Monday, April 23, 2012

What is Vela?

If you’re out on one of our jobsites and happen to see some of the staff walking around with iPads, don’t worry – they’re not playing Angry Birds or updating their status on Facebook. They’re actually deploying some of the latest technology available in the construction industry. It’s called Vela Mobile and its part of Vela’s Field Management Suite.

Vela is a web-based platform that will revolutionize construction management. Its main purpose is to bring solutions to the field. Before Vela, when field staff performed safety inspections, quality control inspections, pre-task checklists, or even daily walkthroughs, the staff member usually carried a notebook or clipboard, intending to take notes while in the field and then return to the office and type up the notes to email them to other team members.

With Vela Mobile, a superintendent can take nothing but his iPad into the field and not only have the ability to perform any one of these tasks, but also the ability to view and mark up plans. The superintendent can also attach plans, pictures, and locations to each issue that is created. After issues are created, reports can be automatically sent out on a daily basis to each subcontractor notifying them of any issues that need to be resolved in their scope. Subcontractors will have access through a special portal that lets them see all the issues they have outstanding with the project. They will also be able to post comments on open issues as well as notify Kinsley of work to be inspected. The real kicker is that all of this information is recorded into one database of information that gives a complete timeline of the project from start to finish. This will dramatically increase accountability on the jobsite and it’s almost completely autonomous.


Now that you know all the cool things that Vela can do, let me tell you how Kinsley is implementing this revolutionary new software. The first thing we have done is developed a core team of individuals who will lead the implementation. Included are a project executive, project manager, project engineer, superintendent, and safety representative. We have several large projects on which we will pilot this program: Mt. Vernon, The Gunther at Brewers Hill, Hershey Next Century, and Volvo NE Headquarters.

We have already gone through all our training with Vela and are now ready to get started. In order to ensure all subcontractors have access to this system, we will also be installing a Vela/BIM workstation kiosk at each job site. In addition to accessing Vela, we are working to give all site supervisors the ability to see the coordinated 3D model of the building.

We are very anxious to implement this software and start seeing results. This is definitely a time of change within the construction industry and it’s exciting to know that we at Kinsley are on the leading edge.

Article written by:
John Clemons | LEED AP BD+C
BIM Program Manager