On Thursday, April 16, Draper Aden Associates and the AGCVA Richmond District Young Construction Leaders hosted a Young Professionals Open House. At the Open House, DAA employees held demonstrations for several disciplines and then hosted a social happy hour which allowed young professionals and industry leaders to mingle in a more relaxed environment. Below is an in-depth look at what attendees saw and learned at the event:
At the Geotech Lab, Rob Link, Justin Cornwell, and Lindsay Weiford (all DAA-Richmond) introduced attendees to the soils testing center. Rob showed the group the variety of soil and core samples that come into our labs and the ways we collect them. To show how we test the strength of our concrete samples, the group was shown a concrete core smashed in our Concrete Compression Machine. Next, Lindsay led them into our soils laboratory to view the various tests we do on all the samples. Attendees were given an up close and personal look at the permeameter, proctor hammer, and pressure transducer used in the lab, and then Justin closed out the station by displaying our sports turf samples and explaining the benefits of each one.
Virtual Construction Presentation
For the Virtual Construction presentation, attendees were introduced to how scanning and BIM can give owners a complete view of their site. Bob Bonk and Dave Spriggs (both DAA-Richmond) spoke to the time and money saving aspects of point cloud technology. “A project that would have taken at least a week to plot out took only eight hours with this method,” said Bob when discussing our work at the Main Street Station multimodal transportation facility in Richmond, Virginia. Owners and contractors can be confident because the results are a true to life picture of their location. “Everyone slept that night,” commented Bob, “because they were confident in the scan.”
Walking up to the Outdoor Demo, attendees were surrounded by the tools that our SUE and Survey team use every day. Greg White, Jason McNew, and Danny Andrews (all DAA-Richmond) gave a hands-on demonstration marker balls, GPS units, our vacuum truck, and more. Greg shared stories of how conventional methods to find leaking gas lines are ineffective in large-scale disasters like Hurricane Katrina, whereas new technologies like strategically placed marker balls are able to work-around adverse conditions. Everyone then gathered around Jason to view the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in action as he showed how precise it is at finding underground utilities. When showed the difference with and without it one member remarked, “you might as well just be guessing without it”.
At the Survey Center station, Bebo Young and Mike Ingram (both DAA-Richmond) introduced attendees to GPS mapping and its uses in the field. Bebo used a Trimble GPS unit to map points with the group right outside of our office. He then explained how these readings can be used to map out a whole site for a survey crew or even in some cases where dirt work is needed. Mike finished up the demonstration by explaining that the points gathered from the GPS help the machines know how far to dig and are thus even more accurate than the classically used stakes.
All-in-all, the AGC Young Professionals Open House was a success with over fifty attendees. As Taylor Brannan, Vice President of F. Richard Wilton, Jr., Inc. Contractor summed it up, “It was interesting and informative and was exactly the type of event this group needs.” With an eye to the future of young contractors in Virginia, we’re looking forward to hosting more of these events with ACGVA!