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HARNESSING DATA, INVESTING IN SUCCESS Hypower’s President and CEO, Bernard Paul-Hus, talks about the company’s enduring success and reputation for emerging technology adoption



construction technology trends to watch

VINCE MULHOLLAND INTERVIEW Wu Yi DORIC’s MD on targeting APAC’s heavy-duty construction projects

FOREWORD WELCOME TO THE May issue of Construction Global magazine! In this month’s issue, we speak to Vince Mulholland, Managing Director of Wu Yi DORIC, the new company born out of Doric Group and Wu Yi, and find out how the company is well and truly hitting the ground running. How is the leader in architectural precast cladding delivering award-winning off-site solutions to the industry? We speak to the Managing Director and Sales Director of Techrete to find out. We also take look at how the Open Compute Project is nurturing a global open source movement to truly redefine hardware and deliver a more efficient, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure. With more than 70 years of experience in architecture, master planning and heritage consultancy in retrofitting and regeneration, Purcell delivers award winning and sensitive service and we speak to the company’s Senior Planner to find out what the future holds. What are the technology trends to watch in the global construction industry? From self-healing concrete to wearable technology, we round up the top 10 set to transform the current construction space. As always, please tweet your feedback to @ConstructionGL

Enjoy the issue!


F E AT U R E S Targeting APAC’s heavy-duty construction projects

10 C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S




May 2018


34 OCP







TOP 10


TOP 10


E V E N T S A N D A S S O C I AT I O N S 5


80 Hypower USA


Pomona College USA


Keppel Data Centre EUROPE


May 2018

130 Odense Letbane EUROPE


BLT Construction CANADA

150 Yandex oy EUROPE

176 7


Targeting APAC’s heavy-duty construction projects

Vince Mulholland, Managing Director of new entity Wu Yi DORIC – the offspring of construction behemoths Doric Group and China Wu Yi – tells Construction Global how it’s hitting the ground running Wr i t t e n by N I K I WA L D E G R AV E

IN JANUARY, THE news that international construction company China Wu Yi had joined forces with Western Australia’s (WA) Doric Group to launch Wu Yi DORIC, a long-term strategic cooperative relationship with equal shareholding, was met with great fanfare. This is not least because it’s the first time China Wu Yi, which has been listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange since 1997 and by US Engineering News record as one of the Top 250 International Contractors since 1994, has entered into such an alliance internationally. “Wu Yi DORIC aims to compete for and deliver major tier one construction projects valued at more than $100mn across Asia

City of Perth Library 12

May 2018

C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S Picture: EAGiven/ Getty Images

Pacific,” explains Wu Yi DORIC Managing Director Vince Mulholland. “Our focus for the next 18 months is about developing the brand and business here in Australia and then into Southeast Asia.” In the last few years, Doric has delivered a number of recent complex projects. It won the category of National Entertainment and Recreation Facility at the Master Builders Australia National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards in 2016 for the 13

complex $40mn City of Perth Library project. It was also chosen by the State Government to lead the $90mn construction to expand Acacia Prison in Wooroloo, Western Australia (WA), and won the $80mn contract to give the Busselton Regional Health Campus in WA a facelift. It demolished the old hospital buildings, car park and landscaping and built a new campus, including two theatre units, a renal unit and expanded existing units such as the emergency department and consulting rooms. Fuzhou-based China Wu Yi is the largest contractor in the Fujian Province and was hunting for a company with substantial experience in Australia. It has completed projects in more 30 than countries. A diverse business, it spans global and domestic construction, real estate investment and development, import and export and scientific research and design. “China Wu Yi brings more experience to Doric from those sectors, so there’s a good balance in terms of what we both bring to the table,” adds Mulholland. “China Wu Yi is a development company as well, so it’s looking at property acquisitions and land acquisitions 14

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as a developer in Australia, with Wu Yi DORIC as the contractor.” Already in negotiations with its first major project, Mulholland says Wu Yi DORIC is leveraging off Doric’s great reputation within the industry, and China Wu Yi’s quality products and technology. “China Wu Yi has got a lot of precast innovation in terms of, not just pre-cast products, but modular construction,” he explains. “So, we’re looking at that in terms of where we can reduce cost and reduce time on projects, particularly those where you want to get in and get out quickly.” Doric is currently managing the $345mn redevelopment of the HMAS Stirling naval base on Garden Island, which is the Royal Australian Navy’s primary operational support base on the west coast. “What we’re trying to do with Wu Yi DORIC is work with our existing clients and certain government contracts, and also own developments,” adds Mulholland. “Those are probably the three areas that we’re concentrating on, and I believe in terms of Doric’s reputation, Wu Yi DORIC will do well with


“We’ve got a good basis in terms of our reputation with some of the larger fund managers, so that's the basis that the company will grow from” Vince Mulholland, Managing Director, Wu Yi DORIC

Harry Xydas Qui Liangxin and Vince Mulholland

ABOUT WU YI DORIC In January, Wu Yi DORIC broke new ground in construction industry. The historic 50-50 agreement is between Western Australia’s Doric Group and international construction company China Wu Yi. The agreement is a first for China Wu Yi, which is a diversified business covering domestic and global construction industry, real estate investment and development, design and scientific research and import and export. The company is based in Fuzhou, China and has been listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange since 1997 and by the US Engineering News-Record as one of the Top 250 International Contractors since 1994. Wu Yi DORIC represents a powerful blend of the experience that the Doric Group has accumulated in Australia and that China Wu Yi has accumulated in more than 30 countries across the globe. 16

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major clients. A number of them have said to us, ‘can you come over east? We’ve got projects over east.’ But up until now, we haven’t taken that step. We’ve always stayed in WA. We’ve got a good basis in terms of our reputation with some of the larger fund managers, so that’s the base that the company will grow from. “Added on to that is the Chinese

C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S input, which the obvious one is the capital, and the balance sheet that they can bring to the group. They’re very keen in terms of looking at quality products from China, and innovative methods of construction that they are currently undertaking to incorporate into the Australian business.” Mulholland reveals the nascent Wu Yi DORIC faces different challenges in different cities. While each country in Asia Pacific has its own rules and regulations,

so do the various Australian states. “The challenge here in Perth, although it’s improving, is that the construction sector has been slow,” he explains. “So, that challenge is really about winning work at a profitable margin. In Sydney and Melbourne, it’s really about getting good people and good subcontractors. “We’ve built up a good subcontractor database, with many based in Sydney and Melbourne as well, and they’ve been loyal to us from working with Doric, so we’ll be using them.”


Albany Entertainment Centre

“Wu Yi DORIC aims to compete for and deliver major tier one construction projects valued at more than $100mn across Asia Pacific” Vince Mulholland, Managing Director, Wu Yi DORIC


May 2018

C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S Picture: jamesteohart/ Getty Images

Wu Yi DORIC currently has a board of six people – three directors from China Wu Yi and three from Doric Group. In terms of key staff, there is Mulholland, two from China and a handful being brought in from Doric Group. He claims the 50-50 shared new company will help create more job opportunities for locals and WA suppliers. “Doric is providing some of the senior personnel in terms of the operations,” adds Mulholland,

“and we’ll be hiring some senior people over the course of the next couple of months. I’m looking at people who have worked for me previously in terms of coming into the business. The key to success in business is its people, particularly in the construction industry. “Most of Doric’s project managers have been with us since they have graduated. We look after our people in terms of giving them good experience on projects and developing them in terms of training. We look after our people that stay with us long term.”


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“We recently worked with BizClik Media on an article which characterizes and explains the total value that Kudu Supply Chain has on company growth plans. From start to the finish, it was a pleasure working with the BizClik team. The feedback we have received from different audience groups on the article was phenomenal. It has attracted a lot of interest and attention to our company, our growth plans and has definitely created additional value to what we are trying to achieve.”

– Murat Ungun, Senior VP Supply Chain Kudu Corp






Managing Director Liam Aylward and Sales Director Jose Manuel Sanchez Casado on how the market leader in architectural precast cladding delivers award-winning off-site solutions to the industry Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE


UTILISING PRECAST CONCRETE with twin-walled construction developments, timber frame and a mix of traditional approaches, off-site construction offers a viable housing capacity solution for countries like the UK. Experts believe we won’t hit the current targets to beat the shortage using traditional methods alone. In


May 2018

the shadow of Brexit, given the kind of constraints that are anticipated in terms of labour and movement of labour – and London and the South East’s dependency on the EU27 to supply it – the UK housebuilding model is very much dependent on a flexible workforce and so, without that improving, other methods are needed. Irish companies like Techrete are

Dundee V&A Credit: Ross Fraser McLean

focused on the potential for offsite in residential, part of a growing trend for firms from the emerald isle showcasing international capability in aiding the development of pharmaceutical facilities, data centres, retail outlets, industrial manufacturing centres and iconic public buildings. The complexity of this productivity is helped by digital

tools and off-site solutions, making these companies competitive in markets around Northern Europe and across the Nordics. Founded in 1985, Techrete expanded through acquiring and developing the crafts and skills of long-established precasting companies such as Roecrete in Ireland, and Empire Stone and






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Luda Products in the UK. In 1995, it developed a UK manufacturing base in north Lincolnshire (which saw capacity increase by 20% in 2016) and, in 1999, a new drawing office was opened in Leicester, supplementing design work undertaken in Dublin. It is the largest company to design, manufacture and supply architectural precast cladding to the UK and Irish construction markets, offering a complete precast solution through to installation. It is known for its forward-thinking approach towards sustainability – recognised by the Green Manufacturer award at the industry’s 2018 Green Awards. “We specialise in architectural precast cladding,” confirms Techrete’s Managing Director Liam Aylward, whose company’s turnover is more than double that of its closest competitor. He believes the reason for that is a combination of excellence in engineering design and the quality Techrete assures. “Concrete is more than just a commodity to us,” he says proudly. “We offer a range of finishes with consistency in colours and are one of very few manufacturers capable of providing this reliability to the market, particularly serving

Details of Victoria Gate London’s construction projects. Our highly skilled team includes chartered engineers, draught designers, surveyors, contract managers and site erectors, combined with excellent production facilities to ensure the production of architectural precast cladding at its best.” This commitment to quality begins off-site at the design stage, explains Techrete’s Sales Director Jose Manuel Sanchez Casado: “Everything we do now is designed in 3D. We’ve invested heavily in technology and training to allow us to deliver more complicated designs. We’ve come a long way from the trial and error of what was basically handmade. Our work for John Lewis highlights the complexity 27

CONSTRUCTION 4.0 of what we can achieve utilising 3D design. This combines technology of finish – with polish and acidisation – with the structural performance of rhomboidal panels. It’s our philosophy to unite our engineering team with the client’s architects and contractors early in the design process to aim for optimum efficiency and allow time to develop mock ups throughout the R&D process. This allows us to experiment with different mixes to deliver the desired finish for the client.” It’s a finish that is award-winning. British Precast awarded architects ACME the 2017 Creativity in Concrete prize for Victoria Gate in Leeds, where ACME designed two buildings for a VIDEO: THE CONSTRUCTION OF 2 ST PETERS SQUARE MANCHESTER, USING TECHRETE ARCHITECTURAL PRECAST CONCRETE CLADDING


May 2018

project, which included Techrete’s designed, manufactured and installed façade for the John Lewis department store featuring polished and acid etched reconstituted stone. Opening its doors to the public in October 2016, Victoria Gate is now home to the John Lewis flagship store. The arcade’s design allows light to flood in from above while externally – the intricate grid façade draws on the city’s rich textile legacy for inspiration and the colour of the Techrete reconstituted concrete cladding compliments the surrounding buildings. “The Techrete team are proud to have been part of this project to push the limits of precast concrete engineering and help prove that visions can become a reality,” says Aylward of his firm’s collaboration with main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine. Elsewhere, Techrete worked on the City of Glasgow College City Campus (completed in 2016) which won the RIBA Sterling Prize and was also shortlisted for a number of concrete precast awards. “Techrete are so proud to have been involved in the design, manufacture and installation of the facade on this building,” adds Sanchez Casado. “Civic

Techrete Sample Finishes

Trust commendations are awarded for projects that make a significant contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment. Commendation level schemes demonstrate a good standard of architecture or design, whilst being sustainable, accessible and providing a positive civic contribution.” Aylward explains that Techrete is aiming to continue making an impact in the market with its architectural specialism on projects like the V&A Museum in Dundee (highly commended at the 2017 Concrete Society Awards) which will be open to the public in September this year. “It’s like a ship on the water with a very low shell that was built from the sea,” he says. “We were involved in the project for almost four years throughout the design stage. It’s a long process made easier working off-site, which allows us to experiment with materials and the dimensions of the panels to plan how best to install them on the building.” Enterprise Ireland is a government organisation working in partnership with enterprises like Techcrete to help them grow into world markets. It’s Senior Market Advisor John Hunt believes off-site offers the key to 29



