- Mar 9, 2018
When it comes to TVs and computer screens, the general consensus is that bigger is better. So it makes sense that a room with a 20 x 5 foot screen, powered by three HD projectors and complemented by a 70-inch high-definition TV and a 42-inch touch screen monitor, would be beneficial to Gilbane Building Company. I am lucky enough to call this space my second office at our Mickey-Leland Internal Terminal (MLIT) Project in Houston, Texas. The MLIT will replace the entire Terminal D with a four-level, single consolidated terminal with 15 gates to accommodate wide-body aircraft, including four gates for the A380 aircraft. The project also includes new terminal processing functions currently located in Terminal D, apron work/systems, utilities, paving, roadway modifications (landside) and retail shopping.
This room, dubbed the ‘BIM ROOM’, could be considered the Rolls-Royce of conference rooms and makes sitting at the table feel more like the command center for NASA. The room comes equipped with TV screens tied to two different computers, a fully integrated phone system and a webcam. The 70-inch TV and the 42-inch touch screen are located on an adjacent wall, tethered together to duplicate the image on both screens. The space has Wi-Fi and a hard-wired internet system, a dedicated separate conference phone number and a separate email address, allowing meetings to be established directly from the room.
So why would a 20 x 5 foot screen even be necessary? Collaboration. The project team at MLIT wanted to use the space for more than just gathering people during the demanding task of building a new international airport. We recognized that the space needed to be interactive, engaging, and appealing to foster collaboration. Being able to project a construction document onto a 20-foot screen or zoom into the model at 1:1 scale creates a collaborative team space that encourages attentiveness and the perfect environment for team brainstorming.
But simply making images bigger does not create collaboration. People need to be engaged, which is where the 42-inch touch screen comes into play. Duplicate projection on the 70-inch and 42-inch screens essentially turns the 42-inch touch screen into a giant tablet computer. Utilizing your finger or a stylus, a user can move, zoom, and mark up the file that is open. With this tactile approach, anyone in the room can make a comment or mark on the screen for the rest of the team to see. Once all the markups are made, the file can be saved and sent to all applicable parties with the markups included, resulting in a truly collaborative process.
Gilbane’s culture promotes a collaborative and inclusive team environment on all projects to achieve a timely and quality project that is delivered on budget. But a challenging project with the architect based off-site in Denver, Colorado, placed even more emphasis on a need for collaboration during the MLIT project. Utilizing the BIM ROOM, coupled with the use of web-sharing software such as GoToMeeting™, Zoom, and Skype for Business, the construction team has been able to easily interact with the design team from thousands of miles away.