May 2021 | Points of Progress

How Innovative Construction Concepts, Inc. Has Elevated Their Workflow with Trimble Technology

“If you don’t operate Trimble, don’t expect me to be involved in your layout”

Meet Jerry Sams – Senior Superintendent at Innovative Construction Concepts, Inc. Jerry has over 20 years of experience in the construction/concrete industry. Through the years, he has made a lot of changes in his workflow, process and standards. We got a chance to chat with Jerry on his perspective on Trimble technology and the industry as a whole.

Jerry started his career back in Fort Lauderdale where he dropped out of college and quickly became involved in construction. He came in as a laborer with sharper math skills which allowed him to get into layout very early on. Jerry shared, “This was in the early 90s and technology then verses now is unbelievably different.” Jerry’s first experience in construction had a slower workflow that he didn’t love as he felt it dragged on.

“What Are All These Yellow Guns?!”
It wasn’t until about 2004 when Jerry started working for the concrete contractor, Procon out of Rocky Mount, VA where he first was introduced to Trimble products. Through his experience at Procon, he became very familiar with the Trimble products that Jerry believes to be phenomenal machines. Jerry explained further, “It had similar capabilities of digital theodolites that I was very familiar with, so it eased the shellshock going into it.”

His relationship with BuildingPoint SouthEast started around the same timeframe he started at Procon. Jerry was familiar with BuildingPoint’s sister company, Duncan-Parnell. “We would visit Duncan-Parnell’s Ashland location to get our equipment calibrated and serviced. Also, Duncan-Parnell has all the good supplies and tools we would use, so we would pick up those things as well during our visit.” However, the BuildingPoint SouthEast team provided Jerry with the service and training necessary in order for Jerry to be successful. Jerry explained to us how school was always a struggle for him, so the ease of use with this technology means more to him than one would think. “I am no computer guru and I wasn’t the best student, so to memorize and understand these steps, navigate software and download files correctly was a struggle for me starting out.”

“BuildingPoint SouthEast fortunately has some of the best customer service that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. No matter the question, they are always able to help me through every hiccup I have.”

Old School vs New School
Jerry shared, “Once I got started with the technology, it just seemed like it snowballed. It just felt natural to me.” However, he feels there are some harsh critics in the industry that may believe otherwise. “There are a lot of people in the industry that are my age or older that are very skeptical. An outlook such as: ‘This is not going to work,’ ‘There’s going to be mistakes,’ or ‘This is going to be setup in the wrong spot.'” Truthfully, it’s understandable. Straying away from a practice you’ve always done and trying something new can be scary as there could be a learning curve and simply a lot of unknowns.

Jerry once was a skeptic too before he came across Trimble, however, he provided us with an example on how the new technology saved them time and money, which in turn opened his eyes to the reliability of Trimble. He shares, “Western Virginia is affected by a lot of elevation change with many pronounced hills. Your measurements can deviate tremendously if you’re laying out points through the traditional, old-school style. Not only that, but how many buildings are rectangular or square anymore? Nobody wants to do that. We specialize in radius construction and odd angles, that’s where modern design is going, so we have to keep up with that.” Overall, Jerry believes that with the new technology, it’s a much more accurate way of laying out points.

“Committing rework will kill your budget every single time. It also impacts the other trades behind us. Rework is the bane of my existence, not only for concrete folks like myself but MEP and anyone else. Trimble allows us to avoid rework.”

Innovative Construction Concepts Projects
Innovative Construction Concepts, Inc. has been servicing in and around the Charlottesville, VA area since 2002. They provide full-service concrete services, no matter what size the project. Jerry shares two projects with us that he felt Trimble played a significant role in.

Starting with The Hotel Madison Project – a large, hotel-styled building affiliated with James Madison University pushing $5 million. During the pre-con stage, Jerry noticed that the surveyors were over 4 or 5/8″ of a square. Using Trimble technology they were able to identify that. Once they checked, surveyors recognized that they were indeed that far out. Jerry shared, “The Trimble products allow you to correct any of those issues beforehand. This technology allows you to stay ahead of the mistakes before it affects the entire project. It keeps getting better and better, especially for guys like me that need help with this type of technology.”

