Major UK infrastructure programme will benefit from collaborative project controls
Help Deliver M25 Motorway on Budget
"The Aconex platform will enable us to manage all aspects of the NEC3 procedures in a consistent manner," said Simon Wilkinson, commercial manager for the M25 programme at Connect Plus. "It will give us total visibility of our communities' activities and deliverables throughout the supply chain to better manage and mitigate risk."
At 117 miles (188 kilometres) in length, the M25 is one of the longest city bypass routes in the world and carries more than 200,000 vehicles per day on its busiest sections. According to Mr. Wilkinson, many of the projects involved in a traditional highway maintenance environment are repetitive, and some assets may need to be renewed three or more times over the 30-year contract. Early data capture, trend analysis and insights on the Aconex platform will help our project management and contracting community develop a long-term view of likely costs and manage the impact of change. With reliable forecasts, the community can innovate to deliver better outcomes, including fewer interventions replicating successful processes from one project to another. Cost control is particularly important because the M25 programme budget will be reduced by 10% after the first 15 years.
"With Aconex, we will extend collaboration deeper into the contractor environment and use the platform for day-to-day communications with stakeholders, including monthly reports of key performance indicators (KPIs) to our community," said Mr. Wilkinson. "The contractors will have vertically integrated views of all their projects through a live dashboard and be able to control access to their data in a secure environment. They can also mine their data to improve productivity and quality while controlling costs. Innovation is at the forefront of everything we do, and the Aconex platform will take us to the next level in empowering our community."
Managing Cost across the Programme
The Connect Plus consortium includes Balfour Beatty, Egis Road Operation UK and Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd. In 2009, Highways England, the UK government agency which manages highway and road infrastructure, awarded Connect Plus a 30-year design, build, finance, and operate (DBFO) contract to manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads. Connect Plus used the Conject UK platform and project controls to manage the programme under the NEC3.
In 2017, Connect Plus engaged four leading contractors - Jackson Civil Engineering, Osborne, Skanska UK, and Tarmac - in a 12-year framework agreement. The consortium also adopted the Aconex cloud-based construction management platform, including Connected Cost project controls, for the next phase of the programme. Aconex had acquired Conject in 2016, and Connect Plus was keen to take full advantage of the extensive capabilities of Aconex in the new framework.
Mr. Wilkinson views Connected Cost as a significant benefit of the transition. The Aconex platform's integrated, collaborative project controls solution provides a complete view of cost information across both individual projects and entire programmes. Each organisation using Connected Cost can budget, forecast, track progress and performance, manage contracts, change management, and process claims and payments with ease and confidence. For more information, see http://www.aconex.com/news/press-release/aconex-launches-connected-cost
To achieve further efficiencies, Connect Plus plans to deploy Aconex Field, a mobile solution for site teams to capture, monitor and close out defects during the inspection phase of the project lifecycle. Increasing field productivity is a priority for the programme.
Keeping the London Traffic Flowing
Keeping the M25 traffic flowing around London - including Heathrow Airport in the west and connections to the main trunk roads to continental Europe in the east - while maintaining and improving the network is a key priority for Highways England. The Connect Plus DBFO contract covers the operation and maintenance of 400 miles (440 kilometres) of highway, including adjoining trunk and slip roads and more than 200 bridges. Also included are major improvement projects such as widening 38 miles (61 kilometres) of highway, refurbishing tunnels and bridges, and installing hundreds of variable messaging signs (VMS) and gantries to make the M25 a 'smart motorway'.
"We are delighted that our ongoing relationship gives Connect Plus the confidence to proceed with the new M25 framework on Aconex," said Steve Cooper, general manager of the UK and Ireland at Aconex. "We will continue helping them and their teams optimise processes and gain insights to improve project performance across the programme."
About Aconex Ltd
Aconex Limited (ASX:ACX) project collaboration solution digitally connects owners, builders and other teams, providing complete visibility and management of data, documents and costs across all stages of a construction project lifecycle. The Aconex cloud-based solution has been used to manage over $1 trillion in projects across 70,000 user organisations in over 70 countries. The company’s ordinary shares are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the ticker code ACX and are included in the S&P/ASX 200 Index.
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