Collaboration: You have heard the term. What does it mean for your construction business? For many, collaboration means being able to easily share data across the entire project team, but without the right technology, this can be easier said than done.

Consider the Toronto Bayside Waterfront Project. Hines, www.hines.com, Houston, Texas, a privately owned international real estate firm, is the development partner on the project. Like many construction organizations, this project team needed a method to share project data.

One of the big challenges on this project was an overburden of environmentally impacted landfill with low bearing capacity and a high water table. As such, the current phase of the project, which is scheduled for completion in March 2015, includes dock wall stabilization, a public promenade along the water’s edge, and Merchant’s Warf, a new municipal street running to and along the water’s edge.

In order to manage project information and processes, Hines began using a collaboration platform from Aconex, www.aconex.com, San Bruno, Calif., to securely share and manage data across the different organizations involved in the projects. With the system, users are able to update document versions automatically in a document register and store documents permanently in the cloud, as part of a complete project audit trail.

In addition to storing documents, the technology also helped during the tendering process. Mark Potter, construction manager, Hines, says it used the technology to do sequential bidding with trade subcontractors.

With complexities involved in the public infrastructure projects in general, risk factors associated with cost overruns and missed due dates can easily increase. However, on this particular project, with the use of technology, the team was able to generate overdue reports, which identified logjams and bottlenecks, allowing the project to stay on schedule and on budget.

While this is one example, there are a number of construction companies that are using technology to enable better flow of information on construction projects.

Interested in learning more about realtime data exchange and the role of technology across a construction project? This is one topic that will be explored at the upcoming Technology Day on Friday, October 3 at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay.