Photo credit: Mr. Rungkit Charoenwat
A budget of almost $US3.5 billion.
A 158-acre development site.
More than 500 contractors.
11 types of projects, spread across more than 50 sub-projects.
By any metric, The Forestias by Thai developers MQDC is ambitious. It’s the largest private-sector development in Thailand’s history: a mixed-use development on the southern outskirts of Bangkok.
With The Forestias, MQDC aims to create a world-leading blend of nature, community, and luxury. More than half of the site will be forest and green space, while the remaining is a mix of residential, commercial, medical, and hospitality facilities.
But as every builder knows, the bigger the ambition, the bigger the challenges.
A historic project faces a historic event
The project commenced in 2019, but not-long into the five-year build phase, COVID shutdowns threatened to halt the project entirely.
With more than 50 different sub-contracting companies working to complete the construction, and sustainable, communication and clarity would be crucial to keeping the project on budget and on schedule.
MQDC also needed to procure the sustainable materials it planned for the project in the face of supply chain disruption.
“We have what we call the MQDC standard, meaning that the materials we use are all no-VOC [volatile organic chemicals] and long-life with minimal maintenance,” said Phakorn Phattrapornpisit, Assistant Vice President of MQDC’s parent company.
Photo credit: Mr. Rungkit Charoenwat
The sustainable approach would allow MQDC to offer a 30-year residential warranty for The Forestias, far and above the standard five-year warranty in Thailand. However, the less commonplace materials and building techniques also added to the project’s complexity.
Even though MQDC couldn’t have planned for COVID disruptions, they had already mapped out what they would need to keep the project on track.
Keeping the project going when the world stopped
From the outset, the MQDC team knew that to hit its budget, schedule, and quality benchmarks, it was vital to keep its hundreds of contractors aligned and communicating effectively about design changes and plan updates.
They also needed to foster this easy flow of information while maintaining data security. These requirements meant they needed a single, secure, and always up-to-date source of truth.
Phakorn said the transition to Autodesk Construction Cloud made this possible.
“The world stopped, but we didn’t have to stop the project,” Phakorn said.
“Even though we had to shut the site down for two months, we could continue collaborating with the different teams on the cloud platform, particularly on the documentation.”
Connecting the right teams with the right data
The Forestias project has been cloud-based from schematic design through to handover. The Autodesk platform is being used for:
Integrated Concurrent Engineering (ICE) meetings
Visualisation and design checks
Digital submission and approval
BIM-based tender documentation
BIM-based construction documentation
Digital QA/QC inspection
Phakorn said having a cloud platform, standard templates, and centralised documentation was vital for helping all teams work together.
“Crucially, we could give each team what they needed by tracking document status and approvals in real time.”
Notably, the software solution also allowed MQDC to create tailored access permissions for each user, ensuring every worker, both internal and external contractors, had access to precisely the information they needed to complete their tasks.
“The ability to define the rights and responsibilities of each team member that aligns with how they work in our business is important for risk control,” Phakorn said.
The permission system in BIM 360 lets MQDC control access for more than 500 users in the project, and provide only the relevant information according to job titles and project responsibilities, including a data log to filter users in each project to manage people with relocation or resignation.
Building on a quality foundation
Phakorn said using Autodesk Construction Cloud enabled them to achieve their best-ever quality assurance, thanks to contractors submitting 3D models of their work for review, approval, and verification.
Rework has also been kept low, thanks to shared BIM models that allowed early detection of potential clashes and omissions in the design, allowing design rectification before work began.
“We can now track all dimensions of data in one place, such as the project progress and coordination of 3D models, document control, schedules, CAD, and BIM approvals,” he said.
“We had all the data they needed—complete, accessible, and reliable."
-Phakorn Phattrapornpisit, Assistant Vice President, MQDC
The handover to facility managers has also been greatly simplified.
“We had all the data they needed—complete, accessible, and reliable,” Phakorn said.
From the outset, The Forestias was intended to embody a new way of designing and building in Thailand, and according to Phakorn, “Autodesk Construction Cloud has provided MQDC a new way of managing large-scale construction projects.”