May 2018

unlocking a capacity solution. “We’re seeing off-site solutions being adopted by new entrants into the market – particularly with build to rent projects,” he tells Construction Global. “Developers with new capital are coming into the market developing homes and they’ve had to look beyond the existing supply chains at more productive, cost certain methods of delivering homes. There are newcomers in the space

embracing more productive ways of delivering who are less reliant on the ebbs and flows of labour. We’ve seen that in the growth of light gauge steel construction – companies in that space are experiencing record levels of demand. On the façade side, the likes of Techrete are showing a healthy appetite for exploring new ways of delivering capacity to residential.” “We’re able to bring our expertise with this off-site solution to the standard precast market and combine architectural work with projects in the affordable residential homes space in the London area and the North of England,” confirms Sanchez Casado. “We work alongside some of the main contractors in the

City of Glasgow College 31

CONSTRUCTION 4.0 affordable homes market. In the last few years we’ve seen market demand rise along with labour costs, so we’re seeing more contractors want to work with us from an early stage for a preindustrialised type of construction to leverage the cost and time benefits of off-site. It also offers a huge quality advantage combined with enhancing health and safety by reducing congestion on site. If you look at one of our projects in Wembley, by utilising our off-site solution, we used 10 times less labour than you would typically need to install 60 sqm of brick cladding with a team of bricklayers on site. These are laid to panels in our factory and thus reduce risk on site.” Aylward highlights the challenge for Techrete of striking a balance between the architectural innovations that push the company forward with meeting the needs of the market for capacity in residential projects like Wembley. “Projects such as the Dundee V&A are high risk and not necessarily profitable without a lot of preparation. When you’re doing something new, things can go wrong but we’re always up for the challenge. When we take on a new project we fall in love with a design and 32

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commit to making a difference in the market with each new commission.” With Brexit on the horizon some have a pessimistic view of the market but Techrete has been very surprised because the reaction it has seen is positive. “We’re now booking work two years ahead of schedule which we’ve not done before,” says Sanchez Casado. “And, with facilities and factories in both England and Ireland, Techrete is well placed to mitigate against currency risk.” Looking to the future, Techrete is planning to continue its work on prestigious ground-breaking projects to win new business and further develop off-site solutions for the market. “Anyone can put one brick on top of the other,” says Aylward. “But there are very few who can achieve the results we have shown with Victoria Gate. We’re proud that architects and designers come to us for our proven off-site expertise and we hope to continue developing those relationships across the industry.”

Dundee V&A






OPENING THE DOOR TO INNOVATION Open Compute Project’s CTO Bill Carter on how the foundation is nurturing a global open source movement to reimagine hardware and deliver a more efficient, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure. Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE


“BACK IN 2009 Facebook seized the opportunity to create what it termed the ‘vanity free’ server with less features to save cost, but more importantly improve reliability and logistics by omitting the parts you don’t need to combine weight reduction with improved energy efficiencies.” The Open Compute Project’s (OCP) CTO Bill Carter is reflecting on a series of events, triggered by Facebook’s exponential growth, which led to the social media giant designing the world’s most efficient data centre after a small team of engineers spent two years


May 2018

building one from the ground up: software, servers, racks, power supplies, and cooling. “These servers were designed for large scale outs. 10 years ago, Google, Microsoft and Facebook were all scaling up and making a huge impact on the data centre footprint so it made sense for them to do this. Facebook realised early on the differentiation was in their application and social media app, not as a hardware supplier. What’s not talked about is that the innovation within these servers had become stagnant. Reference designs came from Intel and those designs were duplicated

by all the ODMs. If you create an open source society, as happened with software, the belief is you can drive innovation. More people looking at a software problem creates derivative work off these hardware products and vice versa. It can spread like wildfire in the right circumstances. That’s what Facebook wanted to create and was part of the genesis for the Open Compute Project.” The result now stands in Prineville, Oregon. It was 38% more energy efficient to build and 24% less expensive to run than the company’s previous facilities – and has proved the catalyst for even greater

innovation. In 2011, Facebook shared its designs with the public and – along with Intel and Rackspace, Goldman Sachs and Andy Bechtolsheim – launched the Open Compute Project and incorporated the Open Compute Project Foundation. The five members hoped to create a movement in the hardware space that would bring about the same kind of creativity and collaboration we see in open source software. After spending 33 years working for Intel as a systems architect, and as the company’s OCP liaison in the early days, Carter joined the foundation to get involved with its




May 2018

MISSION CRITICAL work on operational efficiency on the facilities side of the business. “We’ve tried to promote collaboration in the data centre construction industry with the focused intent of driving innovation and embracing areas of technology we think we can accelerate and improve upon,” he maintains. “Technologies that have traditionally been controlled and managed by a standards organisation, but they tend to move pretty slow with consensus building. We’ve been able to move faster by enhancing direct communication between the hyperscale end users that drive the business providing the financial means, and the innovation of technology providers.” Carter recalls with the traditional model you had a OEM or ODM (such as Dell, IBM or HP) that gathered all of that technology together and turned it into a project. They had control over that conversion and what technology actually made it to the marketplace. “Now we provide a means for these technology providers to collaborate more directly with end users,” he says, adding that the one area of innovation, constant since OCP’s inception, is around energy and

efficiency where its keen to push the envelope with new initiatives. “The traditional data centre brings in power routed out to the physical racks connected to the servers,” explains Carter. “Each of these servers has a redundant power supply so they usually have two power sources with two cords fed to those sometimes from two different utilities in the area to provide that resiliency. You can have up to 80 servers in a rack of equipment, so you have a lot of duplication, and the problem with that 1+1 resiliency model (where you have a hot spare for back up) is that at any given time, each supply is only going to run 50% of its output which is not very efficient. In the very first Facebook design, which they called the Open Rack, they took all of the power supplies out of the server and into a power shelf in the rack and powered that via a higher voltage input power – they did one conversion to 12v and then bussed that across. Architecturally, that conversion from 480v achieved in excess of 90% efficiency which alone saved energy and eliminated all of the power supply elements in the 39

MISSION CRITICAL server, reducing cost while allowing further serviceability of the compute node/storage node, so when you refreshed your IT equipment you were disposing of less hardware and only recycling the server board inside.” To meet the goals of open source, collaborations and partnerships are paramount. A key one for OCP is with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) – an open source hardware consortium focused on optical broadband networks and open cellular networks. “Much like OCP it works collaboratively with telecoms operators around the world,” reveals Carter. “We have an active networking focus at OCP. Telecom operators are providing universal Customer Premise Equipment (CPE): network access devices that would sit in a small business providing it with a set of access services, a bit like a set top box in your home. Rather than having every carrier design a custom CPE device, the industry saw an opportunity to create a generic device with standardised software that sits on top of that device. We’ve partnered to co-develop this architecture for CPE and develop the hardware


May 2018

Universal Customer Premise (UCP) equipment. We’re working on specs for a small portfolio of products.” Assessing trends in the data centre industry, Cartner notes, on the networking side, most solutions are built with commodity silicon, which is now being used in all devices, branded or white box solutions. As a result, the tech is available to the consumer regardless of purchase option, so there are no disadvantages by choice. “Companies such as Cumulus Networks and Barefoot have emerged to provide solutions,” he adds. “They are taking open source hardware and qualifying an open source Linux-based network OS on top of it and building the data plate, control and orchestration software on top of that. You really can get a turnkey solution as the barriers to adoption are dissolving. Case in point, Edgecore is a white box provider, and significant contributor to tech at OCP, that recently announced a 400gb switch – one of the first available in the market.” One of the OCP’s biggest successes to date has been in the field of rack architecture. “We have an 41

MISSION CRITICAL Open Rack standard with products built off of 19” EIA3 compatible tech and contributions from Microsoft with the Olympus rack design,” highlights Carter. “Both of these have multi-sourced supply chains behind them. We’re giving the industry efficient choices and are proud to have changed the landscape for networks. For the past eight years working with Facebook and the ODM community we have disaggregated the network switch. Nowadays you can buy any flavour you need – there are multiple options for network OS and all open sourced. That’s a game changer we’ve been part of in developing pathways for these companies to collaborate – we’re not a provider but a true enabler.” Its success was recently measured when OCP engaged IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, to help validate the adoption of OCP gear across the data centre industry. Since inception, OCP has worked to drive innovation in the data centre industry, bringing together nearly 200 member organisations and more than 4,000 engineers. The demands on the modern data 42

May 2018

centre continue to expand with the growth of IoT, security and edge computing, as well as increasing energy consumption requirements. This has seen revenue generated from OCP approved equipment in 2017 reached $1.2bn from nonboard member companies. OCP board member companies (such as Facebook and Microsoft) have widely adopted OCP principles with great success, however until now it wasn’t clear how far beyond these market leaders that OCP had reached. Carter is impressed that the results of the IHS Markit study forecast OCP adoption among non-board member companies set to surpass $6bn by 2021. Primary drivers for this are power efficiency, cost reductions, standardisation and quick deployment capability across more than 100 OCP developed products. Until now most of the revenue derived from OCP gear has come from North America, but going forward Carter sees most of its growth opportunity in Asia and Europe as awareness of its work is raised through events like this year’s OCP European summit in Amsterdam, due to take place




May 2018


October 1st and 2nd. Events like these offer a chance for OCP to grow and share ideas around transformation. “Our data centre facilities group aims to drive new standards for colo providers to enhance energy efficiency and draws on the expertise of our European members,” confirms Carter. What are the OCP’s goals for 2018 and beyond? “We would like to encourage data centres to adopt preparation recommendations to allow them to use this more efficient equipment,” Carter asserts. “We’re also working on hardware management – we have a profile based on the Redfish specification and want to roll that out across our products so that, regardless of where it comes

from, if a product meets the OCP spec it can be managed correctly, which will allow the software community to have a universal hardware target they can better design orchestration software for.” Concluding with an eye on sustainability, Carter believes embedded software is key to producing a complete open source solution. “When equipment is recycled you have to have the ability to maintain it down the road. Often, the BIOS becomes obsolete so if there’s a way for that to be open sourced the community can maintain it and extend the useful life of hardware. What’s useful for a hyperscaler today may be useful to a local cloud provider in the future if we can provide the necessary tools.”






RESTORATION WITH PURCELL Construction Global talks to Jeremy Blake, Senior Partner at the heritage consultancy Purcell, about how the historic building and restoration experts are utilising decades of experience to deliver award-winning and sensitive retrofitting and regeneration projects Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y PURCELL HAS MORE than 70 years of experience in architecture, master planning and heritage consultancy across a diverse range of retrofitting and regeneration projects. The company’s portfolio boasts the restoration and transformation of listed buildings and heritage assets, including significant UK icons such as the Palace of Westminster and Canterbury Cathedral. Purcell’s skills have also been harnessed with cutting edge new builds and exemplar sustainable solutions. This spectrum of expertise has also been transferred overseas to the company’s offices in Hong Kong and Australia. Jeremy Blake


May 2018

Leighton House Museum, Kensington

Jeremy Blake, a Senior Partner at Purcell, explains the practice is known for working on heritage projects which need a careful and faithful conservation/restoration thrust, such as the Leighton House Museum in Kensington which won a Europa Nostra award. “We also go into heritage assets that need a new lease of life, potentially through their transformation, public accessibility or even a change of use. To that end, we’re involved with the restoration of Battersea Power Station,” reveals Blake “On a number of key projects like this we find they’ve become tired, not only in the condition of the fabric, but also in their engagement with their existing use – public or private.” Purcell’s work is inextricably linked to sustainability, though Blake remembers much scepticism in the industry around early developments in this area. “What’s happened since, particularly when oil prices surged, is the dawn of a commercial reality because of the genuine economic savings that can be achieved through responsible sustainability,” he says. Paradoxically, Blake notes a phenomenon in the industry of what he calls ‘eco-bling’ or ‘green-wash’, 51


Battersea Power Station, London, UK


May 2018

where projects are not as sustainable as claimed. “There’s a tendency for architects to focus on energy and water conservation, rather than examining the thermal performance of the building envelope beforehand.” Blake also highlights the current alignment of BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, with LEED (Leadership in Energy

and Environmental Design), a green building rating system. “Historically they’ve been two competing sustainable criteria which may become a singular international standard,” he says, adding that because his clients have become far more hands on and savvy about the advantages of sustainability, there have been alternative measures introduced to the industry such as EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies), the green buildings certification. “That has a much simpler, end-user set of tools which can be applied to see where you get your benefits and savings in


