Aconex Collaboration System Helps to Keep Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Track

Published November 1st, 2009 - 02:36 GMT
By supporting collaboration on the largest scale, Aconex has helped to deliver the first phase of the $40 billion Yas Island development, including the Yas Marina Circuit, in time for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on November 1.
Since being implemented on the project in mid-2007, the Aconex online collaboration system has been used to link 5,700 people from 380 companies located in 29 countries.
Yas Island is a 25 square-kilometer development located off the city of Abu Dhabi. As well as the Yas Marina Circuit race track, attractions include world-class hotels, theme parks, golf courses, shopping malls, marinas, apartments and villas. The developer, ALDAR, is the premier property development, investment and management company in Abu Dhabi.
ALDAR selected to implement Aconex across the entire program to provide a single, central platform for managing design and construction information. By using the system, all project participants are able to access, distribute, track and archive their information, at any time and from any location.
The Yas Island Project Director, Steve Worrell, believes that using Aconex has significantly benefited the project by improving efficiency and reducing cost.
“The overwhelming benefit of using Aconex is that the information is always there,” said Worrell. “We have thousands of workers and a great deal of staff migration. With Aconex, we have confidence that, even when people move on, we won’t be pulled off schedule because we can’t access the information we need.”
“Because Aconex is internet-based, authorized project participants, wherever they are located, have access to documents and work can be done across different locations and time zones,” he added.
Aconex allows users to manage their files – such as drawings, schedules, reports and specifications – electronically, significantly reducing the volume of hard copies and printing required. Project participants have already stored more than 8 million documents and correspondence items on the system.
“We’re saving a ton of money by not having to keep paper files for all the correspondence and drawings,” said Worrell. “I’ve done large projects before and they generate a staggering amount of paper. We would need several warehouses just to hold the paper if we were managing this amount of information in a traditional way. I see this type of system (online collaboration) as being the only show in town soon.”
Through its global network of offices, Aconex was able to deliver on-the-ground training to get participants up and running fast. Within the first six months of the project, more than 1,000 people had been trained and were using the system. Following training, users had access to 24/7 helpdesk support. “Having a system is one thing, but you need the support to go with it,” commented Worrell.
A key challenge for ALDAR is ensuring that, as each stage of the development is complete, there is a comprehensive handover of information from the contractors to the operators, so that companies have all the documentation they need to run their facilities.
“Normally we’d need to mobilize an army of clerks and engineers, with no product specific knowledge, to pull the documents together. However, because all of our communications and files are in Aconex, we just need to collate what’s already on the system and add a table of contents and index. This is a major time saver and improves the quality of the process.”
Aconex, www.aconex.com, is the world’s largest provider of online collaboration solutions to the construction and engineering industries. The company services US$220 billion worth of projects in 65 countries, including megaprojects such as Dubai Metro, Dubai Sports City, Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi and Reef Island in Bahrain.

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