Sunway Group (Sunway) is one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates, with a heavy focus in property and township development. Its construction arm, Sunway Construction, is Malaysia’s largest pure play contractor.
Sunway has built some of Malaysia’s most significant landmarks, including Legoland Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, and Malaysia’s first elevated Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT-Sunway Line).
From early on, Sunway differentiated itself from the competition by investing in building information modelling, or BIM. It has pioneered the implementation of Virtual Design & Construction in Malaysia.
Sunway’s Transition to Autodesk Construction Cloud
Sunway was an early adopter of digitalisation. In the 1980s, they moved from paper to digital 2D drawings with AutoCAD.
“Until 2010, we used plenty of 2D drawings, but never 3D,” says Khor Wei Moon, Sunway Construction’s Technical Advisor.
In 2010, the next digital transformation took shape in the construction company.
“One of the pivotal points was when the company started to invest in BIM, which is 3D modelling,” says Ziqing Liew, Head of Digitalisation, Development & Delivery (3D) at Sunway Property.
However, the transition wasn’t always smooth sailing – Sunway’s leadership was cautious about the cost of investing in new software. Back then, paper drawings worked fine, and they couldn’t see the advantages of moving to a digital platform.
So, Sunway experimented with various communication platforms before committing to Autodesk. In 2022, Sunway adopted Autodesk Construction Cloud as its Common Data Environment (CDE). Today, it maintains around 60 active projects on the platform.
The advantages of using a central cloud hub for storing and managing data in such a large organisation soon became obvious. As well as improving collaboration amongst all stakeholders, Sunway also experienced fewer errors and inconsistencies.
Streamlined Access to Revit and AutoCAD Files with Autodesk Construction Cloud
A longtime Autodesk customer, Sunway chose Autodesk Construction Cloud because the software integrated seamlessly with other products it was using, such as Revit, AutoCAD, and Navisworks.
“The moment a file is uploaded into Autodesk Construction Cloud, we can open those files natively,” says Ziqing.
Today, Sunway relies on Autodesk Construction Cloud to store official documents and information for all projects. Drawings, documents, and data are no longer siloed on individual PCs – everything is centralised and accessible. Relevant forms, sources, documents, and photos are linked, and Autodesk Construction Cloud is a hub for storing and tracing documents for all projects, saving time and administration for stakeholders.
More than 100 of Sunway’s external consultants, contractors, and subcontractors access project data in the CDE.
“Everyone is on the same page and accessing the same list of issues because the information is stored in a cloud environment,” says Ziqing.
The review process is also more transparent and collaborative between staff. They can be confident they’re working off the latest project version and accept or reject updates while adding comments.
"The reduction of clash issues during construction is tremendous with early implementation of BIM, while Sunway gets a digital twin for facility management at the end."
Head of Digitalisation, Development & Delivery (3D), Sunway Property
“Every single party will get notified for all documents they need to review,” adds Ziqing.
Inconsistencies, rework, and misunderstandings are minimised, saving time and frustration. All stakeholders can see how they fit into the bigger picture.
Staff import their Revit or Naviswork files into Autodesk Construction Cloud and collaborate effectively with other project team members using Autodesk BIM Collaboration Pro to run clash detection or coordination workflows.
In the early days, some staff found the digital transformation harder than others, however.
“Those who were accustomed to conventional methods of communication or assessing data had issues,” says How Yoke Teng, Senior Manager Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) for Sunway Construction. “They found it difficult to pick up the new digital workflows.”
But Sunway took the proactive step of combining tools and training to mitigate these challenges, she says. “By investing training, we make sure our staff can smoothly pick up the use of the new digital workflows” she added.
Sunway also onboarded consultants, contractors, and subcontractors to Autodesk Construction Cloud.
Building a Firm Digital Foundation for Future Integrations
Sunway is looking forward to the future. It predicts advances in construction technology will make its workflows more efficient and transparent.
“We’re looking forward to Autodesk Construction Cloud capturing real-time data on equipment, resources, utilisation, and also issues on safety,” says How Yoke Teng.
Sunway is also excited about AI.
“We’re thinking of using ChatGPT, which is very cool. We also talk about how Copilot could be implemented,” says Ziqing.
For future integrations, Sunway plans to set up a firm digital foundation for each software to work together seamlessly, using Autodesk Construction Cloud to make this a reality.
Sunway Property, being active in the construction of successful townships and dwellings, has also played a key role in catalysing the concept of CDE and VDC.
“Despite our earlier difficulties in getting everyone on board with BIM, we now see the benefits of having our projects in 3D as early as the conceptual design stage,” says Ziqing. “The reduction of clash issues during construction is tremendous with early implementation of BIM, while Sunway gets a digital twin for facility management at the end.”
Sunway’s Commitment to Innovation and Growth
Sunway Construction is Malaysia’s largest construction company partly because it embraced digitalisation early on.
“As a conglomerate, we are proud of where we are today,” says Khor. “There is a passion here that keeps me going.”
Sunway is excited about its continued partnership with Autodesk, including how it can continue to leverage new developments in the area of design, construction, and facility management.
As Khor says, “We have a very bright future.”