Company reduced more than 50% of owner-driven changes resulting in savings of over 2% of initial project budget
“The Trimble XR10 is very user-friendly, deployment is fast and the integration with the design models is efficient and seamless,” said Jorge Monge Viquez, general manager at MERIDIA. “Now, we can ensure that all projects have a single source of truth and strong coordination among all key players teams using Trimble Connect and ProjectSight.”
Founded in 2008, MERIDIA is a project management and engineering firm based in San Jose, Costa Rica with a portfolio of over 90 projects that have been implemented over a wide range of construction and real estate developments. The company serves clients within the Latin American region as well as the Caribbean and internationally.
MERIDIA’s goal is to continue growing its virtual design and construction capabilities, promoting best practices in design and project execution, and driving the use of technologies that facilitate these processes and allow for the more efficient use of resources.
The Only Constant in Construction is Change
Jorge Monge Viquez, general manager at MERIDIA, has been in the engineering and project management business long enough to know that every construction project changes as more information becomes readily available and that when changes occur late in the process, there is always a risk of rework, inefficiencies and loss of resources, which can be costly. He wanted to be able identify and address project changes as early as possible to ensure that all resources were used efficiently and that project investments were optimized.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic forced all borders to close, which meant many critical overseas stakeholders were forced to cancel essential trips to project sites. Monge needed a way to keep his projects moving while also providing his clients with enough detailed information to make informed project decisions. .
MERIDIA’s clients mainly relied on project renderings and images to provide a sense of the space, with typical 2D drawings. Viquez knew the time had come to research mixed reality solutions as a way to visualize projects and bridge the physical distance between project stakeholders.
Mixed Reality In Action
Monge was familiar with Microsoft and Trimble’s mixed reality technology for the construction industry, which brings models out of the screen and provides users the ability to visualize and interact with design data more intuitively. He decided to purchase the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2, which comes integrated with Trimble Connect for HoloLens software, a cloud platform enabling stakeholders across a project to coordinate all of their different types of design files together in a common location. He also selected Trimble’s ProjectSight project management software to help manage all of the company’s projects from a single source of collaboration and information.
Monge immediately began using Trimble’s technology on the following projects.
- Edwards Lifesciences, the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, has a plant in Costa Rica where they produce many of their most critical and sensitive products. The company needed to expand its production capabilities in clean rooms and hired MERIDIA to design a new 20,000 square foot facility within 18 months.
- The agency responsible for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Costa Rica, CINDE, selected MERIDIA to help build its new 10,000 square foot corporate office within a 10 month time frame.
- A large tech company establishing its Latin American headquarters in San José, Costa Rica, invited MERIDIA to lead the effort to develop a 150,000 square foot office space for over 1,300 employees within 24 months.
On all of these projects, MERIDIA deployed the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2, as well as Trimble Connect and ProjectSight. As a result, they have seen increased customer engagement and efficiency, and a reduction in the amount of design changes during the construction phase, saving both time and cost.
Visualization of the Model in Real Time
“The Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2 provided our clients with the ability to ‘walk their own project’ and visualize their designs and drawings in 3D while on the job site or from a remote location,” said Monge. “This allowed them to make important design decisions when they mattered the most.”
The mixed reality technology also helped MERIDIA overcome the COVID-19 travel restrictions by using the Trimble XR10 with clients to help them visualize the progress of their project and to align with all stakeholders on any design adjustments or changes from remote locations.
“Managing a multi-million dollar project from overseas has now become possible by using the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2,” said Gul Dusi, former global real estate director at Edwards Lifesciences.
MERIDIA can now more easily facilitate owner-driven changes, especially on projects where clients are looking for a team of subject matter experts in different areas to provide the best solution within the constraints available. MERIDIA was able to give its clients the tools to show them their space and obtain valuable feedback that guided the design process. As a result, important decisions were made that would have normally either affected the operations of the space or implied a change order due to the rework required on later stages.
"The use of the Trimble XR10 as a mixed reality tool for our project development has been a major asset. We were able to assess several design aspects in the early stages of a project, including some space sizing and traffic areas. It provided a vivid framework for decision making at the right time, which enabled us to save on further construction adjustment costs at later stages of our project," said Karin Lachner, project sponsor and head of marketing and communication at CINDE.
By using the mixed reality capabilities of the Trimble XR10 for HoloLens 2, along with Trimble Connect and ProjectSight, MERIDIA was able to:
- Win repeat business with clients.
- Eliminate more than 50% of owner-driven changes during construction, which has provided savings of over 2% of the initial project budget.
- Avoid the need to do real-size mock-ups that typically cost over $10,000.
- Reduce the need for corporate travel of decision makers and stakeholders, accounting for over $18,000 per person per year.
- Reduce the need for onsite presence and joint face-to-face meetings, thereby also reducing health risks among team members and avoiding work-stop orders on their construction sites.
“The Trimble XR10 is very user-friendly, deployment is fast and the integration with the design models is efficient and seamless,” said Monge. “Now, we can ensure that all projects have a single source of truth and strong coordination among all key players teams using Trimble Connect and ProjectSight.”
In the future, MERIDIA plans to continue using Trimble’s mixed reality technology for all major decision milestones and for reporting workflows, especially with global owners.