Shervin Deh Bozorgi, Sisk UK’s BIM Lead, describes to Irish building magazine the efficiencies gained on the Quintain E03 Canada Court and E05 Quebec residential developments in Wembley Park using innovative technologies such as ‘Digital Smart Containers’. This scheme was recently recognised for industry-leading work with an Autodesk AEC Excellence Award.
At £3.8bn Wembley Park, Sisk has completed seven projects for Quintain Ltd with E03 Canada Court and E05 Quebec due for completion in December 2020. The on-going scheme valued at €500m comprises 10 buildings divided in two blocks, ranging from 12 to 26 storeys comprising 1,200 flats, linked at ground level by a podium-level garden.
With E03 and E05, a pair of significant build-to-rent developments, Sisk pushed the boundaries of digital technology and design coordination. Striving for efficiency, Sisk managed to avoid £90,000 worth of concrete reworks through enhanced clash detection processes, and made a time saving of 35% on their QA process by introducing an innovative site management solution.
As a result of the companywide Digital Project Delivery, Sisk developed ‘Digital Smart Containers’ as an innovative mapping solution, linking project data to smart containers in Autodesk BIM 360 using QR codes. This creates a single source of information where the 3D model is at the core of all site activities, improving collaboration by removing traditional silos.
Through the use of drone inspections, Sisk eliminated the need for scaffolding, reducing deliveries and time on site. By creating a 4D simulation, monitoring health and safety issues was more efficient, with no major injuries recorded throughout the project. Delivering such innovations enabled Sisk to erect the concrete structure for both developments eight weeks before deadline and complete the first block 25 days early.
Digital Project Delivery
Digital Project Delivery (DPD) is more than just delivering industry BIM standards, says Shervin Deh Bozorgi. “We are using DPD as a vehicle to transform the project delivery functions through digitalisation. Our ambitious 3-year company wide strategy will ensure that all our staff, functional leads and key supply chain partners have the right capabilities, tools and procedures in place to harness the added value that digitisation brings to the construction industry. Shervin works together with his colleagues Cillian Kelly Ireland/Europe Lead and Leanne Broderick Director in charge to ensure an effective company wide approach.
Wembley E03 and E05 are flagship projects of Sisk’s 15 year journey with Quintain. Sisk has raised the bar on these projects with the digitisation of processes during design, construction and handover, agreeing to produce Digital Twins which incorporate as-built data as well as asset information.
“This allows Quintain’s FM team to move from traditional CAFM systems and use the 3D models as a single source of information for O&M purposes.” To ensure the quality of Digital Twins, Quintain has allocated a full-time project information management team to manage and validate the delivery of the data throughout project delivery stage. “Digital Twins will allow Quintain to manage their assets more effectively and efficiently through the lifecycle,” Shervin adds.
Shervin says Sisk invested significantly to provide the project delivery team with the right tools and knowledge to harness the best of BIM and digitisation. “With DPD we streamlined our approach in delivering digital tools and processes tailored to the staff and project needs. We have developed a comprehensive training matrix tailored to various functions involved in project delivery. This resulted in staff across the businesses in Ireland, the UK and Europe becoming more efficient on day-to-day activities, using the gained time to focus more on innovation and optimising the current processes. Notably, we were able to trial more than 15 different innovative technologies over the last three years and create innovative approaches such as ‘Digital Smart Containers’.”
Matt Voyce, Executive Director of Construction for Quintain said: “Quintain are committed to the use of digitisation technology to drive improved design, construction and operational efficiency. Our contractors have embraced this challenge and we are delighted that Sisk’s efforts have been recognised with this award.”
During design, BIM models are used to identify clashes and design issues and a comprehensive clash detection process allowed Sisk to indicate and assign different clashes to the right people. Use of 4D planning as a virtual construction rehearsing tool allows Sisk to develop and manage programmes more effectively. “We use 4D models to simulate different scenarios in our construction programme that lead us to fully understand the potential impacts and make more informed decisions pre-construction. 4D models also play a crucial role in our H&S management. During planning we visually highlight any potential hazards in the model and use that during induction meetings informing our site team about potential safety issues involved in different activities.”
Early in the project, due to lack of fully coordinated 3D models, Sisk faced rework on the basement floors. “Through robust clash detection process, we could push our design teams to move away from 2D based collaboration into 3D where all the issues and relevant discussions were captured in the 3D model and we used dynamic reports to track and close these clashes pre-construction. This resulted in the significant reduction of reworks. Based on our estimate we have avoided at least £90,000 in concrete reworks alone.”
Prior to the use of field data capture tools the team was facing significant inefficiencies and delays, especially at the peak of the project when the number of staff increased significantly. Many of these issues were due to lack of access to the correct project information at the right place. By introducing an iPad-based field data capture tool Sisk reduced inefficiency, gaining time savings. This provides staff with all the information they need for tasks including drawings, site activity forms, 3D models and relevant communications.
Using Digital Smart Containers has generated various benefits across the whole project delivery, these benefits include a 35% time saving of the QA process versus traditional paper methods due to eliminating the need to print drawings for review on site and transport of the forms between responsible parties; a 21.1% increase of production efficiency.The workflow process consists of discovery of issue/defect, notification to subcontractor, defect resolution. “Without the use of smart containers, it was impossible to monitor the full timing/efficiency process because no data was available. There has been a 44% reduction of printed drawings producing a significantly positive environmental impact as we reduce the CO2 produced by the production and transportation of the materials in 1 year by approximately 145.5kg.”
Through the innovative Digital Smart Containers Sisk linked the site activities to relevant QR codes tagged to each apartment, allowing staff to link an unlimited amount of information to each asset. “An example of where we have used this solution is during QA of flats and areas in the buildings. The digital platform allows us to monitor when the flat was checked and by who. This shows if issues where found during the QA process (with images and location tags attached) and whether these issues still remain or action was taken to rectify them; monitoring the current handover stage of the flats and providing us with live, up-to-date dashboards showing data related to the flats as a collective or as singular elements.”
There have been other savings. There has been a 15% increase in project management efficiency, by providing certainty of delivery attributed to the live dashboard which is linked to the Digital Smart Containers and the use of the live 3D models on site downloaded directly onto tablets to conduct QA checks. Traditionally, it would take an engineer 2-3 weeks to conduct a cut and fill exercise. However, with the use of drones and photogrammetry technology Sisk reduced that to 2-3 days. “This allowed us to achieve 80% time savings,” Shervin adds. All this innovation was recognised with a major international award.
AEC Excellence Award
On 20 November 2019, it was announced that Sisk won the international Autodesk AEC Excellence Award for medium size construction project. Autodesk’s Awards honour the best projects and professionals in the industry.
An independent panel of judges evaluated entries in the medium size construction project ($100m- $500m) category based on the following criteria: benefits of digital and/or model-based workflows; use of Autodesk technology; use of emerging technology and/or innovative practices; use of technology integrations; use of technology integrations that allows for better project insight to solve a challenge or improve a process; use of sustainable construction practices and/or contributes to positive social impact. Based on these criteria Sisk’s Wembley development ranked the highest of the medium size construction project submissions.
Shervin tells us Sisk’s distinctive factor was going beyond the standard services currently offered by Autodesk products, saying, “Our innovative Digital Smart Containers are a demonstration of this, where we mapped several site activities that are currently being performed in silos into one single environment to enhance the efficiency and understanding throughout the site.”
Interested companies should note that the AEC Excellence Awards 2020 call for entries will open in Spring 2020. You can read more about the awards on: www.excellenceawards.autodesk.com