Collaborative Working Mentors & Digital, December 2020 – Event Report. Alliancing Meets Digital

Constructing Excellence

In December at a joint meeting of Collaborative Working Mentors and CE Digital Theme Group we hosted several extremely interesting presentations from our leading members of the following topics:

  • Digital Meets Alliancing
  • IBA – Intro into the IPI Model of insurance backed alliancing
  • MoM – Digital application on the Museum of Making IPI project
  • IoTT – Digital application on the Institute of Transformational Technologies IPI project
  • Exploration – Q&A to explore the issues, challenges and opportunities of digital alliancing
  • Digital Guidance
  • Housing Working Group guides

Kevin Thomas,  Mentors Coach and Chair of Collaborative Working Mentors group, delivered presentation “An introduction into the new Insurance Backed Alliancing (IBA) delivery method as tested on cabinet office trail projects under the Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) Model.”

Download presentation:  IPInitiatives CE Mentors & Digital Intro


Further discussion around the examples of successful implementation of IPI methods was continued with a presentation from Jonathan Mason, IoTT – Institute of Transformational Technology – Project and Digital Coordinator from FULCRO.

Dudley College of Technology answered government calls for bids to provide new institutes of technology. The institute will provide transformational training in sectors of advanced manufacturing, modern construction methodologies and medical engineering, including digital and artificial intelligence application. Unsurprisingly, given the experience of Advance II, the college again adopted the IPI Model to deliver the project for completion in 2021.

Download presentation:  IoTT Digital Usage CE Collaborative & Digital

This report was kindly prepared by Kevin Thomas, Managing Director at Integrated Project Initiatives Ltd, and we are happy to share its outcomes with our readers.

Alliancing Meets Digital

This morning I chaired a joint CE Theme Groups meeting in which the Collaborative Working Mentors were joined by members of the Digital Group (chaired by Tom Oulton). Unsurprisingly the meeting was on-line and after the usual pleasantries (and glitches), I gave a short presentation on Insurance Backed Alliancing (IBA) and how it is being delivered with the IPI Model, and then handed over to alliance members from the Museum of Making (MoM) and the Institute of Transformational Technologies (IoTT) to talk about IPI alliance facilitated digital management and delivery.

Tom Vigar (Bauman Lyons Architects) represented the MoM Alliance. Tom, undaunted by a clash with his teaching duties, sent a pre-recorded presentation in which he briefly described the challenges of the major (£17m) refurbishment of the listed silk mill that stands on a world heritage site. The mill which will house Derby Museums new Museum of Making is set to showcase ‘making’ in all its guises, including maintaining its legacy of standing on the site of the world’s first manufacturing facility.

In contrast, Sarah Hawkins and Jonathan Mason (Fulcro) represented the alliance for IoTT, which at £26m is the largest project to be funded under the Governments new Institutes of Technology programme. IoTT is most definitely at the other end of the heritage scale, as once complete it will house new technologies for advanced manufacturing, modern construction and medical engineering for teaching and training the technicians of the future.

Both presentations ran through the digital tools, techniques and communication methods that have been used to optimise management of the projects including time, cost and quality management, 2D-3D-4D solution generation and visualisation, alliance (which includes the client) and supplier integration, induction and collaborative delivery activity.

The chair was handed over to Tom Oulton for Q&A discussion and debate that included the obligatory “you’re on mute” that we must surely all experience with on-line interactions. Attendees some 25 in number, were energised by the process that enables the whole team to participate in progressive solution development in a digital environment from onset; this includes laser surveying used to validate installations as they are progressing on site, proactively addressing clash detection before it has an opportunity to require remedial works. There was also much discussion about the digital presentation of as-built and operational & maintenance information that enables multiple access routes but single editing of information, and questions aimed at understanding how traditional paper-based documentation expectations had been overcome in the adoption of a digital environment both for project and legacy management.

The meeting was intrigued by the 360 degree live camera feeds which were shown on screen from IoTT and enable issue identification and real time problem resolution to be undertaken remotely. This it was reported, was a direct response to the challenges of minimising travel and social contact brought about by Covid 19 compliance, where both projects also demonstrated that the Covid challenges could not have been overcome without a whole raft of digital tools and virtual communications platforms that facilitate remote team working.  Having been involved in both projects, I can confirm that in each case far less delay and disruption has been experienced from Covid than would have been the case in a traditional environment (I will write some more about this in the new year).

The last session of the event was led by CW Mentor George Stevenson who presented a case study on the development of what he calls the ‘golden thread of information’ being developed by the housing working group. The objective being to manage the process of providing the appropriate information to enable the right solutions to requirements to be adopted and for decisions to be maintained despite the propensity for change in the ‘normal world’. During this session George masterfully showed just how much expertise from within the supply chain is necessary to ensure the right solution is adopted and delivered.

Taking all the points collectively, it seemed to me that only through genuinely open alliancing is it possible to create a fully effective digital environment and only through a fully effective digital environment is genuinely open alliancing possible and that both are required in order to collaboratively optimise value.

Join our next meeting of the Collaborative Working Mentors on Fri 19 March 2021  to have your say on the important topics influencing the industry and the ways to improve the outcomes of the collaborative work and value-based decision-making.