John Sisk & Son win Autodesk award for Malmo Data Centre


Autodesk, along with its co-sponsors Informed Infrastructure and Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), has revealed the winners of the Autodesk 2020 AEC Excellence Awards.

John Sisk & Son, (Sweden) emerged as the Winning project in the Medium Project ($100 Million – $500 Million) with its Multinational Data Centre, Malmo.

Supported by complex underground infrastructure, this large-scale data centre project is built for future expansion.

From a field of more than 260 entries spanning 35 countries, the winning projects stood out to an independent panel of judges as exemplars of the AEC industry’s ability to respond to adversity with resilience and initiative. They are stories of challenge, solutions, and insight.

Explore the winning projects across all categories here.

John Sisk & Son overview of Multinational Data Centre, Malmo.

From the exterior, a data centre may look like a straightforward structure. The combination of its complex infrastructure and mechanical and electrical demands, however, makes it one of the most complex construction projects.

The Multinational Data Centre will house and run a vast array of networks and servers for massive data processing and storage. That means state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical installations and precise attention to the smallest of details for construction and handover are necessary. Everything must be accounted for.

The John Sisk & Son team has years of experience in data centre construction and brings a fine-tuned digital project delivery approach to this type of project. On this Multinational Data Centre, the team faced the challenge of an aggressive baseline schedule and a fast-tracked construction phase. Complex underground services infrastructure added another layer to this challenge.

Meeting all these demands for a complex data centre was one thing. It was quite another when COVID-19 struck and true collaboration would be put to the test.

“Our collaborative working environment would not be possible without Autodesk BIM 360. More importantly, it comes down to the Sisk team and our innovation, passion, and consistency to deliver the best project outcome for our clients,” said Cillian Kelly, Head of Digital Project Delivery Ireland and Europe/CSD, John Sisk & Son.

Contractor Solution

While completing the site mobilization, Sisk spearheaded preconstruction coordination for the underground services infrastructure. They automated the process of aggregating the design team’s BIM models by integrating Navisworks clash detection tools with BIM 360. The cloud-based BIM approach helped optimize the design and resolve all issues, helping to significantly reduce the risk of onsite issues.

Sisk also placed a major focus on understanding and meeting their client’s requirements through a process of “beginning with the end in mind.” This ensures information can be used effectively throughout the project and lifecycle of the data centre. Thanks to Sisk’s management team, they achieved a common data environment for information management, 3D visualizing, quality control, change management, and the ability to support the project’s huge amount of data and BIM models detailed at LOD 500.

With the vast quantity of electrical services, Sisk relied on BIM to reach a new level with DfMA for efficient coordination, prefabrication, and installation.

For example, every single bracket supporting the electrical cable trays—the main services in the building—was tagged with its exact location in the BIM model. In order to reduce time and waste, a new, systematic approach with BIM brought the electrical and mechanical contractors together very earlier in the process. The elements were then fabricated in Ireland for shipment to Sweden.

“Due to the project’s size, complexity, and the enormous amount of model data to be developed to LOD 500, Sisk and the wider project team relied on the BIM 360 cloud-based platform and the integrated BIM tools in the Autodesk AEC Collection to improve collaboration, efficiency, and stakeholder engagement,” said Jose Carlos Peñas, BIM Engineer, Malmo, John Sisk & Son.

Contractor Insights

  • The Sisk team built dashboards that stored live clash trend reports to track progress weekly, resulting in a 50% efficiency increase in the BIM management process compared to traditional, manual methods of construction coordination without the automating power of the cloud.
  • The tight integration between BIM 360 Docs, Microsoft Power BI, and Sisk’s own “Design Changes Control” dashboards provided the commercial teams a faster way to visualize the cost and/or schedule impacts, reducing the overall takeoff by a potential of 40%.
  • By using BIM 360, the project continued uninterrupted as construction continued in Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every business in the construction industry has been in some way affected by COVID-19. Sisk chose to implement Autodesk cloud-based platforms to enable a seamless, collaborative working environment during COVID-19 and maintain productivity using Autodesk BIM 360 from multiple locations across Europe,” said Warren Judge, BIM Lead, Data Centre’s, John Sisk & Son.

Join Autodesk University on November 17 to celebrate this year’s winners and to learn more about their stories. and Irish building magazine is delighted to be partnering with Autodesk University and is offering free delergate pases for the event.

Book your free place here:

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