Page 1



“To visually illustrate the concrete wall pour schedule to the subcontractors, I imported a shop drawing PDF into Google SketchUp, created a model off of it, and then imported the 3D SketchUp model and the Oracle Primavera P6 schedule into Synchro where the model and schedule were merged to create the 4D schedule. Stepping through the 4D schedule live in Synchro made for a very effective discussion for the wall pour sequencing. We were all able to visually walk through it and thoroughly understand the sequencing. The 4D Synchro schedule was also shown to the owner and they were very impressed with the clarity and understanding it brought to the schedule.” --Steve Szoke, Regional Scheduling Executive – Western Regional Office, Gilbane Building Company

Google SketchUp Converts Plans from 2D to 3D Model

Schedule with Primavera P6

Synchro’s 4D BIM Model Synchronized with Schedule

OVERVIEW Maricopa County is an engine of growth of one of the fastest growing states in the nation -- Arizona. Maricopa County has 9,200 square miles within its borders with a widely dispersed population. During the 1990’s, the population of Maricopa County grew by 45%. The 2000 census showed that Maricopa County was home to just over 3 million people. By 2015, that number is projected to exceed 4.7 million. The master plan is an opportunity for the court to balance the following goals:      

Better serve the residents of Maricopa County Improve operational efficiency in the Trial Courts of Maricopa County Make use of existing court facilities, where appropriate Identify and recommend options for the development of new court facilities Identify costs and schedules associated with the renovation and construction of new courts Meet projected growth requirements for court facilities to the year 2015.

Since the entire Maricopa County Downtown Court Tower project has been completely modeled in BIM, it was natural for Gilbane to transform 2D shop drawings into 3D models using Google SketchUp. Merging the Oracle Primavera P6 schedule with the 3D Google SketchUp model objects to attain true 4D schedule through Synchro Professional has been highly effective in optimizing the construction sequencing.

THE CLIENT Maricopa County, Arizona

THE CONTRACTOR Gilbane Inc., one of the largest privately held family-owned companies in the construction and real estate industry, is committed to providing complete facility solutions to clients. Gilbane is one of the nation’s oldest builders. The company was founded in 1873 by William Gilbane and his brother Thomas as a family-run carpentry and general contracting shop in Providence, Rhode Island. Originally known as William Gilbane and Brother, the firm quickly developed a reputation for quality, and for building some of the finest homes in Providence. New projects soon followed, including churches, hospitals and other public buildings that are still in use today. In the early 1900s, William H. Gilbane took control of the company and steered it through the lean times of the Great Depression. In the 1930s, his sons Thomas and William joined the company and made Gilbane’s reputation as a pioneer in construction management — first with major defense projects during World War II, and then with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which opened on time and budget in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 1976. In 1970 Gilbane expanded its services and formed the development unit now known as Gilbane Development Company.

2 Today, fourth-generation members of the family lead the company, which has annual revenues of more than $2.5 billion and more than 25 offices across the United States.

SPECIFICATION To meet the needs of such a rapidly growing community, Maricopa County is constructing a new 690,000-square-foot county courthouse tower with 16 levels in downtown Phoenix. Gilbane Building Company is working over a two-year project window with many stakeholders for completion in March 2012. The smart-building ultimately will be highly sustainable and both energy- and water-efficient as a courthouse designed to withstand the tests of time. Despite the new construction, the traditional design, columns and materials will blend with the historic buildings that exist on the Maricopa County campus. The finished courthouse will house approximately 1,000 in the jury assembly area and offer 22 courtrooms of diverse size with the ability to expand to 32 courtrooms downstream. The project team will seek LEED® certification for this courthouse project. Gilbane wanted to further leverage the BIM model being utilized on the project to better communicate the project scheduling to subcontractors and stakeholders than traditionally allowed by 2D plans. Gilbane instigated 4D BIM via Synchro to enable this desire to assist all project participants in truly understanding the sequencing of concrete pours and also plans to use Synchro’s technology for 4D BIM structural steel schedule.


Synchro Professional Construction modeling consulting Technical back-up Responsive client service

THE OUTCOME Gilbane captured the added value of 4D BIM for delivery for Maricopa County:     

Synchro provided the subcontractors with a shared, common view of the concrete pour sequencing and helped them all to visualize and adjust to establish optimum pour sequencing. Gilbane used Google SketchUp to build their model from 2D shop drawings to 3D and then used P6 and Synchro to schedule the model in 4D for the concrete pours. Synchro’s functionality helped identify problems in the sequencing and enabled the team to make changes on the fly. Gilbane will use Synchro at a tactical level from 2D to 3D and 4D in sequencing the structural steel and slab deck pours. Synchro enabled the delivery team to communicate better both to the subcontractors and the owner.

“Synchro has been effective for making changes on the fly live with subcontractors,” said Steve Szoke. “I am also putting together other Synchro 4D schedules for the steel sequencing and the slab deck pours that will further assist us in making this a very successful project.”

TEST DRIVE. To experience the power of Synchro, take our 10 day, risk-free, test drive at If you have questions or would like to receive a demo to learn more, please contact us at: Synchro Ltd Design Hub 2.3 Coventry University Technology Park Swift Road, Coventry CV1 2TT

Online: t: +44 (0) 2476 792209

Gilbane Case Study  

Gilbane Case Study