SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited is managing information and processes for the design and construction of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) using the Aconex platform.

Aconex Limited is the provider of the world-leading online project management platform that connects teams on construction and engineering projects.

The New Zealand International Convention Centre is being planned as the largest purpose-built convention centre in the country, with 32,500 square metres of floor space. At five times larger than the current largest convention facilities in New Zealand, the new centre is capable of hosting 3,150 people. The project will also include a five-star, 300-room hotel and a laneway featuring speciality retail and signature restaurants and bars. The NZICC is scheduled for completion in mid-2019.

Geoff Wicks, project management consultant at Beca Group, a professional services organisation with 3,000 employees in 19 offices around the world, which is managing the project for SKYCITY, said that the work demanded an effective, project-wide document management system instead of the traditional methods of email and file-sharing.

After evaluating several solutions that provided document control and related project information and process management capabilities, the NZICC project team chose the Aconex system. According to Mr Wicks, Aconex was already widely adopted in the construction market and many people and companies on the project team had also used it before with positive experiences.

With the project currently a third of the way through construction, there are already more than 140 organisations and over 500 team members connected and collaborating through Aconex. The secure, neutral platform provides the team with immediate access to project data and correspondence, regardless of their location. Using a single document register with version control to manage current and prior revisions of all documents on the project, Aconex ensures that all participants are working with the most current information at all times.

Mr Wicks says that Aconex allows them to efficiently send and receive information around an ever-widening project team without having to use file systems, email or hard copies. He also cited the structured communications and search capabilities of the platform as key advantages to the project team.

Enumerating the various benefits of Aconex, Mr Wicks said he had more than 30,000 emails on this job prior to the adoption of the system; however, by keeping project correspondence on Aconex, they have reduced email traffic significantly, and can find what they need immediately. Searching for previously issued correspondence or documents is easier and more logical using Aconex, compared to digging through old emails or a file server. He observed that using file-sharing software on a project of this size, with so much correspondence in circulation, would have led to a serious struggle to get the right information.

As the design phase of the project moves into construction, the NZICC project team plans to implement Aconex Smart Manuals, which enables the head contractor to efficiently capture, review and deliver the documentation required for operation and maintenance (O&M) of the built asset. With Smart Manuals, the O&M manuals are digital and compiled progressively throughout the project, making it easy for SKYCITY to maintain the documentation over the operating life of the asset.

Observing that the NZICC will be at the heart of New Zealand’s culture of innovation, a hub of inspiration and a total experience for the visitor, Steve Brant, general manager of Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) at Aconex added that the facility is expected to generate $90 million of economic benefits to New Zealand annually and create 150 jobs.