Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What is BIM?

What is Building Information Modeling (BIM)? BIM is an integrated process of exploring a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally.

Since the 1990s, the construction industry has been utilizing 3D technology in some form or another. However, BIM incorporates a parametric environment along with the input of data to give you a “functional” representation of the project. To put it in simpler terms, it’s a 3D model of the project that contains some or all of the information to generate quantity takeoff, 3D coordination, realistic visualizations, virtual mockups, 3D site logistics planning, schedule sequencing and even MEP (Mechanical, Electrical Plumbing) systems analysis.

There are many real benefits from utilizing this technology on a project but two that come to mind instantly are mitigated risk and increased productivity. More so, the owner-realized benefits could be endless. Look at it from a homeowner’s perspective: Imagine if you had an as-built 3D model of your house with all the information on how it was built and the materials used. Would performing maintenance in that house be less painful if you had all the manufacturer’s data for hardware, fixtures, mechanical equipment, and lights? What if you could know what’s behind every wall or above every ceiling? Now, imagine this from a hospital owner’s perspective. How much more can they gain from this information? They could spend less time doing investigative work and more time doing the actual work needed.

It’s clear that this technology (or process, as it should be called) is not a trend but a legitimate game changer for the construction industry. Unlike the days when CAD replaced hand drawings, BIM is much more than just learning a new way of drafting. It will be a complete paradigm shift for architects, engineers, and contractors in how they deliver construction projects to the end user. In April of 2010, Kinsley made the decision to move forward in the implementation of BIM. The major motivators for this decision were to ultimately provide the client with a valuable service as well as to mitigate risk. Kinsley has made many significant leaps towards implementing this new process. Some of our most notable BIM projects are WellSpan’s Apple Hill Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital, York College Northside Commons, Hotel Sierra, Wilkes Barre General Hospital Addition, with more recent projects such as The Commons at Fieldside Village and Wheatlyn Family Medicine.

It has been a year and a half since the inception of BIM implementation and Kinsley’s BIM staff are now focusing more effort on providing field solutions for the project team in addition to completing the behind the scenes work that happens in the office. Additional training will be held to educate employees on the specifics of Building Information Modeling. The more we educate each other about this process, the more we can leverage this technology to yield benefits to Kinsley and our clients.

Watch Kinsley's Building Information Modeling Video. www.youtube.com/user/KinsleyConstruction

First Aid and CPR Training

One of the most important training programs we offer at the Kinsley Education Center is Red Cross First Aid and CPR. First Aid and CPR courses are designed to train our employees to act confidently in emergency situations and to recognize and care for life threatening injuries, illnesses and cardiac emergencies. By providing these life-saving skills and knowledge we not only enhance safety in our workplaces, but in our homes and communities as well.

The American Red Cross updated their programs in 2011 and released several new guidelines they call the Next Generation of Red Cross training. The skills and course content have not changed too significantly, however the courses are shorter and more interactive than past courses. The lessons have updated video segments as well as PowerPoint-style discussion points and review questions to more actively engage the class participants. Feedback has been very positive on the new courses.

One of the changes we are instituting this year is certification in the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for all participants. The widespread availability and use of AEDs has been one of the biggest advances in emergency cardiovascular care in the last several decades. Combined with CPR, the use of AEDs greatly increases the chances for victims of cardiac arrest. As the presence of AEDs continues to grow in public buildings and workplaces, this training will be invaluable.

One of the more significant changes to the Red Cross guidelines is the length of certification. In the past, first aid certification lasted three years and CPR certification lasted one year. Certification for both now lasts two years. Classes are quicker too. Full certification used to take nearly seven hours to complete. With the new guidelines we can complete a class in a little over four hours, even with the addition of the AED component.

With shorter course length and longer certification periods, we are able to combine Red Cross training with some of our regularly scheduled annual safety training. This allows us to reduce training costs, and at the same time train hundreds of additional employees. Definitely a win-win situation – costs are lowered, training is more convenient to employees, and we nearly double the number of employees trained in these life saving skills.

Red Cross training is the type of training you hope to never have to use. However, emergencies can happen at any time, in any place. By equipping our employees with the skills and knowledge to take action when an emergency does arise, we might not only help save a life, but touch many more lives in the process.

Article by William McCaffrey, CSP

Heavy/Highway Overview

“Each season our geographic work area grows to keep pace with the economy. In 2011, our jobs were situated everywhere from the Mason Dixon line up to Bethlehem, PA. We recently completed 14 miles of concrete interstate rehabilitation on SR 78 in Bethlehem, and replaced an existing three-span bridge with a precast box culvert on SR 7418 in Wilson. Crews worked day and night on these projects to maintain schedule, in addition to working away from home. In Chambersburg, we successfully completed our SR 81 Dual Bridge Replacement project and one mile of new highway. In York, crews worked the entire season at night to improve storm drainage, rehabilitate, and resurface 26 miles of I-83 from the Maryland state line to Canal Road. A major project for us was the US 30 design/build project from I-83 to North Hills Road. 2011 roadwork on this project consisted of asphalt milling and resurfacing from Sherman Street to I-83. Excellent compaction and smooth resurfacing put a nice finishing touch on this project. In Campbelltown, PA we constructed another roundabout for PennDOT and South Londonderry Township, directly adjacent to a local airport runway. Additionally, we had a busy season constructing ADA compliant curb ramps at various locations. In Hanover Borough we completed 54 ramps as well as another 34 ramps along Queen Street in York. Our crews have successfully constructed these ramps despite the challenges presented when trying to force a pre-designed ramp in between existing sidewalk, buildings, and the adjacent street, while still maintaining required geometry and slopes. In 2012 one of our larger projects will be the Schaefferstown Bypass, which began this fall with construction of two precast arch structures. Next season we will complete the majority of the new alignment and widening on SR 501 in the borough. In March we will begin constructing the Loganville Interchange along I-83. We have several design/build projects that have been in the design phase for the last year, awaiting rights-of-way to clear and utilities to relocate, including Cool Creek Road in Hellam and Springwood Road Box Culverts in Springettsbury. Resurfacing will begin in early summer on SR 851 Steltz Road from Sticks to New Freedom and an urban streetscape in Easton, PA will be constructed next year on Larry Holmes Drive.”

