John Sisk relies on BIM best practice to deliver Malmo data centre

John Sisk & Son is nearing completion on a data centre project in Malmo, Sweden. Adopting BIM best practice has been crucial to keeping construction on programme given a fast-tracked programme amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Multinational Data Center [sic] in Malmo will house and run a vast array of networks and servers for massive data processing and storage. That means state-of-the-art M&E installations and precise attention to the smallest of details for construction and handover are necessary.

The John Sisk & Son team has nearly 40 years of experience in data centre construction and has brought a digital project delivery approach to the Malmo project.

The Sisk team faced the challenge of an aggressive baseline schedule and a fast-tracked construction phase. Complex underground services infrastructure added another layer to this challenge. Meeting all the project demands was one thing: it was quite another when Covid-19 struck and true collaboration was put to the test.

While completing the site mobilisation, Sisk spearheaded preconstruction coordination for the underground services infrastructure.

The process of aggregating the design team’s BIM models was automated by integrating Navisworks clash detection tools with BIM 360. The cloud-based BIM approach helped optimise the design, and resolve all issues, helping to significantly reduce the risk of onsite issues.

"Every business in the construction industry has been in some way affected by Covid-19. We chose to implement Autodesk cloud-based platforms to enable a seamless, collaborative working environment during the pandemic and maintain productivity using Autodesk BIM 360 from multiple locations across Europe," says Warren Judge, BIM lead – data centers at Sisk.

The contractor also placed a major focus on understanding and meeting the client’s requirements through a process of "beginning with the end in mind". This ensures information can be used effectively throughout the project and lifecycle of the data centre. A common data environment was developed for information management, 3D visualizing, quality control, change management, and the ability to support the project’s huge amount of data and BIM models detailed at LOD 500.

With the vast quantity of electrical services, Sisk relied on BIM to reach a new level with DfMA for efficient coordination, prefabrication, and installation.

For example, every single bracket supporting the electrical cable trays – the main services in the building – was tagged with its exact location in the BIM model.

In order to reduce time and waste, a new, systematic approach with BIM brought the M&E contractors together very early in the process. The elements were then fabricated in Ireland for shipment to Sweden.

Sisk highlights some significant outcomes:

  • The Sisk team built dashboards that stored live clash trend reports to track progress weekly, resulting in a 50% efficiency increase in the BIM management process compared to traditional, manual methods of construction coordination without the automating power of the cloud.
  • The tight integration between BIM360 Docs, Microsoft Power BI, and Sisk’s own "Design Changes Control" dashboards provided the commercial teams with a faster way to visualise the cost and/or schedule impacts, reducing the overall take-off by a potential 40%.
  • By using BIM 360, the project continued uninterrupted as construction continued in Sweden during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Our collaborative working environment would not be possible without Autodesk BIM 360. More importantly, it comes down to the Sisk team and our innovation, passion, and consistency to deliver the best project outcome for our clients," concludes Cillian Kelly, head of digital project delivery Ireland and Europe/CSD at John Sisk & Son.

Images courtesy of John Sisk & Son.

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