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y “There’s a tendency for architects to focus on energy and water conservation, rather than examining the thermal performance of the building envelope beforehand” JEREMY BLAKE, S e n i o r P a r t n e r, P u r c e l l

three key areas: energy, water and the embedded energy in materials. Hoteliers we work with are using that tool rather than BREEAM or LEED as it is more responsive to their sector.” Blake notes a definite shift with sustainability certification also offering a commercial benefit: “On many client briefs one of the first requirements is that a project has to be BREEAM excellent or outstanding. There 54

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are two aspects to sustainability: the enduring properties of our built heritage and the environmental issues prevalent in modern discourse.” To deliver those requirements, Purcell is embracing innovation and leveraging new technologies. “We’ve been implementing drone measured surveys,” says Blake. “We used this approach on the central tower of Durham Cathedral which meant we

Durham Cathedral didn’t have to pay for scaffolding – it was the first time a drone survey had been used in that way.” These drone surveys are used in Point Cloud where Purcell generates 3D models of measured surveys with laser scanners. “The degree of information we’re now able to secure from drone surveys without a visually intrusive, potentially damaging and costly physical infrastructure like scaffolding gives us

a very up-to-date and close picture from which we can develop useful base information for conservation, retrofitting and intervention.” Purcell is also using augmented reality to transpose proposals onto a pair of goggles to stand a client in their existing building and show them the transformation. “It allows our clients to be bold with their choices and more positive about 55

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y decision-making with their plans,” reflects Blake. “It enables the client to see the exact graphical representation of our proposal, enhancing the possibilities for positive retrofitting.” Among key partnerships, Purcell also collaborates with other practices and is currently working with the National Trust at Clandon Park. “We’ve previously worked collaboratively with Allies and Morrison (A&M) on the conversion of Arsenal’s football ground (a historic listed building) into residential,” adds Blake. “The National Trust approached us once A&M won the limited competition to work with them on the proposals (for Clandon Park). We’ve also worked with Herzog & de Meuron in Hong


May 2018

Kong and partnered with them on the Flinders Street Station in Melbourne which is how we established our office there.” Purcell is also on the board of the AABC (Architects Accredited in Building Conservation) and engages positively with bodies like the UK Green Building Council. Meanwhile, through its heritage consultancy, the practice is providing CPD support (Continuing Professional Development) for the RIBA on their programme of new into old. Blake believes retrofitting needs to be approached with sensitivity by the industry because there is a tendency to jump to conclusions about how aspects of a building can be harnessed without fully appraising the built asset they’re starting with. “This is where the ‘green-wash’ and ‘eco-bling’ comes in,” says Blake ruefully. “It’s like a box of tricks that can be added universally without looking specifically at the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the building. For example, solid masonry walls, if dry and kept at the appropriate temperature internally, are incredibly thermally efficient. So, if you can address why it’s damp and not thermally efficient, rather than

Hong Kong Central Police Station

“There are two aspects to sustainability: the enduring properties of our built heritage and the environmental issues prevalent in modern discourse� JEREMY BLAKE, S e n i o r P a r t n e r, P u r c e l l


just fully lining and insulating out, you can achieve a softer approach towards getting a building working environmentally and responsibly without a heavy-handed restoration.” Blake recognises it’s a challenge in a climate where there is a controversial debate about the validity of u-values (a measurement of how effective a material is as an insulator) in assessing thermal efficiency of buildings, when thermal imaging is beginning to expose that u-value criteria is not always delivering the built solution that was promised on paper. “The thermal performance of a wall needs to be looked at in a different way than just a simple mathematical sum of individual components with test bed u-values. Thermal imaging has shown that what, based on design, should be blue, is significantly scarlet and leaking energy. Other building methods which, on paper, appear not to have the same thermal efficiency, when tested via thermal imaging, are proved to be more thermally efficient than what modern materials and u-values would show,” adds Blake. With 12 offices across the UK and three overseas, Purcell is both international and local with a 58

May 2018

spectrum of engagement from ancient monuments right through to cutting edge new build technology. “We are bespoke and innovative in that regard, across a range of architecture where we continue to win awards as experts in the field. We’re both passionate and committed while remaining responsive to the operational and aspirational requirements of our clients,” asserts Blake, who is proud of Purcell’s National Portrait Gallery appointment to work with Jamie Fobert on the proposals for refurbishment and extension of the Grade I listed building.


Aerospace Bristol

In parallel, Purcell has been tasked with creating a home for a different kind of modern icon at Aerospace Bristol, for Concorde. Elsewhere, Purcell has worked on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool – the Frederick Gibbard structure needed significant conservation and restoration advice – while other iconic buildings in northwest England benefitting from its advice include Manchester Town Hall. “Overseas, we’re working on a project in Hong Kong,” adds Blake. “It’s one of 16 buildings that remain of the

historical core followings years of redevelopment. We’re retrofitting and transforming those buildings into an arts hub featuring a gallery, auditorium and ten restaurants.” Purcell’s expertise has also been brought into the Battersea Power Station project. “We’re aiming to minimise intervention while consolidating and conserving an iconic national landmark,” says Blake. “An unusual period and content, it includes a variety of artefacts internally along with the switchgear room. It’s not just the chimneys – which, 59

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y ironically, had to come down and be replaced – but all the brickwork.” Blake predicts that retrofitting and restoration projects like these, with sustainability in their heart, are an unsung growth market. “Around 85% of our building stock is more than five years old. In time it will all need consideration of retrofitting which creates all sorts of opportunities with regeneration and renewal projects in our towns and cities,” he notes. “Beyond that, if you look at the rejuvenation that’s now being encouraged in the UK’s


May 2018

seaside resorts and market towns, it contributes to how our communities are being transformed, which is related to urban renewal and can come on the back of infrastructure and transport hubs. You see it when you look at the impact of the Elizabeth line in London and trams in cities like Manchester and Edinburgh. Areas that were in serious social decline are becoming very attractive for inward investment and regeneration. Often, that investment immediately goes into restoration and retrofitting to bring tired building fabric into 21st century usage.” Looking ahead, Blake is keen for Purcell to further develop and orchestrate its technical skills while reaching out to stakeholders and developing frameworks. “We’ve just embarked upon a strategic alliance with Oracle software and we’re looking to do our first project retrofitting a building with them in Ireland,” he reveals. “We’re not complacent with our own pedigree, heritage and skillset – we want to expand, consolidate and grow into new areas.” 61

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CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO WATCH Construction and building insurance specialist CRL lists 10 future technology trends to watch out for in the construction sector Written by STEVE MANSOUR



Concrete is a fantastic building material, but it can deteriorate over time. As concrete ages and dries out, cracks form in the material and it grows weaker. Eventually, concrete with too many cracks will crumble and fall apart. Researchers from US universities, Binghamton and Rutgers, have found that embedding a certain fungus into the concrete during the manufacturing process can dramatically extend the lifespan


of concrete structures. The research is still in its early stages, but someday the end result could be concrete that heals its own wounds.


Although gel is traditionally thought of as a wet substance, aerogel is created by removing all liquid, leaving only a silica structure that is up to 99% air. The unusual properties of aerogels open the door to a new range of opportunities for their application in building. One of its main benefits is excellent insulating abilities, providing energy and cost savings due to the reduced loss of heated or conditioned indoor air. Above all, it is user-friendly, recyclable and reusable.


May 2018



Whilst not an unknown material for construction, thermochromic tiles and roof panels have been thrust back into the spotlight due to the market demand for eco-buildings. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have invented a smart roofing material that takes a new thermal-management approach to eco-design. Their Thermeleon material is a composite of layers that makes it thermochromic, meaning on exposure to heat it changes colour from black to white. The upshot is that when the sun is shining, a black roof tile covered in the material turns white, reflecting up to 80% of the sunlight and thus keeping the building beneath it cooler. The result? A 20% reduction in cost to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature in the summer, a figure which also comes with an eco-friendly drop in electricity supply demands.



Virtual reality (VR) has finally made its way out of the gaming industry and into the real world. From 3D walk throughs to sell a property, to 3D VR modelling used to pitch architectural projects, there are numerous benefits to adopting this technology. In addition to the increased efficiencies and reduced costs, it can allow builders to stand out from the crowd when marketing their property to consumers and gain an edge on their competitors. One such VR process which is widely used in construction is building information modelling (BIM). Using this system not only provides a model, it also offers data management capabilities that can keep the project team on the same page at all stages of the build, from conception to construction documentation and maintenance.




While the construction industry has been slower in the adoption of technology, it is now recognising the enormous benefits of implementing technology on the job site. Although



While still in its infancy in the mainstream, 3D printing has been hailed as a technology with reams of potential. It relies on scaled-up printers that produce individual components, which are then used to put together a building. Most recently, San Francisco-based startup Apis Cor worked with Russian home-building company PIK Group, to create a house that was printed in less than 24 hours. The building is the closest anyone has come to 3D printing a fully-formed house.


May 2018

relatively new, devices such as smart vests and helmets could transform the industry by boosting productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. Daqri’s smart helmet, for example, connects people, data and machines with its pull-down smart visor.

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can lay an average of 500 bricks a day. Robots that can lay six times The aim of the SAM robots is to as many bricks per day as human help make the construction site work builders are set to turn the construction smarter, and while the device has the industry on its head. New York-based ability to pick up bricks, apply mortar firm, Construction Robotics, has and lay them, the robot needs to be developed a robot called SAM (Semiheavily supervised. Workers still need Automated Mason), which can lay to set up the robot, supervise health 3,000 bricks a day – that’s significantly and safety and assist with laying bricks more than most human builders, who at difficult angles, as well as clear up.



The rise of machine learning technology is rapidly redefining the entire concept of how work will be performed in the near future. These technologies are allowing construction companies to operate more safely and efficiently, increase automation and reduce equipment downtime. Construction firms that are looking to streamline and advance their operations are increasingly turning to AI-powered solutions and programmes. For example, machine learning technologies are powering a new generation of programmes that

allow companies to continuously monitor their heavy equipment on-site in real time. Should any component malfunction or break down, the system proactively alerts the operator, increasing on-site and worker safety.





May 2018

Often, the difference between a successful company and a struggling one, lies in the ability to manage risk. The introduction of predictive analysis is about to make risk management much easier. The software analyses data from subcontractors, materials suppliers, design plans, and the site itself to examine risk factors and flag any potential dangers to avoid issues further down the line.

‘The software analyses data from subcontractors, materials suppliers, design plans, and the site itself to examine risk factors and flag any potential dangers to avoid issues further down the line’

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Put briefly, the internet of things (or IoT) is a network of physical devices that are embedded with sensors and network connectivity to allow those objects to connect and exchange data. The data received is collated and analysed to inform future decisions. In

construction, the internet of things is being used in many ways, such as remote operation and monitoring, supply replenishment, construction tool tracking and in equipment servicing and repair. In the future, it could impact how we construct all buildings and infrastructure, leading to more efficient and responsive cities. This will also improve the environment, impacting everyone’s quality of life.


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Events The biggest and best events and conferences from around the world‌ Writ te n by A N D R E W WOO DS

E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Construction Industry Expo 2018 BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, USA 2 MAY

Build your business with the sixth annual construction industry expo, with the entire construction industry under one roof: • 60-plus exhibitors in 2017 • GCs, CMs, subs, vendors, suppliers, professional services, and more • Meet decision makers • Engage in valuable face-to-face networking • Connect with new business partners • Grow your company


May 2018

National Construction Summit 2018 CITYWEST, DUBLIN, IRELAND 2 MAY

The third annual National Construction Summit welcomes over 2,000 construction companies, developers, policy makers, project owners and government bodies to ‘stimulate debate, enrich knowledge and connect stakeholders’. Topics of debate will include planning, facility management and energy efficiency, plus many, many more.

The World Green Building Council Congress 2018 TORONTO, CANADA 3-7 JUNE Titled “Building Lasting Change with WorldGBC Congress Canada”, the event will see Green Building Councils, international speakers and delegates from five regions of the world (Europe, Africa, MENA, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific) combine with CaGBC members, enabling Canadian delegates to showcase local expertise to international attendees to encourage collaboration, innovation and business exchange.


Webit.Festival Europe 2018 SOFIA, BULGARIA 26-27 JUNE Part of EU Digital & Innovation Week, Webit.Festival Europe 2018 is gathering EU policy makers, global business leaders raging from Fortune 500 top executives to worlds most impactful and promising founders and entrepreneurs and academia to re:Invent Europe’s Future. There will be over 7,000 attendees from 100-plus countries, including 1,500 top policy makers from all over the globe as well as entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and digital economy shapers and representatives from Europe’s most promising startups.


May 2018

E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

London Build 2018 OLYMPIA NATIONAL, LONDON 23-24 OCTOBER London Build is the leading construction show to cover London and the south of England. London Build unites an incredible range of high-level attendees involved in construction, architecture, infrastructure and design in London to discuss a wide-ranging source of issues relating to every aspect of the industry.


