Sellen Construction (Sellen), one of the largest locally owned general contractors in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, is known for improving the lives of others by building mission-driven projects with safer and more sustainable practices. To continue their positive impact on the construction industry, Sellen underwent a digital transformation in 2017 to standardize their digital technology ecosystem, define their approach towards innovation, and create a culture of inclusivity and learning to support the adoption of new technology.
A lack of data standardization had historically caused inconsistent workflows for Sellen, as it does for many construction companies. To enhance collaboration, communication, and efficiency, Sellen created its “Digital Core” by partnering with Autodesk and leveraging BuildingConnected, Assemble, and BIM 360 within Autodesk Construction Cloud™. The goal behind Sellen’s Digital Core was to enable standardized workflows across projects, connecting construction data and processes across design, preconstruction, and construction to:
“When I joined the company, job sites had isolated and unique technology components. We needed to standardize and consolidate tools to improve our practices to help build better for our people, clients, and the industry.”
With their technology stack in place, it was time for implementation. However, Sellen knew that technology was only one element of its strategy. They needed to consider how the technology would integrate within their company culture. Instead of demanding mandates, they decided to try a unique approach with the roll-out and engage their employees’ sense of fun.
With its Digital Core devised as a board game, the Sellen Technology team brings the board and accompanying cards and game pieces to every project kickoff. Each tool within the Digital Core maps to a function. The game is a catalyst of communication and collaboration between project stakeholders to understand who needs to be trained on what product and when.
“We reimagined our Digital Core as a board game. The game is a visual representation of our Digital Core, and how we engage with and train project stakeholders on new technology and when it should be implemented throughout the project lifecycle…And who doesn’t love a good game?”
Implementation of a construction management system within their Digital Core has helped improve the preconstruction process for Sellen.
With Assemble, the team can import the BIM model directly to assess and condition the model for better quantity takeoff. This process has translated to a more accurate project scope when determining schedule and cost and improved the bidding process.
BIM 360 has also proven to be a game-changer for collaborating with others in the industry on project execution. With BIM 360 as the single source of truth for authoring models, every individual authoring within Revit is connected to this platform. This process has enabled more collaboration between stakeholders as models are updated in real-time, reducing the risk of project teams working off an outdated model.
Sellen also uses BuildingConnected to prequalify subs, allowing them to be more inclusive, specifically focusing on Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Using Sellen company tags, they can direct decision-makers towards diverse vendors by adding diversity tags on the subcontractor’s profile, thereby building relationships and knowledge-sharing across the industry.
By connecting their construction technology beyond point solutions, Sellen has delivered more consistent results, empowered their people, and collaborated with others in the industry. They also show that the path to construction innovation is unique to every organization and needs to be implemented in a way that achieves goals and aligns with values and teams.
With their Digital Core, Sellen has woven consistency across jobsites and throughout the project lifecycle, connecting projects today and laying the groundwork to reap the rewards of connected project data now and into the future.
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Seattle, WA, US