digital transparency and collaboration efficiency.

 

At the end of the discussion, audience members will leave with a clearer understanding of their company’s “data position” and current capabilities to integrate with other project stakeholders. They will discover the current industry software platforms that are capable of sharing project data through open API integrations, and learn the necessary steps to define the integration rules and translations using the Common Data Exchange (CDX) decision framework.

General Session: Who’s Data is it Anyway image
Nathan Wood
Spectrum AEC
General Session: Who’s Data is it Anyway image
Nichole Carter
Business Analyst, Haselden Construction
11:00 - 12:00
Breakout : No Lone Rangers – How a Mad Scientist Can Build a Posse

Construction Technologists are asked to play a lot of roles in their companies – information gathering, research, testing, modification, implementation and feedback.  The key to being successful as a ConTech is building a team to support the process.

 

In this session you will learn:

  • How to do productivity studies
  • How to set budgets
  • How to prioritize spending
  • How to test/trial/rent equipment
  • That how you measure the current project is how you get the next one approved
Breakout : No Lone Rangers – How a Mad Scientist Can Build a Posse image
James Benham
CEO, JBKnowledge
12:00 - 13:00
Lunch
13:00 - 14:15
General Session: Next-Gen Business Practices – Future Proofing the Mechanical Contractor

Technology is a double-edged sword, which can both enable the growth of a business or create severe detrimental external competitive pressures.  The purpose of this presentation is to level-set current global architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry technology trends against a backdrop that assumes the role of the mechanical contractor in the coming years will be changing.  This presentation will seek to provide recommendations – or, at the very least, start conversations – about how mechanical firms can adapt to new business realities that de-fragment our industry, increase productivity, and change business models.  The overall goal is to “future-proof” the role of the mechanical contractor in the business of AEC.

General Session: Next-Gen Business Practices – Future Proofing the Mechanical Contractor image
Brett Young
CEO / M2X
14:30 - 16:30
Extended Workshop: IoT – Securing the Modern Jobsite

Internet of Things is changing the world and how we do business. By 2020 the planet will be home to almost 31 BILLION online devices of this nature, with roughly 3.1 BILLION of them infected at any given time! Nothing becomes more critical for a future jobsite than securing those automated devices that will be doing the heavy lifting, flying through buildings, moving of equipment and more. In this 90-minute presentation, Nick will walk you through the benefits and issues of the exploding Industrial IoT market and how to ensure that your workforce can safely and securely use IoT technology in an environment that is designed for your corporate growth.

Extended Workshop: IoT – Securing the Modern Jobsite image
Nick Espinosa
Chief Security Fanatic of Security Fanatics
14:30 - 16:30
Extended Workshop: Building In-House Software

When it comes to choosing the right software solution, rarely are there any perfect fits.  To make the software align with your company processes, often times you need to heavily modify a software out of the box or build your own.

 

In this session, contractors will take you down each of their decision paths to where they ended up in their decision.  In one case study, a contractor will discuss developing their own service software to fit their customer needs while connecting to their accounting software.  Another case study will look at a company’s decision to create in house safety software as well as manpower trackers when outside solutions didn’t meet their needs.

Extended Workshop: Building In-House Software image
Chris Weaver
Director of Technology, Andy J. Egan Company
Extended Workshop: Building In-House Software image
Scott Berger
President, Arista Air Conditioning Corp.
14:30 - 16:30
Extended Workshop: Advanced Revit

The advanced Revit and Intro to Add-Ins breakout is an in depth look and discussion on the power of Revit and the ability to customize content, workflows, and even tools to harness all it has to offer. In this session we will take a look at the industry’s transition into customizable design and how any company has the ability to make tools that will fit into whatever workflow they choose.

 

Examples of how an add in is born from conception, to proof of concept and the ability for all team members to automate using Dynamo, to the avenues you can take to make your add-in a reality will be shown and discussed in depth. This breakout is ideal for those wanting to get the full benefit from both Revit and the API and learning how to make leverage it for you and your company.

Jeff Elwell
Extended Workshop: Advanced Revit image
James Simpson
BIM Specialist, Art Plumbing Company
17:00 - 19:30
Off Property Reception at Petco Park

Sponsored by: Autodesk, DEWALT and Rhumbix

 

Join us for a unique experience at one of America’s favorite ballparks.  All attendees are welcome for a reception at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.  The reception will be held at The Loft, a bar built out of an old warehouse that is so close, the corner of the building acts as the left field foul pole.  The Loft includes baseball themed décor, attractions and games.

 

As a special treat, the reception includes a stadium tour where you can see the club’s facilities, the reporter’s booth and the field itself.  The tour culminates with live batting practice in the training area used by the Padres.  If you want to see what it is like to take big league swings, the Padres’ batting practice staff will give you a chance.  Attendees will get a chance to take swings with wooden bats from the same batting practice pitchers used by the team, dressed in full uniform.