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Design-Build Institute of America DBIA Conference and Expo 2018 NEW ORLEANS, LA 7-9 NOVEMBER

DBIA’s annual Design-Build Conference & Expo grows each year as an increasing number of the nation’s owners and designbuilders declare this is their #1 design-build event. 2018 is also DBIA’s silver anniversary, so come celebrate 25 years of designbuild success with us. Owners and design-builders across the nation, as well as sectors and professions come together for three days of workshops, panel discussions and keynotes by industry leaders addressing the real-world challenges America’s design-build teams and owners face across all sectors.


McCormick Place, Chicao, IL, USA 14-16 November Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Greenbuild International Conference and Expo provides the opportunity to visit with more than 750 suppliers and top manufacturers of the latest green building equipment, products, services, and technology available in today’s market.


May 2018

National Construction Equipment Convention (NCEC) SYDNEY SHOWGROUND, SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK 15-17 NOVEMBER The inaugural NCEC is a newly designed mega show that builds on the success of three biennial state-based shows to make a new national event (a three-day hub for industry). NCEC is Australia’s first industry-owned, multi-disciplinary, multi-event platform for the earth moving and infrastructure construction sector with Hitachi, Komastu, Volvo/CJD, Toyota Materials Handling, Tutt Bryant and Clark Equipment attending this year’s show. “With the theme ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ this three-day event will give you the opportunity to interact face-to-face with industry leaders. NCEC will form a vibrant industry hub, working with major associations to create an event, for the industry, by the industry to conquer common challenges and drive the sector forward together. With a focus on infrastructure and cutting-edge technology, this is the time to get involved in this fast-paced industry.”


The Buildings Show Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Canada 28-30 November

Canada’s largest exposition, networking and educational event, The Buildings Show is the leader in sourcing, networking and education in Canada for the design, architecture, construction and real estate communities. The Show is home to Construct Canada, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, PM Expo, STONEX Canada, World of Concrete Pavilion. More than 30,500 trade professionals attend the show annually to discover new innovations across the building industry and source the latest materials, products, tools and technologies from more than 1,600 Canadian, US and international exhibits. Through the show’s comprehensive seminar programme, attendees can choose from 350-plus seminars, keynotes, summits and roundtables led by a roster of 500-plus industry experts.


May 2018

E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S



BRIGHT Hypower has remained a leader within the construction sector thanks to its open-minded and bold approach to technology adoption Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Tom Venturo



ne of southeast USA’s largest specialty contractors, Hypower has completed over a thousand projects valued at over $1bn. The family business’s humble origins and passion to provide quality services has seen it amass a diverse portfolio, grow to over 600 employees and overcome a number of challenges which many others have failed. Hypower houses several divisions, ranging from commercial electrical, new construction, renovation, and service and repair; to outside plant power and communications, telecom engineering, airfield lighting, ground mount solar and prime electrical infrastructure projects nationwide. Established primarily to undertake infrastructure projects in the early 1990s, the company’s specialty niche in runway lighting and airfield lighting systems, and work at the new Denver International Airport Runways put it firmly on the map. Its subsequent growth enabled the company to not only spread out geographically but add a significant number of strings to its bow. “We added traffic signals, high


May 2018

mast lighting, street lighting. We got into the traffic signal business, which filtered into the intelligent transportation system business. This taught us about fiber optic cables and telecommunications,” explains President and CEO of Hypower Inc, Bernard Paul-Hus. “In 1996, Congress deregulated the telecommunication industry to open up markets to competition by removing regulatory barriers to entry into the telecommunication marketplace, which led to a tremendous amount of investment from the private sector. This created a huge boom in the installation of fiber, which we jumped into. We moved more into telecom, but never got away from our roots in airports.” Despite the burst of the bubble, Hypower’s niche markets enabled it to remain afloat without concern, until 9/11. “9/11 was our first real big challenge because nobody saw


Bernard Paul-Hus President & CEO

Bernard Paul-Hus, a 45-year resident of Broward County, began his career in 1986 as an electrical estimator. Bernard Paul-Hus directs the entire Hypower operation including corporate management and administration. He is committed to achieving excellence in every Hypower project through employee training, utilising cutting-edge industry technology and his unwavering dedication to quality. He ensures that every project team is unique and individually selected based on the qualifications and abilities of each team member to enhance the project delivery. His mentorship and guidance define Hypower’s core values. Paul-Hus is actively involved in various committees and industry associations including TEC/VISTAGE Member since 1997; ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Board of Directors, a member of CASF (Construction Association of South Florida). Bernard is personally involved as a leader and a mentor with quite a few local charities – HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth), Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County, 4Kids of South Florida and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hypower donates over $100,000 to local charities every year.

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that coming,” Paul-Hus explains “We’ve always been very reactive solemnly. “It wasn’t predictable in to the market, trying to stay ahead any kind of economic model, and all of what the market’s going to do. of our airfield lighting projects shut Right now, all of our divisions are down. However, we were fortunate firing on all cylinders, but sooner or to survive it, and within a year we later things will slow down. We now were back up and running normally. have enough foresight, vision and “The lesson we learned from data to anticipate these challenges, that, was that diversity was going and to weave our way through what to be our path going forward, the world throws at us.” so we needed to really diversify ourselves Forward planning into these counterBy paying significant cyclical niches,” he attention to its continues. “The tumultuous Hypower Inc most common history, Hypower was established in thing that gets has applied these done by companies lessons towards its like ours is buildings. future goals. Utilising But even buildings, as predictive analytics, we saw in 2008-2012 can a business intelligence pretty much evaporate. When this platform, and delivering ongoing happens, government-funded and training, employees are now able subsidised work stays relatively to elevate their abilities within steady, and if you’re good, you’re their own specialty niches. going to continue to win it. “Our focus needed to be on “We ended up with seven divisions, achieving the highest level of financial but when the recession hit, we acumen at a project management decided to narrow these down into level, and we’ve been working on the five groups that we have today. that since 2009,” adds Paul-Hus.


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HYPOWER INC “Having project managers that are effectively as good as any accountant at not only the historical, but the predictive part of a project, the forecasting side, has proven to be a huge home run for us. It’s also created the ability to go from micromanaging everybody’s decisions, to putting them in this world of ‘If-Then decision making thinking’. “We believe in autonomous management making decisions. We’ve created systems and processes that allow staff to make their own decisions based on the data they’re being presented with and with the options that are open to them.” Creating a system where employees are therefore encouraged to look at data on a regular basis and look at their own performance, as well as their team performance, has taken the company to new heights. “There’s a couple of different softwares which we’ve customised. We’ve now started integrating all those platforms into our proprietary platform, called HYPE,” explains Jeff Emerson, Vice President of Electrical Construction. “This pulls in real-time data, giving


May 2018

project managers and people in the field the systems and information needed to make decisions. It pulls in how much are we spending on material, or how many hours we have spent. What is our production goal? Are we installing as much every day as we need to? What are the open RFIs? It takes all these different systems and integrates them into one. “We’re in the middle of more app development now, that’s going to give every single person in the field, no matter what level they are, a daily goal on exactly what they’re supposed to achieve,” continues Emerson. “Up until recently, we did this verbally and with spreadsheets. Now, it is automated on an iPad or Smartphone that everybody will be able to see first thing in the morning and report on throughout the day.” Digital disruption The use of data within construction and design is continuing to reshape traditional


Jeff Emerson Vice President of Electrical Construction

Jeff Emerson is a talented and seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in electrical contracting management and operations. He brings a wealth of expertise with strengths in areas such as financial and project execution, profit and loss analysis, workforce talent investments and long-term corporate strategy oversight. In his eight years with the Hypower family, Emerson has shown a strong understanding of how to obtain measurable gains, identify key performance improvements and provide tangible evidence of success throughout his leadership roles. With a reputation for judicious use of resources and resulting cost containment, Emerson’s work has been instrumental in providing Hypower with leading edge best practices and management reporting capabilities critical to the success of production systems and company performance. In addition, Emerson has effectively raised transparency and visibility within the organisation by bringing technology decisions and issues to the forefront of crucial Executive Committee discussions. His commitment to excellence lead the company to become one of the local pioneers to implement and utilise the use of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and its newly designed studio houses over 20 VDC specialists. w w w. c o n s t r u c t i o n g l o b a l . c o m


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practices which have remained relatively unchanged – until recently. For Hypower, it is clear that the company remains keen to take full advantage of embedding new technologies across its operations. By strengthening its virtual design and construction capabilities (VDC), as well as harnessing building information modelling (BIM) technologies, the company has optimised its processes, reduced the number of mistakes and delivered higher quality projects at competitive prices, leading the business to remain ahead of the curve. “A lot of technology that’s used in modelling software, such as Revit, Navisworks, and AutoCAD are all pretty much industry standard. It’s the level of detail that sets us apart. We look for jobs where our customers or clients are going to appreciate the value that this brings,” explains Emerson. “When we’re 3D modelling and working with the rest of the team, you can view areas of concern, such as whether a conduit clashes with a HVAC duct, for example. We fix all these things before the material

‘Hypower harnesses Virtual Design and Construction and Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to deliver higher quality projects at competitive prices’


is ordered, or a stick of conduit is installed. This provides a lot of predictability, allows the schedule to be maintained, and the owner can look at the model and see what his building is going to look like inside and outside before we even start. Paul-Hus adds: “It’s the ability to virtualise a project by building it in three dimensions, while working with our fellow specialty trade contractors. We can all see the problems we’re going to have ahead of time, so we can fix it in this virtual world, so that when we get out there in the job site, it goes much better.” With up to 20 dedicated VDC/ BIM specialists, all large projects at Hypower utilise these essential processes. Coordinating with various trades is therefore encouraged across all avenues and moves the company towards the purchasing and prefabrication process. “Instead of ordering what might be typically six parts and have them come out in six boxes in the field, we’ll assemble all six of those pieces off-site and ship it out with a clear label that matches our VDC


May 2018

design, where the parts are then to be put it in place. We also use the Trimble Total station, which is our layout equipment,” adds Emerson. The use of new, digital tools has also overhauled traditional layout processes. “The team used to get in the field and use a tape measure, a chalk line, flags and drawings to figure out where everything’s supposed to go based on information provided from the contractor,” explains Emerson. “Now, when we receive information, all our points are laid out in a tablet. One team member can go out with Trimble Total Station, set out the laser, and mark where it all goes. Through this, we’ve reduced layout time by 70%. “We’re now also at near zero mistakes,” he continues. “In the last seven jobs, we have never missed a layout point, to the point that we’re actually helping others who are doing it the old school way. It’s therefore


Barry Olson Vice President of Purchasing

Barry Olson started his career in the electrical industry in 1989, working for an electrical distributor and then transitioning into the contracting side of the business. Over the years, Olson has led the purchasing efforts of several large electrical contractors across the nation before settling in with the Hypower team in 2015. Devoted to the development of a procurement system based on partnerships with vendors, Olson has made significant changes to Hypower’s basic buying philosophy that has supported both Hypower’s long term growth strategy and contributed to bottom line profitability. Olson is also actively involved in the development of Hypower’s company culture; believing that the right working environment is conducive to maximum employee contribution leading to the company’s overall success. Olson holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees in organisational leadership as well as a master’s degree in management. Olson is also planning to start work on a PhD. in the fall of 2018 that he believes will equip him to further refine and develop Hypower’s workforce for continued growth and long term organisational stability.