Another project mentioned was for Keswick Hall, a historic golf club in central VA. This $2.2 million landscape project required high elevation accuracy. Jerry explained that most structural/concrete contractors have trouble with the Z axis. With Trimble’s reference elevation feature, you no longer have to do the old method. As long as the correct information is set up in the tablet, all you have to do is set up your prism, make sure it’s level and collect the data. Instantly, you’ll know what the elevation is. Jerry exclaimed, “I can’t tell you how many times that has not only saved us, but our customer and even our general contractor. It has saved us time and also energy.”

 

The Takeaway
Between the Trimble technology and the services BuildingPoint SouthEast provide, Jerry and Innovative Construction Concepts, Inc. are beyond satisfied. “The team has been unbelievable – from the calibrations done at Duncan-Parnell to keep everything smooth, all the way to the individual representatives at BuildingPoint SouthEast,” says Jerry. Currently, he uses the RPT600 and loves it. “It’s been unbelievable how fast the tech is changing. The stuff I am able to do with the RPT is amazing.”

“Trimble equipment is essential for me. It makes me a very happy, productive person in the field and Innovative Construction has been able to produce beautiful work because of it.”

He continues, “Over the last 10 years using Trimble, I’ve gotten the personal development and growth I’ve been looking for. Before Trimble, I felt like I wasn’t getting the advancements in my career or the respect in the field, but now – it’s just a game-changer from all aspects. ” He jokingly adds, “I always request a work truck and people always ask where I put my instrument. I say, ‘my RPT600 is like my R2D2 – he sits right behind Luke Skywalker.”

Are you in the VA area and interested in Trimble solutions? Reach out to your local representatives to get more information. Contact Scott Stevens at scott.stevens@buildingpointsoutheast.com or Jeff Soscia at jeff.soscia@buildingpointsoutheast.com

Interested in working with Innovative Construction Concepts, Inc? Click here to contact.

Now Introducing: The Trimble SPS986 GNSS Smart Antenna

Are you a MEP or General Contractor looking for a simplified workflow, mobility and quick QA/QC? Look no further than the Trimble SPS986 GNSS Smart Antenna serving as either a GNSS rover system or as a base station for other GNSS operations.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Tilt Compensation functionality to measure accurate points without leveling the pole
  • Trimble ProPoint technology for greater accuracy, reliability and productivity in challenging GNSS environments
  • Ultra-rugged housing built to withstand harsh construction site conditions
  • Connected site enabled with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wideband radio
  • GNSS receiver, antenna and battery all in one unit
  • Quick release connector makes it easy to move and set up

GNSS APPLICATIONS SUCH AS:
Footings | Pilings | Retaining walls | Deck layout | Grade QA/QC | and more!

Interested? Click here to learn more!

 

News & Blogs

Check out a great customer story from our very own Virginia Sales Rep, Scott Stevens while he was employed at Southern Air. Click here for the full video!

Carolinas AGC’s Build Your Career Program is a construction-wide program that is designed to educate young kids in middle school and high school on all the career opportunities in the construction space. Click here to learn more how BuildingPoint SouthEast partnered with AGC in demonstrating construction technology such as VDC, RTS applications and much more!

VDC Corner: Our Newly Improved VDC Services Webpage is Officially LIVE!

Did you know that BuildingPoint SouthEast offers VDC services for all projects and customer types? Our team utilizes the latest 3D modeling techniques to produce quality results for your building projects. See below for more:

  • Converting 2D drawings to 3D Models
  • Scan to BIM – Modeling from Point Cloud Data
  • Clash Detection Resolution (See righthand image)
  • BIM Coordination Services
  • Layout, Shop, Spool and Sleeve drawing creation
  • Total Station layout point creation
  • 3D Laser Scanning support
  • Quality Control – QA/QC services via constructability reporting
  • Work in place verification using Mixed Reality and much more

 

 

For the full PDF of May’s edition of POP – Click here

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