Hourigan Intern To Lead Independent Study at VT and Contribute to Measurement Period of the Center

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Zhulin Wang

Zhulin Wang

Every summer Hourigan hires interns to work both in the office and in the field to give them a taste of what to expect in the “real world” of the construction industry. This summer we were fortunate enough to have Zhulin Wang join us. Zhulin is a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech in the Building Construction department. As part of her studies, research topics include Building Informational Modeling and the integration of facility management and maintenance information.

Summer Internship Involvement

During the internship, Zhulin worked on integrating a BIManywhere application to help facilitate Hourigan’s final turnover package for the Brock Environmental Center. The highlights of the software project included paperless, one-click access to obtain location and product information for materials and equipment that are installed underground, in walls and above ceilings. In addition, information including all RFI’s, submittals, drawings and specs, is cloud-based and can be accessed through the 3D BIM model on an iPad in the field.

Independent Study Course at Virginia Tech

In continuation with the relationship that Hourigan has established with Virginia Tech through two prior semesters of coursework for undergraduate and graduate students involving the Brock Environmental Center, Zhulin is going to be leading an independent study course of six graduate students this fall. The class will focus on the development and implementation of a Building Information Model, which will allow CBF to optimally manage their facility for the measurement period of the Living Building Challenge and beyond.

The students will consider the lifecycle of the building as well as the regular maintenance aspects of a complex and environmentally friendly facility. They’ll build the custom tools to ensure optimal end-user function and address a concept of “building management in a Google society;” or data accessibility at the user’s fingertips. Over the course of the fall semester Zhulin’s class will work to gain an understanding of the progress to date, what systems are installed within the building, and what the typical construction turnover process looks like. Their task will then be to flip the process, adjusting to define and develop a useable facility maintenance product that will best suit this client’s needs.

The Owner (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) will experience many benefits from the product developed in the class including:

  • Quicker understanding of the building systems at turnover
  • Faster access to project information
  • Ability to query data and documents associated with building elements
  • Capability to access plans, specs, product data, shop drawings, O&M manuals, warranty information, and installation pictures all from a single source
  • Mobile application and use on the fly
  • Reduced time to find resources for the management of the facility
  • Organized and structured pieces of information that lead the user directly to the required source

Maintaining a highly sustainable building with multifaceted systems, like the Brock Environmental Center, will not be without its challenges. However, with the work from Zhulin’s internship and from this semester’s class, the Owner will have the tools to to maintain a net-zero energy and water facility.

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