Tocci’s VDC Department Hits the West Coast

Kyle Martin is one of our Virtual Design + Construction Specialists here at Tocci. Kyle has become an industry expert through his active involvement in AEC organizations in addition to speaking at various panels, conferences, and workshops. Kyle is an adjunct instructor of advanced AEC technology at the BAC, founder of the Dynamo-litia Boston user group at the BSA, and recently spearheaded Boston’s first ever AEC hackathon. Read on to learn more about Kyle’s recent events out West:

Last week I was in San Francisco for the inaugural Advancing Computational Building Design conference featuring two days of speakers, panels, and discussions centered around the growing importance of technology in architecture, engineering, and construction. The conference placed a particular emphasis on computational design — the use of coding, visual programming, data analytics, and other methods for more informed design and implementation.

I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel titled “Reimagining the Culture & Contractual Relationships Between Owners, Architects, & Contractors to Enable Further Adoption of Computational Design” alongside Aubrey Tucker, Innovative Technology Developer at Stantec and Thomas Whisker, VDC Project Manager at Turner Construction. While my colleagues focused on the intricacies of contracts, BIM disclaimers, and model fidelity, I took the opportunity to share how Tocci is approaching projects differently. As Program Manager on several projects, we have the unique authority to bring the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) team in earlier on the project for design facilitation and a simultaneous quantity takeoff and pricing process. At Tocci, computational design further enhances what we are able to do.

With more traditional project delivery VDC implements vigorous MEP/FP coordination, resulting in confirming RFIs for near-instantaneous response time and less tedious paperwork. A major advantage in a collaborative approach to project delivery/coordination is that potential conflicts are identified earlier in the project. Resolving issues before they are time sensitive and at a time when the owner can MAKE decisions about the cost of the project (not having those decisions made for him by construction schedule) will ultimately deliver a final product much more similar to the initial design.

The key takeaway from ACBD for me was the overwhelming consensus that technology is crucial to the future success of the AEC industry. I attend several conferences per year and never have I encountered a more unified, passionate crowd of interdisciplinary professionals who are consistently pushing the boundaries of possibility and setting an example of true innovation through their work.

Kyle speaking at ACBD

Kyle speaking on the ACBD panel

Learn more about this conference here.

Later that evening I delivered one of two featured presentations to the San Francisco Dynamo User Group celebrating their 2-year Anniversary at AIA San Francisco. The SFDUG was formed with the same purpose as the Dynamo-litia committee I founded at the Boston Society of Architects — to help educate and promote the use of Dynamo visual programming in local AEC communities. My presentation — “Cost in Translation: Bridging the Gap Between Designers & Contractors” — highlighted some of my efforts here at Tocci including several day-to-day implementations of Dynamo and longer term projects such as the Sasaki WinterLight Pavilion and Union Point Comfort Station. Not only was the crowd at this event super receptive but a handful of folks approached me after the event to comment on Tocci’s notoriously positive reputation in the industry and congratulate me on the work we are doing.

Kyle presenting at SFDUG

Kyle presenting at SFDUG

More about this meeting here.

In the end it was a busy couple of days on the West Coast but I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to exchange knowledge and promote Tocci’s forward-thinking approach.

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