New Horizons Foundation Invites Members to Participate in Research Study

New Horizons Foundation (NHF) Chair Guy Gast is personally inviting SMACNA Members to participate in a current research project undertaken by the University of Washington on benchmarking Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) modeling and management in HVAC/Sheet Metal and MEP construction.

SMACNA’s New Horizons Foundation invites you to join a new Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Time Study to benchmark VDC modeling and management in HVAC/Sheet Metal and MEP construction. This research is pivotal in paving the way for more accurate and comprehensive estimating and management of VDC services.

This project, awarded to the University of Washington, is supported by the New Horizons Foundation and the MCAA and NECA foundations (JRGF and ELECTRI).

The objectives of this project are threefold:

1) Develop metrics to support the estimation of VDC engineering.

2) Benchmark current VDC engineering practices and performance.

3) Develop metrics to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness.

We have received positive responses from companies participating in the pilot phase. One VDC manager commented, “I value the method of monitoring work tasks and its clarity. It helps me see how I allocate my time, such as creating shop drawings or attending meetings. I am eager to implement this approach with my engineering team.”

Why Is Your Participation Valuable?

1) Your involvement is essential to advancing VDC practices across the industry.

2) You and your company will be exposed to the latest findings and methodologies in VDC.

What Does Participation Involve?

Participation involves providing data on how your employees allocate their time among VDC activities, categorized into four types: modeling, management & coordination (internal and external), and fabrication support. This will be based on a schema developed by our research team, encompassing over twenty distinct activities, each defined to avoid overlap and ensure accurate time tracking. The data collection process will last a year, starting in February 2024. During the pilot study, participants stated that it took less than 15 minutes per day to participate in the time-tracking tasks.

How To Participate?

Fill out the consent form by clicking HERE. The University of Washington research team will then send information about creating accounts and participating in the data collection. The time study utilizes the Clockify platform and Microsoft Forms, thus requiring you to set up an account and submit the necessary forms. The research team at the University of Washington is available to assist in guiding you through this process.

Your participation will be instrumental in shaping the future of VDC practices and research. Your perspective is critical, and we look forward to the possibility of collaborating with your company on this exciting project.

Thank you for considering this invitation!

Best Regards,

Guy Gast, Chair
New Horizons Foundation

UW VDC Time Study Research Team:
Dr. Carrie Sturts Dossick, P.E., Professor
Dr. Lingzi Wu, P. Eng., Assistant Professor
Ori Borjigin, PhD Student