Global consultancy company Arcadis prides itself on sustainable design, engineering, and advisory. It employs more than 36,000 people across 70 countries. In Australia, Arcadis was involved in the Bulk Earthworks contract for building Western Sydney Airport and the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project. It’s a far cry from its humble beginnings in 1888, transforming unusable wetlands in the Netherlands into farmland.
In July 2022, Arcadis started using Autodesk Build, part of Autodesk Construction Cloud, for inspection projects with its facades and building structures teams in Australia. Since implementing Autodesk Build, the company has connected field and project management workflows with asset owners and clients.
Standardised Inspections, Built from the Ground up
Arcadis is using Autodesk Build for site inspections, which has revolutionised how it handles those projects.
In the past, photos and notes were taken while on site and matched to their corresponding documents and descriptions back in the office. However, this process opened up the possibility for errors, especially in matching the location of the issue to the photo.
With Autodesk Build, the photos are linked to the 3D model by the inspector right when they’re taken – no more wasted time in the office, no more misplaced issues, and because images are uploaded directly into the cloud, no more bulky files taking up space on devices.
Information is accessible in real time by all stakeholders, and results can be filtered based on importance and urgency. Engineers, architects, consultants, and onsite construction teams can all trust they’re referring to the latest plans with the latest data.
“The fact that it's accessible by everyone on their mobiles and devices, with custom attributes and templates, is a big one for us,” says Andrew Thompson, Digital Engineering Lead for Structures and Facades at Arcadis.
Arcadis creates those custom templates in Autodesk Build. Standardising information collection has ensured stakeholders use consistent terminology across projects.
Risk ratings are also standardised. In the past, each inspector had their own rating system, using different score values for ‘medium’ and ‘severe,’ for example. When assessments from a group of inspectors were collated, this had the potential to cause confusion. Now, all issue types and associated parameters are embedded in the template, and consistency is king.
“Whenever anyone starts a project, they don't have to recreate parameters like risk ratings – they’re already there,” says Andrew.
Giving Clients the Information They Need
The flexibility of Autodesk Build’s data collection and reporting functions means that Arcadis can provide clients with precisely the information they want – no more, no less.
Many clients have pre-existing reporting structures that Arcadis needs to populate – using custom fields means that it can capture the information to match and send it directly to clients’ templates.
Autodesk Build’s filtering capability means that Arcadis can provide links to pre-selected issues – “We're able to filter the results, get that link, and embed that link into reports,” says Andrew. “So where we have risk ratings of high, medium, or low, we can give the client a link to all the high ones.”
Activity trackers provide clients with real-time visibility of project progress.
“Quite often, we'll ask the client what they're most interested in, and then we can show that on the dashboard,” says Andrew.
Stakeholders can export completed forms as PDF or Excel files and easily share them, keeping everyone up to date on project status.
Andrew and his team have also encouraged clients to use Autodesk Build to view project issues. Data is extracted from the platform and displayed visually as graphs with hyperlinks. Clients can then access information when needed and track the project’s progress live, rather than relying on reports that quickly become outdated.
“With clients accessing the data directly via Autodesk Construction Cloud, we don't have to produce the same reports as we've always done,” says Andrew. “If we can deliver that Power BI dashboard, with all the hyperlinks, they've got the information at their fingertips.”
Autodesk Build’s Impact on Communication and Time Savings
Autodesk Build lets Arcadis provide data in real-time. Clients, contractors, and inspectors can be certain they have the latest version, reducing human error and miscommunication while saving time.
In fact, Arcadis has reduced report production time by 50%.
“A report would normally take a week,” explains Andrew. “Now, it might take two days. So we're saving three days on that reporting side.”
“A report would normally take a week. Now, it might take two days. So we're saving three days on that reporting side.”
Digital Engineering Lead for Structures and Facades, Arcadis
Thompson cites a recent contract to inspect 12 Westfield shopping centres. He estimates that using Autodesk Build saved Arcadis around two weeks of work.
Clients have responded favourably to the clarity of the new templates. Feedback shows they appreciate receiving fewer reports while feeling included in the process.
Overall, Autodesk Build has streamlined Arcadis’ processes. Their clients feel more involved, and communication across the company has increased.
Since July 2022, Arcadis has reduced reporting time onsite, increasing efficiency and transparency. Going forward, Arcadis plans to encourage clients to be more involved in using the Autodesk platform and use it as a facilities management tool.