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bringing value not just to us, but to them as well,” observes Emerson. “This will become the new norm in how buildings are constructed,” observes Vice President of Purchasing, Barry Olson. “People in their 20s and 30s are coming into the industry with their own ideas and paradigms of how much easier computer modelling makes things, for example. “We’re in a time where we’ve got a lot of senior managers that are also saying, ‘we’ve never done it this

way, we’ve always done it the other way’, and you now have enough new information and people in the industry asking the question, ‘well why can’t we do it this way?’ “Whilst there’s a blending of the two, at some point this whole platform of how buildings are put together is going to be the generally accepted practice,” he adds pensively. “I think we’re ahead of the curve in what we’re planning, because we are looking down the road as to where this will lead.” Nonetheless, Paul-Hus explains that the technology has presented a number of new challenges, particularly within Hypower’s

“Sooner or later things will slow down, but we now have enough foresight, vision and data to anticipate these challenges, and to weave our way through what the world throws at us” – President and CEO of Hypower Inc, Bernard Paul-Hus 92

May 2018


relationships with clients. “We can become extraordinarily frustrated at how difficult it is to sell the value of this technology to the end user, which is the owner or the general contractor,” he says. “If they are not experienced with the technology, we have not developed a good way to explain all of the things that would have gone wrong had we not gone through our processes. We have not been able to quantify in any meaningful way, all of the mistakes that we fixed before we got onto the site. “Us and the other trade contractors, through the virtue of our coordination, which is generally driven by the specialty trade contractors, have fixed so many problems, that when we go out to build the job, these problems will never happen, so the end user can never appreciate the fact that they didn’t happen. “We can measure year over year improvement, but if I tell a client that we’ve been able to drive 24% of our labor cost out of our jobs year on year on the same number of manhours, their first question is, ‘why isn’t your price lower?’” The cost



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trade off of planning for the labor gains yields predictability when done properly which ultimately saves time and the cost savings flow throughout the entire project. Increased agility Despite this, Hypower’s embrace of new digital tools continues to influence its positive culture of adaptability and change. “Five years from now, we expect that the hard hat that workers wear will have a chip in it with a visor that projects on the wall. I will walk into a room, flip down my visor and see all the work that I’m supposed to install that day,” explains Paul-Hus. “Rather than measure anything or do any layout work, it’ll actually be on the visor screen. I will simply need to walk up to where the device that I


need to install is, match it up with the shadow box that’s on my visor, and screw it to the wall, and I’m done.” “If you don’t have a culture that accepts the use of technology, you are going to be a company that struggles,” he adds. “The only way you do that is by implementing change, measuring performance improvement, rewarding people for following processes, and making sure that they understand this.” By placing significant emphasis on continuous improvement, Hypower is a strong believer in training and developing its workers, improving ways of working through the use of data, giving context to such data and then proactively reacting to the data received. “We don’t get focused on individual results, we get focused on

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Hypower-Employee Appreciation Night

the overall result,” says Paul-Hus. “We don’t want to put too much emphasis on profitability as the rest of our core values could get ignored; people might make decisions to boost profitability that hurts our professionalism, which then prevents us from continuously improving and ends up hurting our relationships.” Inspiring others Not one to rest on its laurels, Hypower expects the best of its staff, and makes a significant effort to give back, not just to its employees but to the local community. Its efforts to drive positive engagement and quality results have seen the company become recognised as

Business of the Year by the South Florida Business Journal in 2017. To reward employees, Hypower seeks to gather all required data and runs a number of events, inviting employees to attend. Presentations are undertaken and the company aims to recognise all staff which are leading the it to success. Additionally, Hypower’s growth has seen it give back to local communities, both through its charity events, raising over $1mn thus far, as well as recruitment of locals. Paul-Hus explains: “A young manager we recently recruited was through a charitable organisation, Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth (HANDY).

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“If you don’t have a culture that accepts the use of technology, you are going to be a company that struggles” – President and CEO of Hypower Inc, Bernard Paul-Hus

NBC Telemundo Headquarters

This individual was displaced from Haiti because of the earthquake in 2010. He was brought to the United States, where he finished high school, went to Florida Atlantic University and gained a degree in accounting. We brought him in as an intern and now he’s a full-fledged employee.” “Peter Stoykov, our Marketing Director, and I recently gave a presentation to kids on a career path


May 2018

in the construction industry. We go into the community and we say, ‘look, we understand that everybody wants to go to college, but we also understand that not everybody gets to go to college. It could be because you don’t have the grades, it could be because you don’t have the financial means, it could be for a variety of reasons. It could be because you have a child too young and you just don’t have the time to have a job, but none of that means that there aren’t career paths to success.’ “We use our company as an

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example that you can start off in the field as an apprentice electrician and apply into our program or go to school while you’re receiving training. After four years in a certified program and a Journeyman prep course, as part of our Workforce Development Plan, you will receive a professional electrician’s license.

“At the end of four years, you’re making $50,000 per year. Your career path can follow suit. You continue to take our training, supervisory training, go to seminars, whatever it takes to continue your education. Keep climbing the career path to an executive level,” continues Paul-Hus. “I’m the President and CEO and I don’t have a college degree. I’m a really good example to stand and say, having a child at 19 years old, like I did, and not having a college degree doesn’t limit your ability to think big, chase your dreams, build

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“We’re in a time where we’ve got a lot of senior managers that are saying,

‘We’ve never done it this way, we’ve always done it the other way,’ but you now have enough new information and people in the industry asking the question, “Well why can’t we do it this way?” – Barry Olson, Vice President of Purchasing


May 2018

a business and be a leader. Do all those things that some people might have you believe you can’t do. Don’t listen to them and don’t get discouraged. There are multiple paths to achieving your goals.” The path to success Hypower’s long-term vision to ensure its vendors, customers, employees and shareholders remain happy will see the company continue to grow and deliver exceptional value and quality services, where digital tools will continue to support decision making and guarantee exceptional results. “Growth is the cornerstone of our success,” reflects Paul-Hus.


“Growth means that we can continue to invest in these processes. It means that we can continue to show folks that are just coming into this industry to come to work for us, that there will be an opportunity. “There is a career path that will not be stymied by running into someone who you can’t pass due to attrition. We’re growing, we expect workers to learn. The more you learn, the more likely we are to be able to offer you that opportunity that’s been generated by our growth. So, growth is super important. “If, through the use of all of our processes, we continue to drive down what it costs us to do the work versus the market value of doing that work, even when times get tough and we lower our prices, our costs will already be in line with those lower prices,” he adds. “For now, we’re benefiting with higher margins, because we continue to pursue work at a market rate, not

at a cost-plus rate. However, when we get into that really tough world of the overall market shrinking, we should be able to maintain or even continue to grow our revenue in that tough economy, simply because we, during the good times, didn’t get complacent with our success. We continued to take the products of our success and invested in continuous improvement. When times get tough, we can perform at a lower cost basis than our competitors.” Paul-Hus concludes: “That’s really our goal, to continue to take what the market gives us. Right now, there are more opportunities than we could ever react to. “But when those opportunities become limited, we will be in an excellent position, with a very well skilled workforce, and with processes that have driven down our cost so that we can remain competitive without losing money even through those tough times.”

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BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE NEW POMONA COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART Project Manager Brian Faber discusses the challenges of constructing this iconic facility

Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Tom Venturo



omona College is a private liberal arts college in Claremont, CA, and the founding member of The Claremont Colleges. Though small, Pomona has offered its students first-class academics since 1887: there are 48 majors to choose from, not to mention 59 overseas study programs in 34 countries. In 2015 it was number one in Forbes’s annual rankings of top American colleges. That also was the year Pomona decided to build a new museum and gallery space. The new Pomona College Museum of Art (PCMA) is at the core of Pomona College’s liberal arts education, making the visual arts an essential part of the experience of all students. It achieves this by integrating the visual arts into the broader intellectual and disciplinary context of the college.

Pomona College 360° Virtual Reality Campus Tour


May 2018

By presenting contemporary and historic works of art for exhibition and study, and placing those works in context, the museum attracts visitors from a range of audiences. Its collections are a teaching resource, emphasising first-hand conversation with art objects as a tool for increasing visual literacy and investigating the diversity of human experience. The museum encourages active learning and creative explorations across disciplines. Included are galleries, which allow students and classes to work as curators on exhibitions connected to the curriculum. The students see not only the collections but what it takes to direct and curate in a world-class institution. An element of the museum’s connection to the community is the outreach program to Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) based in the College’s Native American Study Center Collection. This program invites every third-grade classroom



in CUSD to campus to study Pomona College’s collection up close. Since 2013, the museum has offered classroom lessons, directed activities during collection visits, and postvisit classroom lessons to more than 1,200 third-graders. The new facility is specifically designed to host these programs and will allow the museum to expand its outreach to other grade levels and school districts, with a special focus on Title 1 schools. The construction project started with the appointment of two worldclass architectural firms, Machado & Silvetti and Gensler, their brief to align the art of architecture with the functional and programmatic requirements of a 21st-century

accredited academic museum. The general contractor, working under a gross material price (GMP) contract, is Hathaway Dinwiddie. The museum began to take shape in February 2018, when the first two concrete walls – about 70% of the main gallery – were poured, and two gang forms set up for the third and fourth walls. The basement walls also were fortified and waterproofed. The mass excavation and on-site work on utilities, sewer and electricity were completed, and water and fire services for the museum installed by the Golden State Water Company. Most of the building, around 80%, is cast-in place concrete walls, a linear board-formed concrete with

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tapering windows and corners set below a sloping roof line, says Brian Faber. “Our campus has been here since 1887 and it has a good number of buildings that are constructed that way so that fits in conceptually with the campus design.” The other 20% is mainly glass and wood. Concrete has different challenges when formed on site than factory made panels. “Concrete, in my opinion, is a material that is less controllable,” Faber points out. “When you are


May 2018

pouring concrete into a wall cavity there are variables depending on how you vibrate the concrete, the temperature and humidity that day, the consistency of the concrete formula, and so on.” This means on-site inspection and monitoring and inspection must be meticulous, though he hastens to say he’s had no problems with the concrete supplied. The concrete is prepared less than 20 miles from the site. It’s a requirement of LEED certification


that materials should be sourced as closely as possible to the point of use, however when going for LEED Gold (and Pomona won’t accept anything less) there are a lot of other considerations. So, very efficient mechanical systems, water efficient fixtures, on-site water conservation and eco-landscaping features have been specified. Smardt chillers for climate control are a case in point: “They are not the cheapest, but they are the best for our purposes,

and in every case that has been our criterion.” Trash and surplus materials are recycled and nothing goes to landfill: perhaps the longest supply chain route is the FSC-certified timber, which comes all the way from Canada, but that’s because you need the hard northern winters to grow lumber dense enough for construction. LEED Gold being a general construction standard in the USA, there are further stringent standards to meet when designing

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May 2018


and constructing an art gallery, Faber emphasises. Works of art are vulnerable. Wood, canvas and paper are very hygroscopic: they need an environment in which air temperature and humidity remain stable over time, within clearly defined limits. PCMA is an AA category facility, the highest international standard, with requirements such as providing security. This also means it has to guarantee that temperature remains within a two-degree temperature range at all times, with tight controls on relative humidity as well. In the

hot southern California climate that’s a challenge, hence the Smardt equipment. “Honestly, the most critical part about building this project is climate control,” says Faber, “because if it doesn’t meet the requirements of a double A-rated space, when the museum staff wants to borrow a Rembrandt that’s the first thing they will ask about.” Not that there are any firm plans to borrow that particular work, but we get the point. Construction is set for substantial completion in June 2019, with an expected museum opening in 2020.

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Here the Californian climate has been a help – apart from a two-day freak rainstorm the weather hasn’t disrupted work on site. By November 2018 the building should be closed in and weathertight, and work can continue on fitting out the interior. Some of Faber’s time until then will be taken up by monitoring the remaining concrete pours – about 10 of them – and seeing the roof goes on. However, more of his time will go into the constant process of interaction with all the stakeholders in this building. “Ultimately the users of this museum are staff or faculty members: five years from now nobody is going to be talking about the construction, but they will be living with and in this building. We have frequent meetings with staff, and with the Director of the PCMA, Professor Kathleen Howe. The nice thing about working on an art museum is that the end users are typically artists or artistically-minded people and so I have found that things are more easily conveyed to them.” They can visualise

spatially, and because of the process of meetings and explanation, Faber believes that these end users will be handed a workplace, teaching space, and public gallery that is already familiar and which they know will work. Faber sees the communication loop, with everyone who might be touching the project, as central to his work. “We try to be very proactive in letting them know the things that are going to happen and keeping all the parties, including the people who are going to maintain it five years from now, on board feeling they’re part of the project. I think we do a really good job of that at Pomona College.” The other thing he is happy about is the positive vibe among contractors, subcontractors, the design teams and end users. There have been barbecues where all of these stakeholders have fun, and end up with the feeling they are all contributing to a project that will entrench the college’s position on the cultural map.

