Bill Klorman calls technology "an accelerator."
Khoi Pham Bill Klorman calls technology "an accelerator."

Bill Klorman has been said to be an advocate for building information modeling (BIM). But that’s not really the whole story. Klorman is an advocate for using technology tools to make his company the most efficient and productive construction company in the business and that just happens to include BIM. “Technology is an accelerator,” he says. “It’s the interaction of all the technology, the leveraging of the interaction among all the technology that makes us better.”

Klorman started his company as an 18-year-old with little construction background, although he’d always known it was what he wanted to do. His philosophy has always been to use the best tools at hand. “When I started out I had to be quicker or get eaten up,” he says. “It just seemed natural to track everything. And computers were the obvious choice.”

Today, he’s taken that farther than most construction companies and continues to look for advantages. Klorman Construction has its own internal technology center he calls Virtual Design & Construction (VDC). Even when still in the bid phase, they will model a project and use various visualizations to strategize the most efficient design and construction. “When we go into the prebid conference, we know the building better than anyone else and can present options,” he says, which often translates into projects won.

Once in the construction phase, the technology really takes over with 3-D models linked into the scheduling and into the cost data. Any changes are automatically communicated and the models updated. “The field guys have the new points within an hour, so there’s no delay,” Klorman says.

Using VDC, Klorman is able to fabricate his own rebar, preassemble it in his yard, and deliver it to the site for quick and simple erection; that goes for formwork as well. “As a union company, labor is critical,” he says. “If I can get 18 square feet of wall instead of 15, then I’ve saved a lot.”

For helping contractors see the value of technology tools, Klorman is one of this year’s Most Influential People.