The complete localisation of Obayashi Corporation’s operations in Singapore led its management to streamline the use of many project management tools into a single, integrated cloud platform with Autodesk Construction Cloud. As a result, Obayashi Singapore improved digital collaboration between internal and external stakeholders.
The business case to consolidate multiple construction management tools
Obayashi Corporation moved to localise its Singaporean branch in 2014. This decision empowered local management to make faster decisions in response to changes on the ground. As a result, the company grew rapidly, tripling in revenue.
However, Obayashi Singapore Pte Ltd (Obayashi Singapore) operated with too many construction management platforms simultaneously, causing its project teams to spend up to six months getting up to speed with various platforms used in new projects.
The company needed to streamline its digital construction tools while realising new working methods amid a strong digitalisation push by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
Building upon a decade of BIM success with Autodesk
Since its accelerated adoption of BIM solutions in 2010, Obayashi Singapore has used many platforms, including several Autodesk solutions: Revit, Navisworks, and BIM 360. These solutions were instrumental in helping the company’s project teams create 3D models to verify designs, for example, ensuring the ease of maintenance of the building’s air handling units. Despite being just a general contractor, these capabilities augmented what the company could offer clients. However, other BIM solutions deployed alongside Autodesk revealed severe collaboration challenges for Obayashi Singapore.
First, communication with its subcontractors could not be conducted in real-time, and second, there was the risk that its external stakeholders were not accessing the latest 3D models. This could result in the possibility of costly rework and schedule delays that could frustrate the project team’s working experience. Obayashi Singapore needed an integrated and capable construction management platform to alleviate these concerns.
Familiarity with the Autodesk suite of cloud-based tools and the belief that Autodesk would continue to set the benchmark for future construction management solutions led the company to integrate with Autodesk Construction Cloud in 2021. The first project which fully utilised Autodesk Construction Cloud was Keppel South Central, which began in 2021 and is slated to be completed in 2024.
“We chose Autodesk Construction Cloud because it was the best long-term choice for the future. With Autodesk Construction Cloud, our project teams can communicate directly with the individual initiating an RFI or query. They can liaise with the relevant architect or consultant-in-charge rather than going through an intermediary, thus saving time and money and avoiding errors,” says Winston Chiew, Project Manager, Obayashi Singapore.
Creating a common data environment that delivers tangible results for clients
When Obayashi Singapore considered integrating with Autodesk Construction Cloud, they discovered that it could help them easily obtain ISO 19650 certification. The key requirement for ISO 19650 is to work collaboratively and in a coordinated manner to share information. To fulfill this requirement, they deployed the standard naming conventions, folder structures, role access permissions, and standard workflows for RFI and submittals.
When it came time to certify Obayashi Singapore’s adherence to ISO 19650, where one of the audit items was Common Data Environment (CDE) checking, all the BIM ISO consultant needed to do was access and check their Autodesk Construction Cloud system structure. After a few minor rectifications over a 2.5-month period, Obayashi Singapore received ISO 19650 certification.
Furthermore, integrating with the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform helped Obayashi Singapore meet essential CDE and digital platform requirements under the BCA’s Built Environment Transformation Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme.
Improving collaboration between internal and external project stakeholders
Integrating with a single cloud-based construction management platform enabled Obayashi Singapore to create a common platform for all project stakeholders, including its internal teams, Keppel’s project teams, and third parties. Because all these stakeholders are on the same platform, they can more easily seek clarification, get the most up-to-date data, and simplify workflows.
"We chose Autodesk Construction Cloud because it was the best long-term choice for the future."
Winston Chiew, Project Manager, Obayashi Singapore
For example, since site information is more accessible and available to Obayashi Singapore’s designers through Autodesk Build and Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro, the drawings submission process to external parties for approval has been accelerated. Besides being able to expedite moving the approved drawings to the site for construction, there is also no need for a document controller to act as an intermediary, saving a project team of 40 an estimated SG$20,000 per month in reduced labour costs and time.
Obayashi Singapore also uses the Autodesk Construction Cloud mobile app, on-site to augment site teams’ access to the latest project information. With access to sheets and RFI information on mobile devices, the sub-trades can more easily visualise non-typical areas in 3D before constructing complex project segments. The ability to view Revit models on-site serves as a common reference point for site teams to give crucial input before the drawings are issued for construction.
Meetings and coordination meetings are also improved with the Meeting Minutes module. This marks an important change in record-keeping, empowering different project stakeholders to work more efficiently with a reliable reference source to understand which critical tasks must be resolved first.
“Autodesk Construction Cloud serves as a single source of truth to prevent the duplication of information. We can improve how we share information, manage access to data, and enable real-time collaboration with all project stakeholders. In this new working experience, the sub-trades onsite report more satisfaction than before, when they had to work with outdated information and make many revisions,” says Yam Wei Jian, BIM Coordinator, Obayashi Singapore.
Taking newfound organisational efficiencies to new projects
Because Obayashi Singapore now has the right platform to enable its project teams to handle complex projects and rapidly changing project requirements, they have reduced operational risks and delivered better client results.
The company’s management reports that the time spent uploading and transferring model files has been cut by 32.5%, the time taken to review each floor has been cut by half, and they have saved 432 work hours per week.
Impact at a glance
- 432 work hours saved per week, equivalent to 32.5% productivity gain in a 40-hour workweek
- United internal and external project stakeholders on a common platform
- Reduced overall design time, avoided costly errors and rework, and improved team collaboration
- Simplified workflows and reduced the need for document controllers
Obayashi Singapore’s project teams are now looking to extend the usage of Autodesk Construction Cloud to manage several new projects in the pipeline. They look forward to furthering their competitive differentiation in Singapore’s fast-paced construction industry, having adopted these cutting-edge technologies for construction management.