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Written by Dale Benton Produced by Lewis Vaughan



raditionally across the global colo-data centre industry, power generation, location and cooling systems have dominated the conversation as to what can make a data centre partner of choice. But over the last few years, that conversation has started to change. No longer is it enough that a company can provide unrivalled cooling efficiency, greater capacity than any other and it’s even arguable that being strategically placed may not be enough to separate one company from another in competitive markets. For Jens Peter Mueller, Country Head / General Manager for Germany at Keppel Data Centres Holding, the key is in the additional value that a provider can deliver. “Companies won’t buy from you just because you have all of the traditional qualities; cooling, power, space, security, fire suppression,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, all those traditional qualities are still key, but as a provider you need to offer additional value on top of those commodity issues.” Keppel Data Centres is the manager and operator


May 2018

The vision is to be the number one partner of choice for enterprise customers from certain, security- and proximity demanding verticals” Jens Peter Mueller Country GM

Jens Peter Mueller, Country GM

of premier data centres across AsiaPacific and Europe. Mueller, having worked with Deutsche Telekom, was brought into Keppel DC to oversee the company’s expansion into the German market, which was solidified by the acquisition of its first data centre in Frankfurt Kalbach earlier last year, Keppel DC Frankfurt 1 (KDC FRA 1). Mueller believes that where Keppel

DC is different from other data centre providers in Germany is in its approach to grow fast; the company acquires existing data centre sites rather than opting to build from scratch or take over competitors. “That is something different because if you own the sites, that’s not the end of the story because you need to have much more than just

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Keppel Data Centres’ Datahall, Germany

the site,” says Mueller. “You need to have a brand, a service portfolio, you need market access and you need to have an organisation.” Getting to that point in Germany is part of the journey for Mueller. Keppel DC has an existing strong presence across the APAC region and its presence, particularly in Singapore (a data centre hub), provides the company with an ever-growing list of international customers. As the company seeks to firmly establish its European footprint, Mueller understands the core


May 2018

challenge in this different market. The European data centre market is densely populated with some of the biggest players in the industry, many of which have been active on the continent for the last decades and, in order for Keppel DC to catch up, it requires a certain economy of scale, proven “IP-Gravity” and the ability to create an eco-system within your customer base. “The vision is to be the number one partner of choice for enterprise customers from certain, securityand proximity demanding verticals,”


Keppel Data Centres, Germany.

says Mueller. “But we are aware that in order to catch up and overtake the ‘big names’ of the market, we must bring our organisation up to that level and then we look to do something new, something disruptive like offering fully transparent TCO to that customer group upfront.” Growing with customers will prove key. As Keppel seeks out to acquire new data centre sites, it will look to establish a varied portfolio of large scale customers that it can host, while also targeting the enterprise market. This is where Keppel will

establish a state of the art service and connectivity portfolio, as Mueller is not the first to admit that a data centre is now much more of a marketplace. “Compare a data centre with an airport,” he says. “The going in and out of planes is just the basic functionality, but it’s all about the people. What do they need when they head to other countries? They need services and everything to make their journey pleasant and successful. That’s what Keppel DC brings to the table with its portfolio spanning Europe and Asia Pacific.”

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May 2018



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Compare a data centre with an airport. The going in and out of planes is just the basic functionality, but it’s all about the people. What do they need when they head to other countries? That’s what Keppel DC brings to the table with its portfolio spanning Europe and Asia Pacific” Jens Peter Mueller Country GM

Like all airports, a data centre can only be as good as its connectivity options and in Frankfurt, KDC FRA 1 is connected to DE-CIX – the largest internet exchange in the world. As a DE-CIX enabled site, Keppel can now play in the “major league” of Colo-Datacenters in Frankfurt. “Having the biggest Internet Exchange Point (IXP) on our site not only allows us to connect our customers to hundreds of carriers all over the world plus to all relevant cloud platforms in the market. It also enables us to attract cloud-ready customers with a hybrid IT-architecture to our sites,” says Mueller. “And being a part of the largest exchange in the world, it’s like sitting on a big switch where a customer can connect to just one port, and on the other side of that switch are all the peering partners and cloud-platforms of his choice, readily connected and available to exchange traffic. This option is accompanied by Keppel DC´s unique business model of not charging the customers for cross-connects on a monthly basis” Keppel’s German expansion is of course a journey and Mueller readily admits that the customer base is still growing, but what does prove key is the company’s access to the APAC regions, specifically Singapore. With a footprint across five countries in Europe and many places in the APAC Region, Mueller believes that customers will be attracted to Keppel DC as the organisation can be a gateway to Asia for

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May 2018


Keppel Data Centres utilises one of the most efficient cooling systems in the industry w w w. c o n s t r u c t i o n g l o b a l . c o m



their own expansions into that growing market. “We can be in the eyes of customers a very valuable partner because we have all the businessconnections across the APAC regions,” he says. “It goes back to our idea of growing with the customer. We can really take their business to places like Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong and connect them to our expansive customer base.” As a data centre provider, Keppel will be nothing without its customers and as it continues to grow and expand its customer portfolio, it can do so with the support and collaboration of its existing vendor base. In acquiring an existing 40MW/10.000 sqm data centre site from a financial institution in Frankfurt, Keppel took it upon itself to turn the site from a single tenant data centre into a multiple tenant site. This, Mueller describes, is like looking at the difference between a house for a family and a hotel. “You don’t have to have everything in your private household that you would need for a hotel,” he says, “and it’s the same when taking over a data centre that has already been built according to other plans. “Besides from having a strong foundation in the existing setup and a clear plan how to adopt to enterprise needs it is important to have other partners that are familiar with the rules of the data centre business, that know what the challenge is and that can serve you on an international basis.” In this instance, partners that have proved instrumental on this German expansion have been


May 2018

Being a part of the largest exchange in the world, it’s like sitting on a big switch where a customer can connect to just one port, and on the other side of that switch are all the peering partners and cloudplatforms of his choice, readily connected and available to exchange traffic” Jens Peter Mueller Country GM

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Keppel Data Centres has invested heavily in its back-up power system to support its ability to provide an Uninterrupted service w w w. c o n s t r u c t i o n g l o b a l . c o m



STS-Tecom, CBRE and WISAG, all providers of professional and innovative data center services “Those companies go above and beyond what you ask for,” says Mueller. “They see issues that need to be resolved and work fast, effectively and collaboratively in order to provide a smart solution. “As we embark on this growth journey, having partners that can provide that level of innovation and collaboration will continue to prove instrumental.”


May 2018

At the time of writing, Keppel is very much at the start of this growth journey in Germany. Having finalised the acquisition of its Frankfurt data centre at the end of last year, and an official operational date earmarked for July 2018, what does the future hold for Keppel in Germany and beyond? Mueller feels that the current data centre market in TIER 1 cities across the world is dominated by the likes of Google and Facebook, responsible for close to 40% of market growth in 2017 alone. This, he believes,


will change the customer demand across the data centre market. “We will see more and more businesses being hooked up to hyperscale platforms,” says Mueller. “This part of the market will grow further, mostly in built-tosuit environments - but there will always be an important customer base demanding an enterprise offering with proximity to the cloud. “So, you could argue that we may lose some customer groups being soaked up by hyperscalers,

but at the same time we will maintain customers that need to run mission critical services and they will always focus on top notch, highly secure and hyperconnected data centres, which is what we have in our portfolio. “Take all of that and throw in the fact that we can deliver a connected platform with those larger regions like Asia and Singapore, and we will become a key player for any business looking to expand their own reach,” concludes Mueller.

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Delivering light rail in Denmarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third TO OPEN IN 2020, THE largest city DUE LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM ODENSE Written by FRAN ROBERTS Produced by LEWIS VAUGHAN



U R OPE HAS AN extensive number of tramway networks, although Melbourne in Australia boasts ownership of the world’s largest tram system. All the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, excluding Lithuania, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova and Slovenia, have extensive tram infrastructures. Many cities closed their tram programmes last century due to the rapid increase in traffic. However, in recent decades, tram networks in countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal have grown considerably. Denmark is the latest country to re-embrace the tram – 45 years since the last tram ran in Copenhagen, a new tram system is being constructed in Odense, in addition to one in Aarhus. Following the Odense Letbane Construction Act in spring 2015, the construction company Odense Letbane P / S was established. It is 100% owned by Odense Municipality, but acts as an independent company. Perhaps most famous as the birthplace of the author Hans Christian 132

May 2018

A final layer of concrete being poured, before tarmac is added on Albani Bridge Andersen, Odense is hoping to become a global leader in sustainability. “It is a very green city and a very blue city as well,” acknowledges Mogens Hagelskær, CEO at Odense Letbane. “Of course, from an environmental point of view, we are obligated to look into how can we reduce the CO2 or emissions in any way. How can we re-use braking energy? How can we utilise solar cells on top of the roof of the control room centre?”



A DANISH CITY ON THE RISE The tram system is part of a wider regeneration scheme in Odense after the city was hit hard by the global financial crisis. “15 years ago, there were a lot of industrial areas in Odense but due to the financial crisis they were closed,” explains Hagelskær. “The former Mayor and CEO of the municipality, together with the city council, decided that instead of just slicing their way out of it by cost cutting,

they wanted to invest in the city.” The planned total investment in urban development from 2012 to 2022 is DKK 44bn (US$6.8bn). As a result of this, 38,000 new temporary jobs and 10,000 new permanent jobs will be created. US$6.8bn may be a small amount compared many other projects – London’s Crossrail project is scheduled to cost US$23bn – but in Danish terms, it is a considerable investment. “Odense is moving from a medium

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sized city to a great city in Denmark,” Hagelskær notes. “It’s not only enough to have a city. You need culture, you need sports, you need good shopping and restaurants, you need education, you need transport. “All these things are handled in the one big overall strategy of getting to a greater city and they are all projects attacking the same three principals – that is attraction, growth and transformation of the city. Of course, from our perspective, the tramway is the most important project of all of them because we are combining the single strategy towards a higher scale and with the infrastructure.”

TRANSFORMING ODENSE The overall strategy of making Odense a great city is one that Odense Letbane is determined not to lose sight of. “The tramway scheme in Odense is being built in four legs. It is our vision of the tram that it is supporting the overall city vision. All in Odense need to be careful because it’s not the end goal to deliver a tramway. It is just a step to the end goal. The end goal is to make to transform of all of Odense,” observes Hagelskær.

Construction began on July 1st 2015 and then mayor, Anker Boye, cut the first section of tarmac To support the overall objective, Odense Letbane envisions that it will support development work in Odense generally and especially within 400m of each station. “We know that there will come a lot of investment, we see it already. We support new infrastructure and we are integrating and strengthening the public transportation infrastructure, both the existing railways and the highway,” states Hagelskær. From the public transportation point of view, Odense Letbane is also supporting and transforming the bus system.

A NEW IDENTITY Like many cities, Odense is facing major

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transport challenges in the coming years. On the outskirts of the city, a new university hospital and science campus are under construction, and the existing university is planning to double its capacity over the next couple of years. “By 2024, we can see that more than 60,000 people on a daily basis will travel in and out of that area. That is approximately the same as a medium sized city in Denmark that needs to go in and out of an area. We cannot do that with the existing infrastructure,” acknowledges Hagelskær. “Second of all, we have an ambition

in Denmark that it will only take one hour to come from Copenhagen to Odense and one hour from Odense to Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. If that is going to be realised then we will be looking at double the amount of people coming in and out of Odense station on a daily basis. That means that we will have a lot of congestion in that area.” Many solutions to these challenges were proposed but, in the end, the tramway is the one that Odense is going with. “The tramway will carry more than four buses and more than


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200 cars worth of passengers each time that it enters the stations,” Hagelskær comments. “On top of that, of course, there are a lot of extra benefits and developments that come with urban development. But actually, the core objectives and the core business case are in the capacity of the tramway.”

LESSONS LEARNED In August 2012, the competition for the design and visualisation consultancy for the Odense tram system was won by a team consisting of Niras, PLH Architects, Atelier Villes & Paysages and MBD Design. In March 2015, Parsons Brinckerhoff won the contract for project management, and strategic and economic advice. COWI was selected as technical advisor. Following on from that, in June 2015, preparatory work began involving the city’s water and sewer pipes – work that will be hard to do once the rails are in place. “We are actually taking a risk out for the big contractors by doing all the utilities diversions. That is from lessons learned from programmes in the UK where they have tried to do it at the 138

May 2018

The utilities diversion has had a big impact and all along the tram line the utilities have been updated to modern standards, whilst the water supply and sewer system has also been upgraded to better accommodate heavy rainfall

“WHEN YOU LOOK INTO HOW WE’RE GOING TO BUILD THE TRAMWAY, WE HAVE DIVIDED IT UP IN A VERY LOGICAL WAY” – Mogens Hagelskær, CEO same time and you are always surprised by what’s happening under the road,” notes Hagelskær. The tramway project has been split into four different construction phases. “When you look into how we’re going to build the tramway, we have divided it up in a very logical way,” Hagelskær observes. After the utilities are moved, the roads, bicycle lanes and pavements will be built. Then after that the tracks, the masts and the stations. Finally, the focus will be on greenery. “We’re


planting one or two trees every time that we are removing one,” adds Hagelskær.

COMPETING ON EFFICIENCY In the beginning, Odense Letbane decided to tender out the project as DBOM – design, build, operate and maintain. However, it quickly became apparent that there would be a lack of competition, driving up prices, as few companies could deliver all that was required within the tender. It was then decided to split the civil works into

individual packages, as well as packages for the transport system and the rolling stock. The contract for rolling stock has been awarded to Stadler. “We now have divided the whole alignment in the civil works into seven smaller packages because we can see that in Denmark it was too large a scale of packages for one contractor, and we couldn’t attract international civil workers or construction companies to come and do that for us,” acknowledges Hagelskær. “To have the highest competition possible, we divided them into certain packages. We have done the detailed design so our contractors are competing on the efficiency that they will provide in the construction phase. Right now, we have tendered up five out of the seven packages and we will have received the last two packages before 1 March.”

