Pizá International has its own methodology based on U.S. practices, virtual construction and the international standards of the CMAA.
Pizá International, a company founded by Tijuana native Damián Pizá, was awarded by the Construction Management Association of America and the Engineering News Record for its methodology applied to the Torre Médica Otay project, becoming the first Mexican company to be recognized by these prestigious U.S. organizations.
To speak of “The Best of the Best” in global construction project management and administration is to speak of Pizá International. On August 22, the Mexican company was awarded the “2022 Project Achievement Award”: the most prestigious award in the industry granted by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), and the “2022 Award of Excellence”: an award granted by the renowned construction industry magazine Engineering News Record (ENR).
The firm, created in 2009 by Tijuana engineer Damián Pizá, was awarded for the application of its methodology in the Otay Medical Tower project, located in the city of Tijuana, Baja California, for its: excellence in innovation and application of technologies such as BIM, virtual reality, virtual construction, analytical intelligence, among others, and innovative processes that generated substantial benefits in time and cost, as well as a great improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of communication, coordination, collaboration and control of the project.
After receiving this award, we had the opportunity to talk with Damián about his services in this project, the present of Pizá International, his work methodology and more. What follows is the interesting and enjoyable conversation we had with him from San Diego Red.
– Damián, first of all, congratulations for the recognition obtained by the Construction Management Association of America and the Engineering News Record. How does it feel to be the first Mexican company awarded by these American organizations?
– It is an immense joy, an incredible honor, that we have been honored with the most prestigious awards in the global industry. That we share the podium with other firms and companies that we have admired such as HILL, JACOBS, AECOM, STV, DITESCO, TURNER, and we only dreamed of being at that level of service. These awards mean the world to us because they confirm that, despite the great challenges, we are on the right track. One of our objectives, since we started this venture 12 years ago, was to change and improve the way we coordinate and lead construction projects, and being the first company in Mexico to receive an award from the authorities in this discipline confirms that we can and must do it. We are committed to continue on our path towards continuous improvement, to promote the changes we have made in order to trace and continue opening the way to innovation, “to change”, to technologies, to a new way of collaboration and project management.
– The project with which you were awarded is Torre Médica Otay, located in Tijuana. What can you tell us about it?
– The Otay Medical Tower is a LOMA Desarrollos project, with an exceptional design by RDLP Arquitectos. The methodology we apply is based on Virtual Construction: a methodology that virtually replicates and provides visibility to each element and construction process in all stages of the project through emerging technologies such as: BIM (Building Information Modeling), VDC (Virtual Design and Construction), BI (Business Intelligence), PM Software, scanner, drones, etc., in such a way that results in a digital twin that gives complete visibility to the risks and value we can add long before starting construction. Through these
In this way, we are able to identify, analyze, eliminate or assess areas of opportunity and substantially improve the project. It is worth mentioning that in a typical project we can identify more than 1000 risks, which without this technology would only become apparent during the construction stage, creating cost overruns and significant delays. Visualization makes it possible for there to be greater collaboration, and the greater the collaboration, the greater the success of the projects.
– For Damián Pizá, what are the main benefits of implementing technology and innovation in architecture?
– For me it is to be at the forefront, to be ahead of the curve in process innovation to improve the construction management service. It is also of great satisfaction for me to provide this knowledge to our work colleagues; they usually come from a “traditional” methodology and they get very excited when they see that we do not use paper in the offices or that we do not use Excel or Dropbox, but that we do everything with a digital model of the construction, with software that they never had the opportunity to use in other companies. Seeing how they make reports with their cell phone in their hand nurtures their careers and that is a great satisfaction for me. Sharing knowledge and raising the value of their profession is the ultimate.
– To date, what has been the biggest challenge in your professional career?
– The reason I started the company is because I want to make a change, a 180-degree change that I believe the Construction Project Management industry requires. I am very clear about what and how to do it, but at the time of convincing clients I have come across reinforced, prestressed and post-tensioned walls. We have been growing and maturing our processes for 12 years, researching, training, certifications, pilot programs, working for free in some projects, trial and error in software, going to conferences, everything to change traditional methodologies towards an improvement, however, changing or convincing other people who have been doing the same thing for decades is very very difficult. Even with hard and historical data on the results of traditional methodologies, we are still doing the same thing in the industry. There will be exceptions, but in the vast majority of cases the results have not been good. By the above I do not mean to say that our methodology is the best or is the silver bullet, we still have a lot to learn. But I do believe that it is the right path towards improvement, and the more companies, clients and projects we do in a Collaborative way, with Methodologies and Technologies, we will substantially improve the profession and, consequently, the construction projects.
Collaboration, Methodology and Technology, the three edges of Pizá International to change the traditional modalities.
Pizá International has its own methodology based on U.S. practices, virtual construction and the international standards of the CMAA. It has raised the industry standard by being able to anticipate and eliminate risks, forecast and resolve issues in advance, while creating value opportunities through visualization, collaboration and technology-driven processes, providing greater certainty in all aspects of the project.
“We are believers that methodologies belong to each company; a product of its own vision, mission, culture, leadership and experience. Our methodology (Pizá Method) is a product of the above with a lot of influence from U.S. practices, CMAA standards and Virtual Construction processes,” says the engineer.
When asked what differentiates Pizá International from other companies dedicated to Construction Project Management, the Tijuana native says that, before generating a difference, what they want is to generate a better standard of service.
For the moment we do not compete against other companies, the projects in which we participate are direct assignments, by substitution or because they know our work, however, I can tell you that a large part of this level of service refers to something we call CO.ME.TA and consists of 3 important changes: 1) Collaboration: Which is simply the basis for the success of a project. With the visualization that technologies offer, collaboration increases substantially as well as its success. 2) Methodology: Which is the way of directing and managing projects; including cost, time, quality, organization, communication, as well as site safety. Today, by means of technologies, we can identify risk areas and improve construction processes through better planning and execution, involving specialists remotely or in person, such as contractors, operating contractors, the developer, specialists such as geologists, DRO, structural engineers, suppliers, etc. 3) Technology: As a result, we save more than 8% in cost.
For Damián Pizá, talking about Technologies and Collaboration is a positive change to traditional methodologies. “We have to take into account that collaboration is essential, although it is the most difficult thing to obtain. Most project participants equate ‘teamwork’ with ‘collaboration’. The truth is that collaboration goes much further than teamwork; it is about helping, supporting, motivating, training and teaching to reach the goal, sometimes this means increasing the budget, sometimes it is working twice as hard, sometimes it is doing the work of others, but it is never pointing fingers, blaming, lashing out or intimidating,” he concludes.
It is worth noting that for the past five years, Engineer Pizá has been contributing to academic programs with Tecnológico de Monterrey, bringing his experience to each generation of Architects and Civil Engineers in the new trends and technologies that are used globally.
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