Leo Fernandez has a vision for what the architecture field can look like. A vision for more accurate building models and more streamlined asset management.
He sees a future where stringent U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requirements are commonplace practices for designing any facility.
“When you compare DoD requirements to normal industry standards, the DoD requirements are the most difficult to achieve,” Fernandez said. “But there are a lot of benefits to those requirements, and I believe you’ll see those processes trickle down to every project.”
Fernandez joined RS&H as an Aerospace & Defense Production Technology Leader in June. He studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and has been using building information modeling (BIM) technology for over 11 years to complete a wide range of architectural projects. He’s designed everything from schools and office buildings to large military facilities for the DoD – the Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Air Force, Air National Guard and NASA – and other government agencies.
Fernandez has lectured on the use of BIM at industry conferences and national events both in the U.S. and the Caribbean. He is also an industry member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Industry BIM Consortium. Since 2015, he has been teaching BIM to future design professionals at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
At RS&H, he is responsible for the implementation of BIM development and progression company-wide, including technology, standards, execution strategies, quality control protocols, training manuals, and coursework.
“We build models of how everything will be built on site,” Fernandez said. “There will come a time when we are not selling plans anymore. We will be selling a 3D representation of what will be built on site.”
That includes all assets a property may have. Asset management is a priority for government properties. Assets are anything that requires maintenance or replacement, including appliances, building systems, equipment and technology.
The DoD uses geolocating to keep track of its assets, which is a tool architects can employ on any project. By mapping out the exact coordinates for each plane and the elevation of the building site, input can be gained on every corner of the building. Robots can extract those coordinates and automatically draw the entire floor plan on the concrete slab.
When this technology is utilized, “The contractor knows exactly where to put everything – walls, plumbing, electric, even furniture,” Fernandez explained. “Everything is completely precise.”
When this technology is utilized, “The contractor knows exactly where to put everything – walls, plumbing, systems, even furniture,” Fernandez explained. “Everything is completely precise.”
Precision is the goal for Fernandez, who sees that the industry still has room for improvement.
“There is a steep learning curve, and it will take time,” Fernandez said. “But the result will be more accurate, precise work and a wide range of new business opportunities.”
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