P3 Prescribes Aconex for Integrated Health Facility in Saskatchewan
NORTH BATTLEFORD, Saskatchewan, Canada, May 31, 2016 – Aconex Limited (ASX:ACX), provider of a leading cloud and mobile collaboration platform for the global construction industry, today announced that Access Prairies Partnership is using Aconex solutions to manage the design and construction of an integrated health facility for the government of Saskatchewan.
A public-private partnership (P3) valued at C$407 million, the project represents an innovative approach to providing correctional facility patients with mental health care and support. The new complex will replace the 102-year-old Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford with a 188-bed medical facility and a 96-room correctional facility. The complex is located on the grounds of the existing hospital, in the community of North Battleford, approximately one hour north of Saskatoon, and is being built to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard of sustainability.
The Access Prairies Partnership ‒ which was formed to design, build, finance, and maintain the complex ‒ is comprised of Graham Design Builders LP, Gracorp Capital Advisors LP, Carillion Canada Inc., Carillion Construction Inc., Carillion Private Finance Ltd, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd, and WSP Canada. The design-build project began in 2015 and is currently on schedule to be completed in mid-2018. According to a study by Ernst & Young, organizing the project as a P3 will save taxpayers C$90 million, roughly 18% of the estimated cost, compared to traditional approaches.
Everything in One Place
With so many partners and different organizations working together on this P3, a project-wide collaboration platform for managing information and controlling processes across the team was essential. At the start of the project, lead partner Graham Design Builders suggested that the team adopt Aconex to provide secure access to project data from anywhere, at any time. A trusted, neutral platform, Aconex was ideal for meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders in a rigorous public compliance environment.
Dave Corcoran, vice president of major commercial projects at Graham Design Builders, said some members of the team initially resisted having to learn a new system. There was a comfortable familiarity in managing project information using email, FTP sites and shared folders, even if this information was stored in disconnected silos and identifying the current version of a document was challenging.
“Once they got the hang of Aconex, they recognized the value of having everything in one place and always being able to access the current versions of documents and drawings,” Mr. Corcoran said. “It was a change management process, and it shaped the way people worked.”
Processes Shrink from Days to Minutes
Aconex provided the project team with robust document control which ensures that everyone is working from the current version of a document and can easily access prior versions for reference. The 489-member team, representing 67 organizations distributed throughout Canada, can instantly retrieve documents as soon as they are added to the project register, allowing them to stay in constant contact with the project and to seamlessly share, review and collaborate on project deliverables. Processes that once stretched out over several weeks now take days or hours, such as tendering, design reviews and requests for information (RFIs). Time that used to be spent preparing and sending submittals can be spent on other, more productive activities related to successful delivery of the project.
“In the old days, whenever there were new drawings, we’d print out them out and send them by courier to the contractor’s office,” Mr. Corcoran recalled. “The office would ship the drawings to the job site and five days later, the guy who was working there would get them. But by then, he had already built four rooms the wrong way because he hadn’t gotten the current drawings in time.”
Today, team members on the job site can immediately call up the most up-to-date and relevant project information on a mobile device. They seldom if ever have to return to the trailer to consult a drawing or worry about whether the paper copies in the trailer reflect the current design. This not only speeds up project execution and reduces rework, but also minimizes conflicts that can lead to disputes. Because every discussion, decision and action is tracked automatically in an audit trail, “there is really no arguing that they didn’t get a certain drawing on a certain date,” Mr. Corcoran said.
Intelligence across the Project
The reporting capabilities of the Aconex platform make it easy for every organization participating in the P3 to stay on top of the project. Mr. Corcoran said the team makes regular use of reports that let them see at a glance which RFIs have been completed and which are more than a few days late. Automated workflows designed by the partnership keep the contributions of the project team coordinated to eliminate friction and meet critical deadlines.
Structured communications is another function of the Aconex platform that has improved efficiency and reduced risk for the project team. “They can see all the different communications that are flowing between team members,” Mr. Corcoran said. “It allows everyone to stay plugged in, even as they come on and off the project.” Correspondence is stored permanently in the same repository as the rest of the project information, so a complete archive, including millions of items, will be available for reference when the built asset is handed over for commissioning and operation.
“The new integrated health facility in North Battleford will set a higher standard of patient care for correctional facilities in Saskatchewan,” said Frank Kopas, general manager of the Americas at Aconex. “This project is yet another example of the practical benefits that Aconex brings to P3s and other alternative delivery developments involving multiple private and public stakeholders. We are pleased with the opportunity to support Access Prairies Partnership and the government of Saskatchewan in this innovative effort.”
Aconex Limited provides a leading cloud and mobile collaboration platform for the global construction industry. The platform connects owners, contractors and their project teams in the construction, infrastructure, and energy and resources sectors, providing project-wide visibility and control between the many different organizations collaborating across their projects. With more than 60,000 user organizations and over $1 trillion of project value delivered in more than 70 countries, Aconex is the industry’s most widely adopted and trusted platform. Founded in 2000, Aconex has 41 offices in 22 countries around the world, including headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and San Francisco, California. The company’s ordinary shares are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the ticker code ACX.