VISTAtsi Wins Award for Collaboration on GIS-Based Emergency Preparedness Planning

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VISTAtsi employee recognized for use of GIS solutions to determine gaps in emergency response coverage in BRAC-affected zones as part of BIMStorm™ exercise in Alexandria, Virginia. BIMStorm™ is a formal collaboration of architecture, engineering, construction and facility planning professionals for the purpose of brainstorming scenarios for redeveloping existing buildings and property using building information modeling (BIM) techniques.

VISTA Technology Services, Inc. (VISTAtsi) was recognized December 11th, 2008 with an award for its participation in BIMStorm™; a formal collaboration of architecture, engineering, construction and facility planning professionals for the purpose of brainstorming scenarios for redeveloping existing buildings and property. VISTAtsi employee Gary Siorek received the jury award for "Collaboration" for his work on GIS-based emergency preparedness planning for several sites in Alexandria, Virginia.

The BIMStorm™ Alexandria event on September 9-11, 2008 challenged participants to utilize Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards and internet-based planning tools to run scenarios for areas affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) activities. Among the objectives--which ranged from creating Federal Friendly Zones™ (FFZ), redeveloping existing buildings and reducing the carbon footprint--was security planning.

"As a result of my exercise, we learned that two of the proposed sites for redevelopment fell outside of the recommended response zone of Alexandria Fire Department stations," explained VISTAtsi Senior Solutions Engineer and GIS Analyst Gary Siorek. "The city of Alexandria may need to re-examine its access roads, fire station locations and/or emergency equipment placement to stay within National guidelines."

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA Code 1710), the minimum requirement for fire suppression operations is a four-minute response time. The standard for emergency medical operations is eight-minutes. Failing to meet these guidelines could be a financial blow to the buildings' owners.

"These recommendations may ultimately impact the availability of these sites for new federal civilian agency tenants, as well as raise insurance rates," Siorek commented. "I'm glad I could use my background in geospatial information systems to contribute to the economic development of the area, and highlight aspects of security response, planning and zoning that will affect Alexandria's BRAC redevelopment plans."

Siorek accepted one of eight awards Thursday, December 11th at the buildingSMARTalliance and AEC-ST Fall Conference at the Washington Convention Center. The BIMStorm™ event in September was part of the Capitals Alliance Conference in Washington, DC and the Alexandria Federal Friendly Zones, which included over 40 participating firms.

"Our company co-sponsored the BIMStorm™ Alexandria, Federal Friendly Zones™ event because BIM is transforming the industry," remarked VISTAtsi President and CEO David Baxa. "Many Federal organizations already endorse BIM, and more BIM-compliant buildings in the Federal inventory will reduce the cost of implementing portfolio management and sustainability programs."

BIMstorm™ origins date back to the mid-90s when the architecture firm ONUMA was using BIM in ways that focused on the "i" or information piece of Building Information Modeling. This emphasis on data allowed worldwide collaboration for ONUMA and its project teams. The process and tools continued to evolve within ONUMA throughout the 90s. At the time, it was common practice for client deliverables to come in the form of traditional CAD files or hard copy documents, but not the data itself. Forward-looking clients recognized the value of the underpinning data, and ONUMA gradually started integrating it more closely with projects and engaging the project teams in advanced use of internet-based planning tools.

About VISTAtsi
VISTAtsi has a 25-year track record of success developing technology-based, decision support solutions for Government clients. Our consultants are subject-matter experts in real property asset management, helping clients prioritize expenditures and avoid unnecessary spending. VISTAtsi understands the complex data affecting planning, programming and budgeting decisions for large real property portfolios. After all, we support day-to-day operating decisions for one of world's largest real property portfolios. We saved our largest client $1 billion in unnecessary construction costs and helped a major Federal Agency get to Green in the President's Management Agenda. Results matter. Expect more. Choose VISTAtsi.

VISTAtsi is a Consulting Business Partner or Developer for ESRI GIS, ARCHIBUS FM and Autodesk CAD software applications.


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Kristina Lebert
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