Building Iceland’s new national hospital

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New national hospital

The power of digital technology in construction is helping to create what will be one of Iceland’s largest and most vital buildings, a new national hospital

Client: NLSH

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Completion: 2020s

The National University Hospital, expected to open towards the middle to the end of this decade, is the single most extensive and expensive construction project in the history of the country.

The four-building hospital complex, aimed towards providing more efficient and effective care to the next generation of Icelanders and their families, will be built in numerous stages over many years. This is due to the project’s complexity and scale, with the main hospital building alone being divided into five building sections and expected to measure around 70,000 sq m (753,000 sq ft).

When completed, the hospital will contain many facilities and areas including several inpatient and outpatient wards, an emergency room, research labs, a treatment centre, patient hospital, specialist sterilisation units and a helipad.

To manage such a complex project, NLSH was formed with a special act from the Icelandic parliament in 2010 with the purpose of overseeing the project and acting as a hub between the design teams, the contractors, the consulting personnel at the hospital and the government.

To make the project vision a reality, NLSH needed a construction platform capable of connecting thousands of project stakeholders with over 7,000 architectural drawings, providing complete visibility of the design review through the course of construction.

This is where Procore’s single platform technology steps in. With its easy-to-use and intuitive platform, Procore was brought in at the start of the project to enable NLSH to bring information and teams together on a single connected platform, with information updated in real-time so nothing is missed.

It is also giving NLSH a seamless process for drawing management, ensuring that project teams can quickly and easily view, as well as markup, drawings and revisions from start to finish. Furthermore, the platform’s information logs provide the full history of the project thanks to offering virtually unlimited storage space and no limit on the number of sheets or data on a project

Einar H Reynis, IT and technical officer at NLSH, explains: “It was obvious from day one that we would need a solution. The sheer volume of information on a project this size means that it is essential that the entire team is always viewing the latest, most up to date drawings and programme information. Not everyone on our team is familiar with Gantt charts, so we like that the programme tool offers a view by day, week or month. With Procore, drawings are automatically named, numbered and recorded using OCR, which saves a lot of time with manual filing.

As the project moves from pre-construction through to the course of construction, Procore’s mobile collaboration tools make it easy for everyone involved in the project to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done every day to stay on schedule and prevent rework.

Reynis adds: “Procore is offering us a single destination to help organise information, drive visibility of performance and ultimately deliver the project on time and budget.”

Streamlined and easy collaboration with design teams

For a project of this scale, timely and efficient collaboration with design teams is essential, and a key aspect of this is collaboration on RFIs. RFIs can help a project run smoothly and on schedule, but they can also cause significant delays and overruns.

With Procore, the NLSH team is easily able to collaborate with design teams on RFIs.

“Architects and engineers don’t have to log into Procore to complete an RFI,” says Reynis.

“All of the processes around an RFI can be completed via email. With Procore’s RFI email functionality, and in particular the Outlook integration, there’s no learning curve and no formal training is needed.”

The platform also adds value to NLSH’s design review process by keeping track of the various communications that are involved in closing each RFI. It tracks the email trail of back-and-forth conversations for each RFI, which enables the history to be recalled and reviewed at any time in the future. This could be during the project or long after the course of construction has been completed.

With Procore’s “Related To” feature, teams can also attach any document to an RFI, so that the supporting information – plans, specs, photos, PDFs – is linked to the RFI.

Robust correspondence management

“With a project like this, one of the major challenges is keeping track of all of the information that goes around a project,” said Reynis.

“It’s important that we are able to standardise and manage project correspondence and communications in one place.”

Using the digital technology’s Correspondence tool, NLSH has been able to consolidate and connect the entire scope of business processes on a project through the design phases into the course of construction. Everything is easily accessible in one place so stakeholders can minimise risk and mitigate project disputes.

The Correspondence tool has also highlighted the benefits of NLSH working from a single, connected platform. Correspondence can be turned into an RFI or a variation at the click of a button, and each item links to the other for complete record keeping. Correspondence can also be linked to drawings stored in Procore and is fully searchable, enabling NLSH to surface new insights that were previously impossible or time-consuming to gather.

With Procore, administrators like Reynis can also easily set permission templates to ensure the right level of visibility for each type of communication, or area of the project. The permissions tab also enables administrators to quickly check who can see each communication, removing guesswork.

For Reynis, the benefits of a platform approach are evident: “With Procore, we have a single, easy-to-use destination for our project. Procore ensures that the project is running consistently and to schedule, which is essential on a complex project such as a new hospital. Procore’s always-on support has also proved invaluable in ensuring that everyone can make full use of the platform.”

 

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