How the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is Cutting Infrastructure Planning Times in Half with SMART Planning

Kevin Lovell SMART planning

Kevin Lovell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Three years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adopted new information-sharing processes designed to speed approval of large infrastructure projects.

“Where before a planning activity or study might have taken us 7 to 9 years, now we will achieve completion of the study in three,” Kevin Lovell, the deputy district commander of the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said during a webinar sponsored by Aconex on Tuesday. “While before planning costs may have been unconstrained, our new doctrine limits us to $3 million.”

The Corps brought about the transformation with an initiative called SMART Planning that focused on the timely completion of decision documents for projects that addressed complex water problems. A key factor in shortening the timeframes was better coordination with Corps Headquarters, the Corps Division Office and the Corps District Office.

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Managing Oil and Gas Processes, Project-Wide

Oil and gas project statisticsIn preparing to present on better delivery of oil and gas projects at the FPSO World Congress this week in Singapore, I looked at the results of a survey by organisers of those attending.

The top issues facing the FPSO market were listed as Delivering Projects on Time and Cost Control. These have always been challenges, but the current environment of stubbornly low oil prices makes them especially acute.

Why does this very sophisticated industry continue to struggle with oil and gas project delivery?

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4 Tenets of Construction Data Integration and Management

Construction Data Integration and ManagementA foundation of every construction project is data. This data includes all facets of the project: drawings, reports, 3D models (BIM), schedules, contracts, inspections, tenders and bids, etc.

The question that every construction project manager needs to ask is: Is this data being input, organized and presented in a uniform way that creates the most efficiencies?

A comprehensive data integration and management plan is essential in being able to answer “yes” to this question. However, a recent study on the use of technology in construction indicates that “of all the construction professionals surveyed, only 4.1% have full integration across their software platforms and over 30% said that they have no software integration whatsoever.”
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Aconex recognized as one of the “Top Ten Web Support Sites for 2015”

Aconex Support AwardAconex is a big product, with a lot of features. And we’re adding to it all the time. We’re also continually growing our customer list, which means more and more users rely on our support resources all the time.

For those reasons, it makes sense that we provide strong online support through our help website, Aconex Support Central.

In June 2015, the site was named among the Top Ten Web Support Sites for 2015. We were delighted to be among the prestigious winners recognized by the international Association of Support Professionals (ASP), along with Cisco, Dell, Intel Security, and Oracle Cloud. Read more about the award winners and the evaluation process in the ASP announcement.

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Common Data Environment (CDE): What you need to know for starters

Understanding a Common Data Environment - CDEThis is an introduction to the world of Common Data Environment (CDE) requirements as defined in the PAS1192 and BS1192 documentation. These documents outline what organisations working in the construction and engineering industries need to do in order to reach a BIM Level 2 compliance on their projects. The aim is that all central government departments in the U.K. will adopt, as a minimum, collaborative Level 2 BIM by 2016. Why? The answer in its simplest form is that projects can be delivered in a far more efficient manner compared to projects following more traditional methods.

By building the asset in a virtual world under the ethos of BIM (Building Information Management), teams can reduce the cost of rework and poorly thought out or executed designs. A simple example of this would be the client, after reviewing the virtual asset, realises that he/she needs something different to what was originally proposed. A CDE provides a platform for these changes to be recorded, distributed and resolved at a lower cost, resulting in a more efficient delivery team and a happier client.

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