3 Projects Winter Construction Drove with Integrated Construction Technology

March 5, 2018 Kristen Sylva

Winter Construction is an award-winning commercial construction company with a reputation for pushing the boundaries of innovation in construction. By integrating construction technology that improves project management, Winter is able to consistently deliver a great experience and quality projects for its clients.

Winter Construction’s leadership believes that the future of construction lies in embracing advanced technologies and integrating them into the construction process to improve decision-making, decrease costs, increase speed, and enhance the overall experience of stakeholders and the quality of the finished product.

As a result of their reputation for managing complex, innovative projects, Winter has been engaged on many unique projects. Three recent examples include:

  1. Solís Two Porsche Drive
  2. The AC / Moxy Hotel by Marriott
  3. Zoo Atlanta Grand New View


1. Solís Two Porsche Drive


Photography Provided by Winter Construction


Solís Two Porsche Drive is a $40 million, 8-story building with 214 guest rooms and signature suites. The unique hotel offers refined restaurants, bars, and 6,500 square feet of event space that includes a 3,600 square-foot ballroom. Glass, aluminum, and metal panels define the hotel’s exterior appearance, a tribute to its sleek and inviting Porsche aesthetic. The rooftop provides a view of the Porsche driving track, as well as landings and takeoffs at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


Project Challenges:

Solís Two Porsche Drive is located immediately adjacent to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world serving more than one hundred million passengers last year. The site is also right across the street from the US headquarters of Porsche.

In addition, starting with the geotechnical site work, the project team needed to understand what structural elements existed below grade due to the site originally being home to the Atlanta Assembly, an automobile factory. With the help of ground-penetrating radar, Winter located the abandoned foundations and evaluated how it might affect the new structure and utilities.

Finally, the nearby airport runways restricted the use of drones to aid in pre-planning and limited the height of equipment that could be used during construction. Challenges Winter overcame with extensive pre-planning and innovative technologies.


Building in a VR Environment:

“As a design-build project, Solís Two Porsche Drive required services of Winter that are not normally tasked to general contractors. Winter leveraged Virtual Reality (VR) technology to provide visibility that helped the client and designers see the impact of key design decisions and visualize a range of options.”


Winter’s efforts included site lighting analysis, material renderings, sun studies, and high-end visual renderings of both the interior and exterior of the building. Additionally, Winter delivered 360-degree panoramic VR environments giving the client multiple visual perspectives including views from the street, the vehicle entrance approach, and the panoramic view from the rooftop lounge that overlooks the Porsche track and the airport runways. The use of technology allowed the client to visualize the details of the built environment, enabling better communication between Winter and their customer.

Construction-Technology-Solis-2Exterior Rendering by Winter Construction, Model by HOK Architects


How Winter Delivered a Superior Experience:

To ensure a positive experience for all stakeholders, Winter established a BIM execution plan (BEP) and general goals for each stage of the Solís Two Porsche Drive project.

Nearly one thousand coordination items were identified, logged, reviewed, and resolved by design partners; including simple issues such as pipe shifts and complex items like system rerouting and overhauls. These collaborative constructability reviews ensured that issues were resolved before they reached the field. To review and verify MEP-FP field installation, Winter Construction overlaid laser scan data with the coordination model to analyze discrepancies in a process Winter refers to as Construction Verification.

Construction-Technology-3D-RenderWinter Construction Coordination Model

During construction, all documentation was handled in the cloud. The flexibility of these systems allowed Winter to provide specific access to each team member, as well as providing a historical record of uploads and changes to documents. Cloud document management tools helped Winter Construction keep the team and dozens of subcontractors up to date on the latest drawings and design changes.

 This approach to construction document management, combined with continuous communication and transparency with the client, contributed to a successful project and a smooth hand-off.

Cloud document management tools helped Winter keep dozens of subcontractors up to date on the latest drawings and design changes.


2. The AC/Moxy Hotel by Marriott


Project Rendering Provided by Cooper Carry

The AC/Moxy Hotel by Marriott is a $52 million, dual-branded boutique hotel located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. The 300,000 square foot, 12-story building will feature 283 guest rooms, 300 parking spots, a pool, and a pool bar with an outdoor kitchen available for guests to use.


Project Challenges:

David Epps, Director of Construction Technology at Winter, describes the AC Hotel/Moxy Hotel by Marriott project as the “perfect storm for collaboration and use of Autodesk tools and related construction technology.” The project was unique from the beginning because of its location in Midtown Atlanta on an extremely tight site surrounded by high-rise buildings and busy metropolitan streets. A 14-foot elevation change from front to back and very little laydown area created logistical challenges requiring extremely precise planning to maximize the use of the compact space.

“This project is the ‘perfect storm’ for collaboration and use of Autodesk tools and related Construction Technology.”



How Winter is Delivering a Superior Experience:

Winter began the AC/Moxy project by flying its drones for photogrammetry and orthomosaic imagery creation. The use of this technology helped Winter Construction with site planning, analysis, and early coordination via orthographic overlays of underground systems.

Construction-Technology-DroneWinter Construction Drone & Orthomosaic Underground Coordination


The Winter team also laser scanned and captured 4K video of all existing conditions around the site to document any existing damage to adjacent buildings, so as to avoid future issues with neighboring building owners.

