Residential Property Developer Relies on Cloud
Property group Billbergia, www.billbergia.com.au, Meadowbank, Australia, is one of the largest developers of waterfront apartments in Sydney and is known for innovative designs and commitment to quality. The developer recently selected the Aconex, www.aconex.com, San Francisco, Calif., cloud collaboration platform to manage information and processes across all of its residential development projects.
Billbergia initially rolled out the platform to manage the Wentworth Point Marinas Project, beginning with Quarterdeck, 286-apartment project, followed by 252-apartment project, The Broadwater. Currently under construction are the Regatta complex, a development of 332 apartments and six retail areas; and the Zen complex, a development of 403 apartments, a library, a ground-floor retail area, parks, and a private playground.
Aconex was selected under an enterprise agreement to improve communication and collaboration among stakeholders and to help ensure the projects stayed on schedule. Before Aconex, Billbergia had used a document-management system that was slow and cumbersome.
According to Monica Lemke, the company’s projects administrator, Aconex not only proved a better solution for document management, but the capabilities it offered to manage correspondence and forms, tenders, workflows, field inspections, and handover also significantly increased overall project efficiency and reduced risk.
Lemke, who estimates that productivity has jumped 200% by having reports and schedules in one place, identifies as a key benefit of the platform the capability to make information instantly available projectwide to the people who need it: architects and designers to foremen, site managers, and site engineers.
As users became familiar with the platform, they discovered the benefits of Aconex Mail, which brings together all project communications in one central place, as well as capabilities for tender management. “We used to have to photocopy everything and put it on a CD,” recalls Lemke. Soon, all of Billbergia’s tender packages will be managed electronically, saving time and ensuring the packages are up to date.
Another valuable solution was Aconex Field, a cloud-based field inspections and checklists app that lets inspectors capture, distribute, and track defects and other issues on site with a mobile device. In large projects, issues can multiple quickly. Billbergia uses Aconex Field to stay on top of thousands of small defects and make sure that they are all corrected by contractors within a five-day window.
Aconex Smart Manuals, an O&M (operation and maintenance) handover solution, enables members of the project team to gather the documentation needed to comply with government regulations as the project is being completed—rather than piecing it together after the fact. In the past, information was gathered manually, but with Aconex, handover documents are collected with just a click, eliminating stacks of paper and time-consuming searches.
Going forward, Billbergia intends to contractually obligate everyone on all of their projects to use the neutral, cloud-based Aconex platform. “When we can do everything on the Internet,” concludes Lemke, “it just saves a heap of time.”
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