Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 2 - 64
Technology: Streamline Your Business | ALICE TECHNOLOGIES
'I've put a lot into this. The construction
industry needs better software tools.'
er columns in the BIM. "You don't tell the
software how to build the whole project,"
Morkos explains. "You tell it how to build a
slab, then to replicate for all slabs."
As a result of that breakthrough, ALICE
is the world's first parametric construction
planner. "We cracked a problem that no
one has been able to crack for 50 years,"
Morkos boasts. "It's 43,000 hours, eight
years of my life."
Because it is parametric, contractors can
easily adjust recipes. It takes only a few seconds to adjust a planning parameter such
as the number of available crews or crane
locations and see how the change would
impact the overall schedule. With that
power, contractors and engineers can weigh
priorities such as cost savings or expediting
work to deliver the best possible project at
the most cost-effective price.
In fact, clients can test all kinds of
variables - what happens if they double
the number of cranes or change to a less
expensive material, for instance - and see
the results in only a few minutes. That gives
them the ability before they even bid on the
project to explore all the what-if scenarios
that were previously too time-consuming
to calculate. Early adopters, like Rick Kahn
Sr., director of innovation at Mortenson, are
enjoying the benefits too. "The integration
of our building expertise and ALICE enables
us to evaluate hundreds of potential scenarios to determine the best possible plan for
our customer," he says. "ALICE is changing
our industry and we are proud to be an
early adopter of this leading technology."
The software also benefits clients by
freeing up their construction engineers to
spend more time on project planning and
internal system installation and less time
crunching scheduling numbers. While ALICE still needs input from expert planners,
it takes the pain out of scheduling. "We sit
down, we create the plan," Morkos says.
"The plan is basically this list of tasks that
feeds into the schedule. ALICE generates
the different schedule options at the push
of a button."
That savings does not only come from the
time it takes to put together the construction schedule but the efficiencies ALICE can
discover in the process. A human can take
months to put together one schedule, but
in only 20 minutes ALICE can analyze hundreds of millions of schedules and identify
the most optimal plan based on the client's
criteria. ALICE Technologies estimates that
users can save up to 33 percent of construction time and costs. "We go through
600 million options and take the best one,"
The work going on in the background
to analyze those hundreds of millions of
schedule possibilities may be massively
complex, but it all appears simple and
straightforward on the front end. The resulting schedule is color-coded to make it clear
to read and review and ALICE is designed
to be easy to use and quick to learn. It only
schedule analysis of the Wheaton College - Performing Arts Center in ALICE with (from left) Casey O'Leary,
scheduling manager (M.A. Mortenson Company); Jeff Heuton (ALICE Technologies); Andrii Tsymbala (ALICE); Rajashekar
Bistaiah, scheduling manager (Mortenson); and Tim Schubert, integrated construction manager (Mortenson).
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM VOLUME 16, ISSUE 2