NEW MONEY The first of 16 Variobahn trams is expected to be delivered by Stadler to Denmark in autumn 2019, while the whole fleet is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2020. Despite being almost three years away, the w w w. c o n s t r u c t i o n g l o b a l . c o m



Odense tram project is already attracting developers to the city. “We can see already that a lot of developers are attracted to Odense, even developers we haven’t seen in the city before,” Hagelskær comments. “There’s actually new money coming into the city here, and what we see from other projects is that a tramway is a generator for growth – there will be urban development. Not only the ones that we had planned for already, but also new ones that we wouldn’t have seen coming before. It means that the municipality must treat the tramway as strategic to their overall planning.” It is hoped that investment will flow into Odense with new businesses developing along the route of the tram. In 2010, a modern tram line opened in Bergen, Norway, and Odense Letbane uses this project as a point of comparison. “At this point of time in the project, there were approximately DKK 17bn [$2.6bn] invested near to the tramway tracks and that is similar to us here in Denmark. We have approximately DKK 15bn [$2.3bn] in investment within a 400m radius of the tramway right now,” remarks Hagelskær. “The challenges that we are facing is that an

“THERE’S ACTUALLY NEW MONEY COMING INTO THE CITY HERE, AND WHAT WE SEE FROM OTHER PROJECTS IS THAT A TRAMWAY IS A GENERATOR FOR GROWTH, THERE WILL BE URBAN DEVELOPMENT” – Mogens Hagelskær, CEO urban tramway as we’re building in Odense, there are very few people in Denmark with experience of building a tram like that.”

GAINING COMPETENCE This lack of experience of building tramways in Denmark has certainly been a challenge for Odense, although neighbouring countries have been sources of inspiration. “Building a tramway in the city centre, that is something new in Denmark,” Hagelskær comments. “We haven’t seen that from past history, so the capacity of the competence is very high for us to gain. We do of course get a lot of inspiration from how they’ve

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done it in the UK, France, and Germany.” In all Danish towns and cities, cycling is one of the most common means of transport. According to the country’s official website, it is estimated that there are more than four million bicycles in Denmark and more than 10,000km of designated cycle tracks and routes. As the tram system takes shape, care must be taken to manage the space available for traffic. “The pedestrians and bicycles are using the same space as we are building on, so there’s a lot of congestion. You see people are stopped in their cars but there’s a lot of things that you need to balance when you’re doing this. You need your alignment to work for your construction site, but you also need to take into the account that the city must function when you are doing the construction,” Hagelskær acknowledges.

COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION There will be 26 stations on the line from Tarup in the north to Hjallese in the south. At 14.5km, the first phase of the tram system extends through much of Odense. As well as ensuring that the city can function during construction, Odense Letbane must also take into

It is estimated that there are more than four million bicycles in Denmark account other projects that are happening in the city. “We need to have a lot of mutual adjustment, coordination and communication together,” explains Hagelskær, referencing the aforementioned university and hospital projects. “The city needs to be facilitators to the common investment. That means that we are actually adjusting or balancing a lot of bottom lines in a project like this. That is not a simple job to organise.”

FOCUSED DISCUSSION The impact that the project has on the citizens of Odense is also an important

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consideration for Odense Letbane, and is reflected in how the management team operates. “We are very focused on the fact we are dealing with other people’s money. It is public funded. We make an effort. When we do things, we don’t cut corners to make decisions. When we make a deal, it is a deal and we work through it. We are setting the direction as the management team and are clear in our communication to our employees,” Hagelskær comments. “From my point of view of what we have done here is we have focused on


May 2018

the organisation part. The leadership, clarity and principles. We are looking very much to cultivate a performance culture, and we are making huge efforts to not only promise a lot of things but also putting it into practice. From the organisational perspective and the focus, we have managed to have an independent board with only nonexecutives,” observes Hagelskær. “That means that they are here to support us. They are skilled in the various disciplines of maintenance, design, good governance, and


stakeholder management in Odense.” The team built a mission control centre – known as On Track – to help the project stay exactly that. “I thought that we had a lot of management meetings, where we were discussing a lot of things but I thought we weren’t discussing the right topics. I wanted to cut all the filler out of the discussions and then know what is the most important thing to discuss together with my senior management team. It’s a very focused discussion surrounding, so that everyone can

contribute to the success that we are planning, and we will not talk about all the things that are running smoothly,” Hagelskær advises.

INFORMING THE NEIGHBOURHOODS At the heart of all of this is communication. “Communication is very important for me because, at the end of the day, this is Odense’s tramway. It’s not my tramway,” Hagelskær explains. “We will go out there, knock on people’s doors asking them if they feel that there’s any information that

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Every project is unique and so are our solutions. SYSTRA always selects the ecosystem that best serves our customers’ vision and creates the confidence that is essential for world progress.

Partnership with Hyperloop One

Operational presence in Sweden and Denmark.


of the world’s automated metro lines currently under construction

Projects in

100 cities

60 years


of experience and innovation

with populations of over 1 million

6,100 staff


Mogens Hagelskær (left) discusses the project with a member of the public they want or need from us. If they are not informed they are very easily going to say no to the tramway, but if we have informed them and they say no, then we have a much easier discussion than if they are saying no on an uninformed basis.” From the beginning of the project, Odense Letbane has laid out a clear vision for the project, allowing effective communication to residents about the impact of the tramway, and thus maintaining support for it. “When we are nearing the construction phase, we will have information meetings in the

neighbourhoods. We have divided the tramway route defined areas, and then we will go out there, inform residents about what will happen, when it will happen, and how it will affect them on a daily basis,” Hagelskær advises. When Odense Letbane is undertaking the construction, its staff will also be there on bicycles and with an information wagon. “We will have a very close sense of if there’s going to be any rumours in the areas, so we actually can tackle that as well as giving them the information in the right place,” explains Hagelskær. Press, digital channels and social media are also utilised by Odense Letbane to keep residents informed about the project. “Neighbourhood communication is very important for us. To have that face-to-face communication along the route and using channels such as mobile exhibitions, guided walks along the route or through the outdoor campaign to decorate the

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• Odense Letbane is the public company responsible for developing the first light rail line in Denmark’s third-largest city

• I n March 2015, Parsons Brinckerhoff won the contract for project management, and strategic and economic advice.

• Melbourne in Australia maintains the title of the world’s largest tram system

• In June 2015, preparatory work began involving the city’s water and sewer pipes

• 45 years since the last tram ran in Copenhagen, a new tram system is being constructed in Odense, in addition to one in Aarhus

• T he tramway project has been split into four different construction phases

• T he planned total investment in urban development from 2012 – 2022 is DKK 44bn (US$6.8bn). As a result of this, 38,000 new temporary jobs and 10,000 new permanent jobs will be created. • T he tramway will carry more than four buses and more than 200 cars worth of passengers each time that it enters the stations • In August 2012, the competition for the design and visualisation consultancy for the Odense Light Rail was won by a team consisting of Niras, PLH Architects, Atelier Villes & Paysages and MBD Design.


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• T he first of 16 Variobahn trams is expected to be delivered by Stadler to Denmark in autumn 2019, while the whole fleet is a to enter service by the end of 2020 • T here will be 26 stations on the line from Tarup in the north to Hjallese in the south. • At 14.5km, the first phase of the tram system extends through much of Odense


An important part of Odense Letbane’s communications throughout 2017 was a mobile exhibition, parked around busy public spaces and where construction work was taking place

fence for the construction site,” reveals Hagelskær. We’re making a digital learning concept for the school children as well.”

SELLING THE PROJECT Communication and a coherent vision has played a key role in driving a performance culture at Odense Letbane, which in turn has helped to rally support for the project. “When I’m looking at performance culture, I’m looking knowing what to do when there are challenges so that you will steer out of the fence and not into the fence,” states Hagelskær. “How we dealt with it here in our organisation is that we

are very clear on the vision and we are very clear on the objective of the programme. That was what was certain when we were selling the project to the politicians or to the citizens. At that time, we were very good at defining the vision.” When the tram system arrives in 2020, Odense will no doubt wish to continue emulating Bergen, which has seen a steady increase in passenger numbers, numbers increasing by 2.3% on the previous quarter in Q3 2017, according to Statistics Norway.

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At a time when sustainability is a key talking point in the data centre space, one of Europe’s largest internet companies is blowing the competition away with sustainable data centre operations


rappling with some of the largest behemoths in the tech industry, in Russia, it’s Yandex which reigns supreme. Commanding 54% of the market in the region, Yandex owns Russia’s most popular search engine which also stands as the fourth most popular search engine globally – yet that’s not all it offers. Some 19mn people log into its online marketplace, Yandex.Market every month and its service, Yandex. Taxi accounts for 60% of Moscow’s taxi rides. On top of this, the Russian firm also offers products like translation services, map services, crowdsourcing tools and more. Right across its portfolio, Yandex strives to make everyday life simple, using data to empower its customers.


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Now the Russian web giant is, quite literally, giving power to citizens, with its state-of-the-art data colocation centre in Finland. Standing proudly in the southern province of Mäntsälä, Yandex’s data centre is a mammoth operation to behold, with five data halls at 500 sqm each.

A sustainable vision More impressive though, is the fact that this data centre is heating the local district’s water by reusing its waste energy. “As a dynamic technology company, we want to lead the way and bring new ideas and new innovations to the industry,” explains Ari Kurvi, the firm’s Data Centre Manager. “For us,


it’s important to give back to the community and make full use of the excess energy we produce. “Half of the neighbouring urban city’s needs can be fulfilled by our excess heat which is environmentally very impressive, yet this isn’t just about sustainability as there’s also a very solid business case behind it,” he adds. “Therefore, I think it’s important to show the industry that this is doable and to encourage others to follow our lead.” Working alongside local Finnish energy company Nivos OY, the Russian web firm has developed a ground-breaking approach to heat production. The excess heat from Yandex’s data centre is collected and directed through the district heating network to Mäntsälä households. In doing so, the Finnish city has been able to reduce the price of heating and slash its emissions by 40%.

Energy efficiency realised The Mäntsälä data centre is built around an inherent need to drive efficiencies and its state-of-the-art district heating solution is a solid reflection of this ethos. “At the moment, our energy reuse factor is 0.31, which means that 31% of the energy what we take in can be recycled for further use,” notes Kurvi. “We are now embarking on the next phase of this energy reuse installation and through that, we hope to increase our energy reuse factor to

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The utilized waste heat does not burden nature nor wallet Households in Mäntsälä are heated by pictures, memories and data stored in Yandex datacenter. In data parlors 1000 stoves worth of heat is generated every second. Instead of wasting the heat it is collected by Yandex. Nivos, an innovative energy company located in Mäntsälä, recycles the heat into the district heating network in Mäntsälä. “We realized that we won’t get a data center locate to Mäntsälä unless we offer them an innovative and useful operating model. Therefore we studied how both parties could benefit from using the excess heat. When Yandex planned to invest in Finland we offered this type of business concept” Esa Muukka, CEO of Nivos talks about how co-operation started and continues. “And as you can see, the result is outstanding ecosystem between an energy company and a datacenter”

Local, emission-free and cheaper energy – everyone wins Nivos and Yandex were the first ones in the world to recycle waste heat from the data center

to the district heating network on this scale. Half of Nivos’ heating energy now comes from locally generated waste heat. Additionally, in 2017 CO2 emissions fell by 40 %. Because of this venture, Nivos has also been able to lower the district heating prices. “The waste heat is local, no emission, and cheaper than the natural gas from which the district heating was previously produced. When others are pushing for district heating prices, we will lower them: once the cooperation has started, prices have been lowered to customers twice.” Muukka tells. And of course for datacenters this means business. Nivos buys the excess heat on normal commercial terms. So the heat produced by the data center recovery decreases Yandex’s operation cost. “That kind of radical thinking requires a little positive madness,” laughs Yandex Data Center Manager Ari Kurvi. “Fortunately, plenty of courage is found on both sides. Nothing will ever change if you always go down the usual path.”

About Nivos Nivos is a trailblazer in the energy industry. Over the past few years, Nivos has developed an award-winning heat recovery system for a data centre, power grid automation and sensor technology, as well as distributed energy solutions, for example. Tel 019 68 991 | Customer service 019 689 955 Email Mäntsälä, Finland


around 0.55 or 0.60, which means 60% of our energy will be reused.” Sustainability has become a huge talking point in the data centre landscape, as the facilities are leveraging increasingly more energy. In an alarming report by Climate Change News, the outlet suggested that the communications industry could consume one-fifth of global electricity by 2025. This is something which Yandex is taking seriously and it has many more sustainability initiatives under its sleeve.

exhaust area is,” says Kurvi. “This will also reduce the need for energy for fans on those days when it’s windy. “In a similar vein, the building was designed so that all its interior lights are LED lights, which keeps energy consumption low overall and this is one of the reasons we are best-in-class,” he adds. All of this has culminated to help Yandex achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15 for the whole site including office buildings, one of the most efficient ratings in the sector.