Fred Thompson, Heavy/Highway Division Manager

Industrial Division


Carrow Real Estate hosts one of its regional offices in Reading. They lease three office buildings to many different clients in the Greens Hills Corporate Center. Over the last few years, we have installed windows in two of the three buildings. We started back in 2001 installing eight windows when Brandywine Realty was the previous owner, then returned in 2002 for nineteen window replacements. In 2004, we replaced seven windows and have now started another project in October of 2011 consisting of installing fourteen windows. This project includes structural steel fabrication, masonry/interior demolition, steel erection, masonry repair and interior finish work.
The biggest challenge on this project is to install the windows with the offices being occupied. The window openings are over 14 feet wide by 6.25 feet high. Off-shift hours are worked to minimize noise and dust to the occupied areas. The window installation is being completed on the second and third floors. Temporary partitions are placed over the window openings at the end of each day to protect the areas from weather damage. This project is scheduled to be completed by end of December 2011.


On Friday, September 9th, after hurricane Irene hit York County, we got a call from the York Haven Waste Water Treatment Plant operator and he asked us to help on an emergency at the plant. With the large amount of rainfall that saturated the ground, one of the straps that hold the raw sewage tank to the foundation ripped out of the concrete. The raw sewage tank popped out of the ground from all of the water pressure. We went to the site that afternoon and assessed the problem. The first step was to pump the raw sewage from the tank into sewage transport trucks and clean the tank. This was completed that evening and we worked through the weekend to excavate around the damaged tank. On Monday, Eisenhart Crane sent a 170-ton crane to remove the tank and loaded the damaged tank onto our double drop deck trailer. The tank was 10 feet wide by 28 feet long by 12 feet high and weighed 26,500 pounds. The damaged tank was hauled to the Industrial fabrication shop for further inspection. The rest of the treatment plant was stabilized and put back into operation. The project then was engineered over the next few weeks and repairs included cleaning the existing tank foundation, drilling into the existing foundation and installing rebar around the perimeter of the tank, repairing the tank inner supports/outer shell, setting the tank back into place, and forming/pouring concrete around the outside perimeter of the tank. After all the concrete was poured, process piping and electrical wiring was reconnected to the plant. Over the past few years, the Industrial Division has built a relationship with the plant operator and engineering firm who were involved in this project. Our quick response, knowledge and available resources are why, in emergency situations, we are successful.


Echo Industrial Inc. engineered and fabricated the project for Aggregates USA in Sparta, Georgia. Aggregates USA produces and supplies sand, gravel, limestone, granite, block and ready mix concrete at facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The Industrial Division was awarded the equipment erection project for the Sparta Quarry. This is a new location for Aggregates USA and will produce gravel for now, but the company has future plans for more products. The project is located approximately 12.5 hours from York, PA. Our crews worked on-site for three weeks straight, before coming back home for four days and then returning to Sparta for another three weeks. This work schedule continued for approximately three months. The project consisted of conveyor assembly/erection, screen tower erection and draw down hopper erection. We assembled and erected 1,840 linear feet of conveyor, which was shipped in 20-foot sections for this project.

Working with a local concrete contractor was sometimes challenging because of the project coordination. Our crews, in many cases, complete the concrete work and erection work for large projects like this.

PA Bridge Overview

“In 2011 we completed several key structure projects. In Chambersburg, bridge crews finished the final phase of each three-span bridge over the Conococheague Creek. Additionally, SR 737 in Berks County and Garfield Road over Big Chiques Creek in Lancaster County were constructed. We recently replaced the superstructure on SR 1006, Rakers Mill Road, in Dauphin County, a two-span bridge redeck. SR 3001 on Emmitsburg Road was a complete two-span bridge replacement over Marsh Creek.  Our project management staff continues to grow and expand its capabilities as they take conceptual plans and turn them into successful construction projects for these design/builds. We recently completed construction of the Eberts Lane bridge over I-83 in York and once reopened to traffic, will begin demolition and reconstruction of the Sherman Street overpass bridge this winter. Moving into next season, we have several projects in startup mode including a single span bridge replacement in Windsor, and a single span bridge on SR 897 in Lancaster County which was washed out during the flood. Expanding our customer base beyond PennDOT, our bridge backlog includes two pedestrian bridges at Swatara State Park, a project on which we are teamed with the site division, and a three-span pedestrian bridge over the Codorus Creek in Emigsville. In May of 2012 we will construct a new pier for the bridge replacement at Loganville over I-83 and by fall the abutments and deck will become available for construction as well. As noted on our active projects list, we continue to grow and capture a new market share with our bridge beam and culvert erection capabilities, performing many of these jobs both for ourselves and a broad base of outside customers. Our backlog for 2012 structure work is promising and we look forward to building upon that.”

Fred Thompson, Pennsylvania Bridge Division Manager