After studying architecture at Ferris State University and construction management at The University of Oklahoma, Holly joined the construction industry in 2012, and came onboard with JE Dunn a couple years later in 2014, where she started in the Oklahoma City office and moved to Portland full time in 2015. She enjoys living in Portland because it fits her active outdoor lifestyle and appreciation for good food! As a Lens super user, Holly has been an asset to JE Dunn’s estimating group. We recently sat down to ask her a few questions about her career and experience using Lens.
What’s driven you toward a career in construction?
I have always been interested in architecture and how the built environment can influence how we work and live every day. I wanted to be part of a team who turned someone’s design concept into reality, which is why I chose a career in construction.
When did you start working with Lens, and how has it changed the way you work?
I started working with Lens on the first pilot project for the Portland office in 2014. It has improved the way I collaborate and communicate with designers and clients. It’s also provided me with a different perspective on how we can help set our projects up for success through the preconstruction process.
Describe the most significant or interesting project experience you’ve had using Lens so far.
Every project I’ve used Lens on has been significant and interesting to me because each project revealed areas of Lens that we could improve on and successfully did. Each project had obstacles that were addressed with the design team and required creative solutions. With every project, Lens keeps getting better through feedback and use.
How does working with Lens compare to traditional estimating practices?
Every project is different, but traditionally, the architect will design to a milestone and release documents for us to price. When the project is over budget, the architect has to go back and spend valuable man hours redesigning. Then, the process starts all over again. This is painful for the entire team. Lens is a tool that challenges us to alleviate that pain by changing the process. It encourages us to sit down with the architect during design, raise concern when we see scope changes and price increases, and minimize risk. In the end, the entire team benefits from it.
What would your advice be on skepticism of embracing new technology?
I welcome skepticism when it comes to embracing new technology, because it challenges us to really focus on the value being delivered and the benefits provided. When it comes to Lens and other new technology, I only ask that people first try to understand why we’re using it, how we’re doing it, and what it is. Through education, awareness and support, we can help overcome the fear of learning something new that will help make us that indispensable business partner for our clients.