Vela Systems, a developer of mobile field software for the AECO (architecture, engineering, contractor, and owner) industry, reports that Skanska USA Building is using Vela Systems’ mobile field software as part of the construction process of the new $998 million, 2.2 million-square-foot, open-air stadium at the Meadowlands in New Jersey that will serve as the home for both the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

Skanska is managing the design-build contract, using Vela Systems to track the roughly 3,000 RFID-tagged pre-cast concrete pieces that will form the seating bowl for the stadium. As the pieces move through the four phases of the production process, RFID information is fed into Tekla Structures—a building information management (BIM) solution from Tekla Corporation that covers the entire structural design process from conceptual design to detailing, fabrication, and construction. With this combination, Skanska is able to gain a view into the supply chain and can visualize the status of each piece of the project in the BIM system with up-to-date information from the field. The new Meadowlands Stadium is the first project in the United States to combine field software, tablet PCs, RFID, and BIM for integrated production management.

Skanska estimates this combined solution will accelerate the construction schedule by 10 days, which translates into $1 million in savings. This is possible because the more accurate, up-to-date production information allows for better understanding of the following:

  • what materials have been fabricated;
  • whether materials have passed quality assurance;
  • when materials have arrived on the jobsite; and
  • which materials have been incorporated into the structure.

The status of each of these queries is vividly apparent through the use of different colors in the Tekla 3D model of the structure, which adds a fourth dimension of information. In short, Skanska never has to ask whether pre-cast concrete components are ready for the following week’s work because the answer is always readily apparent on the computer screen.

Vela Systems is a developer of mobile software that streamlines field administration for the AECO industry. Vela Systems’ software, which has been used on more than 300 projects from Las Vegas to Dubai, replaces the notebooks and tubes of drawings traditionally used on construction sites with specialized software installed on rugged tablet PCs. Vela Systems puts entire file cabinets of documents that were formally stored in trailers at the fingertips of people in the field. Vela Systems’ modules accomplish specific tasks such as materials tracking, field reports, punch lists, and safety inspections, saving Vela’s customers at least 10 hours per week per user and accelerating project delivery by as much as two days per month.

Vela Systems fulfils the promise of RFID by combining it with a powerful field management software suite which enables AECO organizations to use the information conveyed by RFID tags. RFID is used like a "rugged bar code" to track individual pieces through the construction process. Unlike bar codes, RFID tags still function while covered in dirt and paint, and may be scanned even in direct sunlight.

"Skanska has previously delivered a number of successful design-build stadium projects, including Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., and Reliant Stadium in Houston," said David Campbell, vice principal at Skanska. "In our experience, close cooperation among all members of supply chain is an absolute necessity for success. By bringing Tekla’s BIM solution together with Vela Systems field software and RFID, Skanska has brought new efficiencies to production management on this project. Vela Systems’ mobile field software is the vital glue that binds this solution together."

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