07:00 - 08:00
Breakfast
08:00 - 08:30
General Session: The Business Value of BIM for Mechanical Contractors – The Dodge Report Perspective

MCAA has teamed up with Dodge Data & Analytics to sponsor a new research publication that helps mechanical contractors understand the business value of BIM.  In this session, Steve Jones, Dodge Data & Analytics Senior Director, Industry Insights Research, will summarize findings of the new report and share with the audience some key insights from its findings.

General Session: The Business Value of BIM for Mechanical Contractors – The Dodge Report Perspective image
Stephen Jones
Senior Director, Industry Insights Research, Dodge Data & Analytics
08:30 - 09:15
General Session: Calculating the Real Value of VDC

Companies that have been performing Virtual Design & Construction on projects for years have been able to realize benefits to schedule, process and communications, but getting a handle on all of the costs and benefits is a very difficult exercise.  Many of the expenses are hard to isolate and more of the benefits are hard to gauge as well.  This session will examine all of factors that can be considered in the overall balance sheet in determining value of VDC.

General Session: Calculating the Real Value of VDC image
Danielle Dy Buncio
Co-Founder & CEO / VIATechnik
09:30 - 10:30
Breakout: Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA)

Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) is a design approach that focuses on ease of manufacture and efficiency of assembly. By simplifying the design of a product, it is possible to manufacture and assemble it more efficiently, in the minimum time and at a lower cost.

DfMA draws from fabrication and design concepts and combines it with constructability.  MCAA members have been using these concepts in creating skids or racks out of complex systems as a way to enhance offsite fabrication.

In this session, Jonathan Marsh will share DfMA concepts and how to apply them to multifaceted designs.

Breakout: Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) image
Jonathan Marsh
MEP Innovation Lab
09:30 - 10:30
Breakout: Using BIM for Service

A fully coordinated VDC project today requires heavy investment in projects costs and manpower for the BIM Model to be useful and accurate.  But what happens to the model after the project is complete?  Typically, BIM files capture a snapshot of the completed project on date that the construction documents were turned over, never to be used again.  Instead of letting all of this BIM work go to waste, some service contractors are beginning to use these models for facility maintenance and operations through software like Autodesk 360 Ops.

 

In this session, a case study of a BIM handover project in Des Moines will be presented by Dale Drent of the Baker Group.  His presentation will include the turnover process, end user interface, workflows and lessons learned.

Breakout: Using BIM for Service image
Dale Drent
Service Manager Mechanical Engineer, Baker Group.
09:30 - 10:30
Breakout: Mixed Reality And The Constructible Workflow

To many contractors, the idea of augmented or mixed reality becoming part of their business operations seems a little far off in the future.  That changed in 2016 when Microsoft released a $3,000 developer version of their cutting-edge mixed reality headset, the HoloLens.  Innovative contractors began the process of incorporating the HoloLens into their operations as the device offered practical use of mixed reality in construction.

 

In 2019, Microsoft announced the second-generation version of the HoloLens that addressed some of the limitations of the first device.  It also announced an alternate design model through a collaboration with Trimble, that would focus on construction industry uses, called the Trimble XR10.

 

In this session, attendees will see the Trimble Constructible Process in action — starting with the 3D model through to the use of the XR10 for the visualization of the model on site.  With the Constructible Process, every person, phase, and process work together seamlessly—optimizing design through build to enable contractors to visualize BIM models onsite, collaborate in mixed reality, and make decisions in real space.

Breakout: Mixed Reality And The Constructible Workflow image
Jordan Lawver
Portfolio Manager, Trimble
09:30 - 10:30
Breakout: Next Gen Estimating with WebLEM Plus+

MCAA’s Labor Estimating Manual just received a massive overhaul to improve its functionality.  The newest version, WebLEM Plus+ offers more than just labor estimating units, but weights, unique identifiers and even ITM file content.

 

In this session, Ron King, co-chairman of the MCAA LEM committee will explain how the new WebLEM has added greater functionality, control through the work activity method and integrates better into third party software.

Breakout: Next Gen Estimating with WebLEM Plus+ image
Ron King
Global Estimating Manager / Trimble MEP
10:45 - 11:45
Closing Session: Innovations in Training

As technology drives change for MCAA members, Training Centers around the country are also changing to meet the needs of today’s industry.  Two examples of this change are in the Arizona Pipe Trades and Local 597 Training Center, where not only the course content is innovative, but also the training methods.

 

In this session, representatives from these training centers will discuss how they developed their own training software, incorporating mixed reality into their training and teaching 21st century tools like Robotic Total Stations, VDC And BIM.

Closing Session: Innovations in Training image
Mike Zivanovic
Technology Manager, Pipefitters Local Union 597 Chicago
Closing Session: Innovations in Training image
Pat Ramirez
VDC Coordinator, Arizona Pipe Trades Apprenticeship
11:45 - 12:00
Closing Remarks
Closing Remarks image
Scott Berger
President, Arista Air Conditioning Corp.
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