The home building market is ripe for an innovation revolution, and CG Visions in Lafayette, Indiana, is poised to take advantage of it.
The four partners of CG Visions all graduated from the computer graphics technology program in Purdue's College of Technology: (pictured, left to right) Scott Schultz ‘98, director of media, HR and IT, David Bozell ’96, president; Tim Beckman ‘01, director of business development; and Cory Shively ‘99, director of production operations. Bozell founded the company while serving as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology specializing in a fairly new area of construction graphics: building information modeling (BIM).
After making a presentation on BIM at the National Homebuilders Show in Atlanta in the late 1990s, Bozell was asked by a builder if he could assist with a project. With that one request, Bozell had his first client and CG Visions started its 15-year journey to become an international leader in BIM for residential home builders.
The company’s focus on offering technology solutions has made it a favorite of Constructech magazine, which most recently named CG Visions to its 2014 Constructech 50 list. The magazine describes the compilation as “a listing of the most influential technology providers targeting the construction industry.”
And right now, CG Visions’ target market is huge.
“Upwards of 80 percent of the residential home builder market has not been touched yet,” Bozell said. “They are going to have to start adding BIM systems to be competitive.”
In addition to its consulting and professional services, CG Visions recently added a software development arm. Its first major offering, BIM Pipeline, was also honored by Constructech as one of the top products for 2014. The product allows builders to link their existing 3D designs to a more dynamic and efficient estimating process.
In fact, the information captured by BIM could be the basis of so many tasks a residential home builder undertakes. The information can help create better cost and materials estimates, simulations, marketing information and construction documents, but only if the technology is wielded correctly.
Bozell and Beckman agreed that the College of Technology helped them understand the flexibility needed to stay up-to-date in a technology-rich field.
“We were able to create BIM Pipeline because we observed a large gap in the industry,” Beckman said. “We identified how technology, when applied correctly, could bridge that gap. The College of Technology is not all theory based. We learned how to apply technology to real-world problems to provide a solution. That has been a significant factor in the success of the company.”
Because so many of the 46 employees have Purdue Technology degrees, that mindset is also part of the of the company culture. Nineteen Purdue alumni work for CG Visions. Most earned degrees in computer graphics technology, and a smaller percentage come from building construction management and interior design. Bozell said most of the remaining employees are Ivy Tech Community College graduates.
“We take a lot of pride in the fact we are a technology-progressive company right here in Indiana. We are hiring high-tech personnel and keeping them right here in the state,” Bozell said.
CG Visions promises more software products will be released soon, all in the name of helping builders improve their own businesses and what they can offer customers.
“By using our services, builders can focus on the management tasks of building a house. Hiring the best technology experts should be just like hiring the best electrician, carpenter or roofer, which allows builders to amp up their game,” Bozell said.