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Lauréat du prix de l’entrepreneur général 2020

Montreal Trudeau International Airport: CBSA Renovation Phase 2, by Magil Construction

This construction management project consisted of renovating two floors occupied by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at Montreal’s Pierre Trudeau International Airport. Following the merger of border control organizations, part of the requirements were to maintain full operational capabilities of the CBSA to ensure passenger safety and border integrity.

The site of this project represented a particular challenge in terms of access and security: all project stakeholders and collaborators had to be granted clearance and go through a security checkpoint before being permitted access.

Additionally, the as-built drawings and 3D model of the existing Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) systems had to be visually verified after the removal of ceilings and walls.

CBSA needed to maintain operational needs, making for a much more challenging working environment when it came to project planning. A highly detailed management of the work zones was required for all these activities to take place seamlessly and simultaneously: CBSA operations, demolition, construction, deliveries, etc.

In this fast-tracked project, the design was not 100% finalized when construction began, so the sequencing of the work occasionally needed to be modified on the fly due to changes in design, safety/logistic requirements, and client requests.

The contract included BIM deliverables such as an as-built model and 3D coordination process; this was a first for Magil, as we were also in the process of implementing a new project management platform (Procore). New workflows, standards and procedures had to be developed and implemented, which increased the overall risk. Magil acted as the BIM manager for the project, implementing and maintaining the BIM Execution Plan for all parties involved.

In order to achieve success on such a complicated project, several innovative methods and technologies were introduced, such as:

  1. Detailed 4D simulations and sequencing with Bentley Synchro 4D;
  2. Use of a LiDAR scanner to create point clouds which were then integrated to the 3D federated model to quickly compare actual MEP conditions (ceiling and walls) after the demolition. This way, the 3D coordination was revalidated to reduce off-site prefabrication risks and delays;
  3. Use of a Matterport camera, which allows virtual visits and reduced the need to physically access the site through the check point. This tool has been leveraged to record work progress and MEP installation prior to the closing of the walls and ceilings; and
  4. Use of Common Data Environment platforms such as Revizto and Procore to foster collaboration, communication and coordination. These platforms have been used namely for document control, 3D model coordination, quality and safety control, schedule planning

With the client’s approval and within the proper confidentiality requirements, Magil granted access to all collaboration platforms (Revizto and Procore) and data collected from the site (Matterport and Point Clouds) to all the parties involved (trades, client, and professionals). Doing so, has greatly enhanced the comprehension of the project and promoted collaboration, communication and coordination, which are the cornerstones for a successful construction project.

Due to the special nature of this project, it is difficult to benchmark against past Magil projects regarding cost, productivity, etc. Also, in a construction management contract, it is sometimes difficult to analyze the same measurable KPIs and the factors influencing them across different types of projects. However, a way to measure the impact of innovation and new technologies is to analyze any extra cost incurred following situations that would have been avoided if such technologies were adopted.

As a first example, the meta-works contractor was not contractually obligated to model his work, therefore coordination had to be carried out in the traditional way. This resulted in several clashes detected on site which led to a substantial extra cost that would have been avoidable if the model was included in the scope.

In a second example, there were many discrepancies between the existing conditions and the design drawings following localized removal of the walls and ceilings. This has led to several change orders issued on site, mostly for the telecommunication and control trades which were also not contractually obliged to participate in the 3D coordination process. Of course, at the time when the existing facilities were built, lidar technology and 3D modelling were not yet available. In the future, however, these types of extra costs can be avoided as we successfully provided a complete as-built model of the new construction.

The following solutions presented to foster collaboration and coordination are currently under adoption on all Magil Construction projects, and are likely to be shared by most of the industry in the coming years:

  1. Common Data Environment platforms, such as those used by Magil, are relatively easy to implement, are flexible and can adapt to most project types and sizes.
  2. The use of LiDAR and 360° virtual visits such as Matterport have revolutionized the industry. Being an early adopter has given Magil an edge, and we are seeing more interest coming from trades and consultants wishing to improve their performance. To this day, lidar technology has been used on more than 25 Magil projects for quality verification, Scan to BIM operations, quantity takeoffs, and other uses. Nine of Magil’s current contracts use virtual visit tools daily and Matterport is currently being used to record as-built conditions on two major projects.
  3. The adoption of innovative solutions has proven to be very beneficial for the client as well, potentially reducing cost, risk, shortening the schedule, and creating a valuable 3D asset information model. ADM, the airport authority, is a major player in the Québec market, and it is likely they will continue to require adoption of BIM and VDC on their future contracts. Magil has experienced an increase in such requests from clients, with six projects currently with BIM deliverables, and with many more on the way.

Magil went above and beyond the BIM requirements for this contract. Our experience has shown the current industry standard is set below most of the solutions adopted. It is worth noting that Magil provided free access to all software, platforms, and data was collected through their own tools. As well, we shared our expertise while assuming all upfront costs. We strongly believe that the role of a general contractor is to lead by example in technology adoption and industry innovations, for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Although this project is not as public as other Magil projects, it has been a crucial milestone for the BIM and VDC development for the company, and will remain as one of the first truly innovative projects in our extensive portfolio.

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