In addition, Winter Construction laser scanned the existing site, adjacent buildings, and road systems to help begin underground utility coordination against true as-built conditions of the site.

Construction-Technology-3D-Render-2Winter Construction Underground Coordination Via Laser Scanning


Winter continued leveraging its in-house capabilities to laser scan before slab pours, collecting as-built locations of rebar, post tension cables, embeds, and in-slab MEP. The laser scan data also enabled the team to take coordination and clash detection to the next level through construction verification. By overlaying the installed location of structure and MEP systems, the team could ensure that on-site installation matched the intended locations agreed upon during the coordination workflow. This helps avoid potential issues from arising when ‘field coordination’ does not match the coordinated model.

Construction-Technology-MosaicWinter Construction Laser Scanning & Construction Verification Via the Building Information Model


During preconstruction, Winter used a combination of authoring tools, and generative design to produce drawings and models as well as cloud worksharing solutions to coordinate communication among stakeholders. Compared to the traditional “value engineering” approach, this allowed the team to work closely with owners, architects, and subcontractors to produce site-ready designs and provide a positive experience for the clients.

Construction-Technology-Basic-WallWinter Construction BIM 360 Team Model Comparison

The Winter team simulated multiple iterations of structural sequences at various stages of the project to find the most efficient workflows. Laser scanning, along with simulation and design planning software,  was used define the best crane type and location and develop a contextual model for the project.

To manage coordination efforts, Winter used the combination of Autodesk Navisworks and BIM 360 Glue in order to identify potential clashes and other problems during preconstruction, thus avoiding countless potential installation and scheduling issues before they could negatively impact the job.

Construction-Technology-3D-Render-3Winter Construction Coordination Model


The integrated use of these technologies dramatically reduced the amount of paperwork around the jobsite, while increasing the speed of communication and coordination. BIM 360 Docs and 360 Field handle the file management and punchlist / quality control processes, and allow the tracking of shipment, delivery, installation, and quality control (QC) of specific scopes of work on an iPad. The technology enables superintendents and subcontractors to walk the site and use Winter Construction’s Digital Waypoint workflow to quickly sync their location for efficient use of Augmented Reality (AR) on the jobsite.

The integrated use of [BIM 360 and other technologies] dramatically reduced the amount of paperwork around the jobsite, while increasing the speed of communication and coordination.

Winter’s high tech approach to the “perfect storm” project has helped avoid countless dollars in potential added cost, while reducing mistakes, rework, and change orders, and accelerating project delivery.

The AC Hotel/Moxy Hotel by Marriott project has allowed Winter to push the boundaries of collaborative Construction Technology applications and expand their use of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Laser Scanning, Drones, and other technologies to improve quality and speed, and reduce cost.


3. Zoo Atlanta Grand New View


Rendering by Winter Construction

Winter Construction will dramatically expand Zoo Atlanta’s habitat for elephants and other African wildlife, including the construction of a new elephant barn and seven-acre expansion of the African Savanna exhibit. The barn will include living quarters for the elephants and administrative offices for the staff members.

Winter will also renovate the 100-year-old marble and granite building that formerly housed the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum, now a part of Zoo Atlanta. This entire renovation and expansion is known as the Grand New View.

The former Cyclorama building will retain its façade, but the interior will be completely renovated to serve as office spaces, terraces, commercial kitchen, and an event space called Savanna Hall. This one-of-a-kind space will treat guests to an overlook of the new elephant exhibit area.

Adjacent to Zoo Atlanta is the Grant Park Gateway Project, a development that will bring a much needed parking structure to Grant Park. The new structure will blend in to the park surroundings thanks to a significant grade change that allows the deck to be hidden from the street-side view. While still in the early stages, these upgrades would serve both the Zoo and surrounding community with parking, as well as unique design and entertainment features including restaurants, fountains, and a living green roof.


Project Challenges:

Every project brings its share of unique challenges. While capturing as-built conditions with drones, Winter had the additional challenge of scheduling flights around feeding schedules and some of the taller Zoo Atlanta residents, namely the giraffes. Relocation of several animals during the construction was necessary for the expansion and led to additional logistical challenges. With three separate structures and expansive open areas to consider, Winter developed a full Four-Dimensional (4D) Simulation tied to the project schedule. This information, along with a comprehensive Underground 3D Coordination for utilities, has allowed the team to plan the most efficient and issue-free schedule for the project.

Construction-Technology-3D-Render-4Winter Construction Laser Scan Coordination With Underground Utilities

“Leveraging drone and laser scan data, along with existing and future underground utility models, allowed our teams to develop a comprehensive 4D Simulation of true as-built existing information tied to our project schedule and ultimately ensure our project plan and sequence would be successful.”


Even in its preliminary construction phase, the use of Construction Technology has already proven to be a valuable asset to Winter and Zoo Atlanta. Autodesk looks forward to following Winter Construction through the process and sharing other great stories of innovation as the project evolves.

These three projects, and countless others like them, demonstrate Winter’s commitment to innovation and excellence. Find out more about how you can use the latest in Construction Technology to take your company to the next level.



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