For the construction industry, collaboration is key. Companies need to be able to collaborate both internally and with other project members. While this has been the nature of the business for years, technologies are allowing different types of projects to do this in new ways.

IPD (integrated project delivery), a type of contractual agreement, has helped to foster a greater level of collaboration on some projects. Take the UMass Memorial Cancer Center at Marlborough Hospital as an example. As one of the first healthcare buildings in New England using an IPD contract, the team used a combination of technologies to meet the contract requirements.

Tocci Building Companies,, Woburn, Mass., was chosen, in partnership with S/L/A/M Architects,, Boston, Mass., technical consultants, and several other subcontractors, in part because of its ability to coordinate design and construction through 3D technology.

The team used a combination of technologies for BIM (building information modeling) to include a linear accelerator, which will increase patient safety and comfort. This is one example of a project team that recognized the importance of collaborative efforts and the technology to enable that level of cooperation on a project.

Looking beyond healthcare, another case of a project that recognizes the value of collaboration is the team working on the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station. The project consist of seven phases throughout a 10-15 year period, creating 3,500 new homes, as well as retail stores, cafes, restaurants, offices, a library, a medical center, childcare facilities, and a six-acre public park.

To enable construction on a project this size, the team needed to ensure it selected technology that would work for the long term and could provide a secure platform for communication, documentation, drawings, and workflows.

The developer and general contractors are using the Aconex Online Collaboration Platform,, San Jose, Calif., for the bidding and tendering process, which will engage consultants and subcontractors in the process from procurement through contract award.

The construction industry is changing. The need to work together in an effective manner is an age-old need for construction. Now, team members have more technology tools at their disposal to enable the level of collaboration that has been essential for years.