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Essex County Court Complex

New State-of-the-Art facilities, including this grand two-story addition with its two-storey entrance, modern petit-jury room on the first floor of the Veterans Courthouse (VCH) is being constructed on the South side of the Veterans Court House that will provide direct access to the complex are among the improvements taking place that will no doubt make the Essex Court Complex one of the most safe, efficient and accessible in the State of New Jersey. The 24,000-square-foot facility provides residents who are serving their civic duty with improved access, comfortable conditions and modern accommodations.

"All the improvements we are making - the jury room, new entranceway, parking garage and park plaza - are designed to improve access, and make our buildings safer and easier to navigate,” said Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., Essex County Executive. "This much needed space is being developed at a reduced cost to our taxpayers because we are utilizing funds forfeited by criminals who currently are serving time in jail to pay for a majority of the construction." The modernization of the county complex will cost approximately $33 million. All projects are scheduled to be finished by the summer of 2009.

BIM is:
Building virtually with accurately portrayed parts and assemblies enhanced with Information suitable for its end and incremental uses to create a Model managed, utilized, augmented, and exchanged by stakeholders through the project’s life cycle with the goal of adding value through predictive analysis, supply chain waste reduction, and facility operations.

Applying new technology to an established way of working can be a cumbersome process. The precast manufacturer for this project has rapidly succeeded with the implementation of a 3D BIM (Building Information Modeling) and detailing tool in their operations. Working together, the BIM software supplier and the precaster’s management team committed to a new way of working that brought them up to speed using the 3D software. After one year, 12 architectural precast projects have been designed and detailed with many more projects in the pipeline.

BIM software can increase competitiveness and cost savings for precast concrete manufacturers by offering a 3D modeling and detailing solution that can integrate the entire precast workflow from sales and conceptual design to manufacturing and erection.

The 3D model has the ability to design and create an intelligent building model of any size, material or complexity with ease and precision. The model contains all the information required for different aspects of a project, including erection drawings, piece tickets, bills of material, scheduling dates, rebar bending schedules, tracking information for detailing and production.

The Essex County Veterans Courthouse entrance structure is a small but complex job that contains both architectural and structural precast concrete panels. There are 42 24-inch thick sandwich wall panels. Some panels are 30 feet high with a complex rebar splicing system used to connect panels together at mid height. Panels have a light sandblast finish on the exterior. Panels weigh approximately 40,000 lbs each. All of the precast components were modeled using the 3D software.

All erection drawings, shop tickets and precast concrete sandwich wall panels were generated and completed within the 3D environment.

The project required a temporary steel support structure during the erection process to match and implement the complex erection sequence. The 3D software was used to model each part of the entrance structure. All erection drawings, piece tickets, reinforcing bars, connections and drawings were generated and completed within the 3D environment. The precast manufacturer also collaborated with other subcontractors using the steel temporary structure as a reference. The project included very complex connection systems and many drawings.

“We are very committed to using 3D software and it’s proving itself as a new way of working for many precast detailers. Projects modeled in 3D are now done as rapidly as with CAD, and this continues to improve.” – Guy Bouchard, Vice President and Chief Engineer at BPDL.

The temporary steel support structure of the Essex County Veterans Courthouse was modeled in 3D to help visualize how the temporary structure would support the precast components during erection. The modeling software had a direct impact on how the precaster could use the structural model to see how the precast would be supported. “This type of support system was necessary,” said Guy Bouchard, Vice President and Chief Engineer at BPDL. “Otherwise the building would not have been erectable.”

Projects modeled in 3D are now done as rapidly as with CAD – and this continues to improve. We have already seen a 50% reduction in errors and can now share our 3D models with anyone in the project team,” said Guy Bouchard. Today, BPDL has more than tripled their investment in Tekla Structures Precast Detailing licenses and are continuing to convert more of their large detailing group from the older 2D method to the more efficient 3D way of working.

Architect: Gregory Comito & Associates
Engineer: Morris Johnson & Associates Inc., Eatontown NJ
Contractor: Century 21 Construction
Precast Concrete: Bétons Préfabriqués du Lac
BIM 3D Software: TEKLA Structures
Rebar Splices: Splice Sleeve

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