Unique cooling design

An ideal location

The firm’s Finnish data centre not only boasts a trailblazing heating system, it also has been meticulously designed by engineering firm Royal Haskoning. With a distinguishing aeroplane wing shape, the Mäntsälä data centre has an efficient air-cooling system, which Kurvi says is integral to its energy-efficient standing. “By designing the building in the shape of an aeroplane wing and facing it towards the nominal wind direction, it creates a little bit of under pressure behind of the building where the

The Nordic data centre is just one of over 10 data centres that the Russian firm has across the globe and the choice of location

“This isn’t just about sustainability, there’s also a very solid business case behind it” – Ari Kurvi, Data Centre Manager

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Yandex operates ten data centres around the world

was by no means accidental. “There are many reasons why Yandex felt Finland was a good choice,” reflects Kurvi. “The power quality is very good, the cost of electricity is better than some other western countries, there’s a good availability of skilled labour, and the region’s strong fibre connectivity is also very important. “We use direct air-cooling in almost every data centre we have and, in this respect, the Finnish climate and clean air quality make this location


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optimal as there is cold, clean air available for cooling purposes. “As well as this, the local energy company was very willing to cooperate with us and build this ground-breaking new approach to heat production,” he adds. “In this region, they’ve already lowered the district heat price by 10% because they can reuse our excess heat. In this way, we have a very good citizenship approach. I think we are very well-known and well-accepted here because of this.”

Your business case today

translated in smart data centre space for tomorrow

Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy with 135 years of experience. Backed by the expertise and experience of 6,000 colleagues all over the world, our professionals combine ‘global expertise’ with ‘local knowledge’ to deliver a multidisciplinary range of consultancy services. By showing leadership and innovation in the design of data centres, we are creating solutions for a vital infrastructure in our modern live and empower a sustainable society now and into the future. For more information, please contact: Martien Arts, Director - Mission Critical Facilities T: +31 88 348 6550 M: +31 6 51846333 E:

Collaboration is King How a collaborative team approach helped DPR Construction deliver Yandex’s first data center build outside of Russia

Complex mission critical design and construction projects require cross-team collaboration. While there are performance metrics and benchmarks to help guide success, team dynamics can make or break a project. With a short timeframe for design, procurement and execution of its first data center outside of Russia, Yandex quickly realized traditional design and construction processes were not going to meet their needs. They also realized a traditional contractor would not fit the bill. Yandex enlisted DPR Construction, one of the top data center contractors in the U.S. over the past decade. DPR proposed an alternative plan that allowed for the design to be finalized during the preconstruction phase of work. The preconstruction effort took an innovative approach allowing the design to be completed without delaying the construction start. Preconstruction also fostered a collaborative effort between designers, Yandex and DPR, which maximized the design development. DPR implemented a 360° team approach, tying together the entire project team and eliminating silos. The collaborative team approach empowered and improved the speed of decision making by individuals and avoided the old “decision-by-committee” approach. When asked how to best manage and strengthen teams to ensure projects are set up for success, DPR’s Damian Farr outlined six crucial responsibilities for managing a project:

1 gigawatt and counting... Total data center power capacity put-in-place by DPR Construction around the globe to date.

Learn more about DPR’s experience and expertise at

1. D  evelop a clear and common understanding of project values and goals. This is the foundation of a truly collaborative project — clearly defined project values and goals that are determined by all key stakeholders. 2. C  learly communicate these values and goals to ALL participants. In addition to clearly communicating values with all participants, leaders must appropriately onboard any subcontractors or consultants, as well as continually reinforce the goals and values to the whole team through repetition and recognition. 3. C  reate a functional physical and virtual space for co-location. To enhance performance, digital networks, collaboration systems and other elements must be established up front. 4. D  efine the necessary project teams/select team members. Teams should be diverse, crossfunctional and have different viewpoints and perspectives. Not only does this diversity provide more information to inform the design, the tension between perspectives stimulates greater creativity. 5. P  rovide training and mentoring for project teams. Training and mentoring should address three task performance issues: level and coordination of member effort; appropriateness of the task and performance strategies the team is using; and degree to which the team leverages all of its members’ knowledge and skills. 6. M  onitor and adjust team dynamics as needed. The team’s strengths and weaknesses should be reviewed and addressed to minimize negative impacts.

ABOUT DPR CONSTRUCTION DPR Construction is a forward-thinking international general contractor specializing in technically complex and sustainable projects. Since 1990, DPR has grown with its customers supporting them internationally through offices in the U.S., Asia and the Netherlands.

DAMIAN FARR Europe Managing Director DPR Construction +31 618 585 380 (NL) +44 7984 005 725 (UK)


One of Yandex’s data centres

Operational excellence Like any data centre, operational excellence is at the heart of the Mäntsälä data centre and now, as the company’s data consumption and size swells, Kurvi says that there will undoubtedly be more data centres in the pipeline and, as the industry grows, he says tech companies have a civic responsibility to uphold the highest sustainability standards. “Yandex is growing fast and the demand for data centres is growing. I think we will expand the site or create a new one within the next two to three years or so,” notes Kurvi.

“On top of this, we’re also promoting operational excellence and maintaining the site so it stays in excellent shape. Of course, as any company, we are also reducing costs wherever we can electricity-wise by selling more waste energy and trying to be as energyefficient as we can,” he continues. “We are managing our own IT hardware design and combining that with energy-efficient ventilation and cooling to be the top-class data centre in the world – that’s where our concentration is at the moment.”

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Strong industry ties ‘No man is an island’, and the same can often be said about business. In the ever-evolving tech industry, new innovations are emerging every other day. Therefore, the right collaboration could set you miles ahead of a competitor and arguably no one understands this better than Yandex,     “The business development unit in this municipality is one of the biggest reasons why Yandex decided to switch on its data centre in Mäntsälä,” says Kurvi. “They take care of our needs as well as our future plans and improvement plans.


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“One of our key partners has been MYK Oy, we’ve worked with them a lot to see how we can help the municipality grow, and bring new companies to the city, and in turn, we’re also enhancing our level of services. “Another key player is a company called Calefa Oy, who has delivered the heat reuse system for us,” he adds. “Together we have innovated and built the whole concept and they’ve also provided all the necessary equipment and heat pump solutions. They have been very open-minded and also have really helped us improve our sustainability.”

SERIOUS COMMITMENT IN PROJECTS AND SCHEDULES Telefuusio Ltd (part of Instalco concern) is a responsible-minded contractor specialized in telecommunications network (SCS) and audio-visual systems installation service (AV). We look after providing our customers with long-lasting telecommunications solutions. At the same, we take an active stand in regard to design errors, in case they occur during a project. Area of operation: We operate throughout and, if needed, outside Finland. +358 45 133 0881


100% uptime Although the firm is embarking on an ambitious sustainability drive, Yandex hasn’t forgotten the core objective of its data centre – to ensure that European projects by Yandex Data Factory, its machine learning and big data division, run consistently, without interruption. Today, ensuring the uptime of mission-critical operations is more important than ever with data centre downtime costing around $8,000 per minute, according to an in-depth study by the Emerson Network Power and the Ponemon Institute. Therefore, 100% uptime isn’t just a whim, it’s a necessity. “We have a lot of backup power generation onsite and have power reserves in case of emergencies,” Kurvi notes. “We also have an agreement with the Finnish national grid so they ensure the grid is stable. “It’s very important because we need to make sure we have 100% uptime for the company,” he adds. Since 1997, Yandex has delivered market-leading information services with over 53mn users logging into its services every month. The


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Russian web giant is presently one of Europe’s largest internet businesses and it expects sales growth to accelerate this year, forecasting that its consolidated revenue will be between 25-30% in 2018. With such imminent growth on the horizon, Kurvi is optimistic about the firm’s future, and the example it will continue to set in the data centre industry. “Where do I see Yandex in five years?” reflects Kurvi. “I hope that the Mäntsälä data centre will have doubled or tripled in size from what we are today. I would like to see us stand as one of the world’s most ecological and best-driven data centres from both a sustainability and operations perspective. I hope that our downtime will remain 0% and uptime 100%.” “Yandex is a very technical and competent company when it comes to designing and operating data centres. We are very innovative and we’re going in a direction where no one else has been. In that sense, we want to be known as a leading technology company and a leading data centre business.”


“I would like to see us stand as one of the world’s most ecological and best-driven data centres” – Ari Kurvi, Data Centre Manager

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RISING ABOVE THE PACK in Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competitive CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

BLT Construction is making huge strides in a fiercely competitive market as construction leaders in the hospitality Construction, working with high profile clients across Canada like Chef Susur Lee, Canucks Sports & Entertainment and Hilton Hotels Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Tom Venturo



ore than 20 years of building highly detailed spaces for “Triple A” clients, BLT’s success is based in a fundamental core value; delivering the finest level of customer service with passion. This is Mark Watts’, the Owner of BLT, cornerstone to success in building the company from working out of a single van with one employee into the nationwide company that directly employs over 100 staff members today. Mark, having grown up in the restaurant industry, understood that one’s “moment of truth” with a client is immediate, determined by the quality of every dish of every single meal served. Translate this approach into any business, and in BLT’s case into construction, and the company is bound to set up for success. Mark notes that “in our industry, many contractors do not properly understand that it’s not good enough to just gain a new contract; you have to want to build the next 10 projects with the same client. Customer retention is critical, and it can only be achieved through


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Mark Watts President

As founder of BLT Construction, Mark is proud to celebrate 21 years of work in the construction industry. Mark has been the guiding hand behind many of Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most significant hotels, restaurants and entertainment spaces across Canada. Under his leadership BLT opened its second office 5 years ago in western Canada developing a solid business model based largely on repeat client business which speaks volumes to his business philosophy of customer first client service. His project list includes the successful completion of projects such as Real Sports Bar and ACC West Arena Revitalization with MLSE and 2014-2016 Rogers Arena Capital Revitalization for the Canucks Sports and Entertainment, just to name a few.

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Dave Barrow

Executive Vice President As Executive Vice President of BLT for the past 20 years, Dave Barrow has overseen the construction and staffing for all BLT construction sites. Barrow has proudly delivered challenging schedules for hundreds of restaurants, office buildings, hotels, and Sprung Structures across Ontario and the Caribbean. Barrow has been instrumental in the rapid growth of the Sprung Structures division of BLT who are the Eastern Canada construction partner. Thus far Barrow has overseen well over 75 Sprung related projects in the past 15 years. Key clients that continue to reach out to Barrow include, Firkin Pub, Trump Hotel and Department of National Defence.


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excellence in customer service.” Scrolling through the extensive list of BLT’s projects, it becomes apparent that many of the company’s first clients like Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and The Pickle Barrel have been key factors in the company’s growth since BLT’s earlier days. Through clients like these, BLT worked with some talented consultants, creating professional relationships that blossomed into long lasting partnerships with then young, interior design firms like Mackay Wong and IIbyIV Design.



From this point forward, BLT could proudly say that they earned credibility as a quality driven general contractor within the industry. Fast forward almost two decades since the company’s creation, and BLT not only has the thriving Toronto office but is now firmly planted in the west coast, with an office in Vancouver. The passion and energy that drives Toronto’s success continues to permeate to the west coast. BLT had to quickly study the environment, determining tangible differences in the two markets while aligning with

regional resources that allowed the team to build some incredible projects in Whistler, Vancouver, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Kelowna, Penticton and now extending further in to Victoria. At the heart of it all, the customer service first based corporate philosophy is not possible without likeminded people. The company’s goal is to successfully recruit, strategically mentor, and retain staff. Many of the team members have been with the company for the last 10-20 years and the longevity in careers with a single employer can only be possible if

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visions to attain success are aligned. BLT is evolving to find new ways to attract talented staff in an active industry, where labour shortages in the Toronto and Vancouver markets seem to be common. By quickly adapting to the changing needs and motivational factors of younger generations looking for employment, BLT is aiming to provide an environment where the importance of an employee’s skills development and career path are fostered. “A business is simply a sum of its parts,” Watts adds, “and a great team equals success for the client, the company, and everyone else involved.” Luckily, the economy has generally been strong for the construction industry for the last while, allowing for healthy competition which Mark ultimately understands to be a positive aspect. However, in past economic dips over the last two decades, BLT has weathered through the challenges. Mark states that “if you are true to your customers and are always a value proposition, you just need to dance harder and grow market share in a down turn,” which he and the company has done.

Paul Waddell

Vice-President Design Build Paul Waddell has been a key player in developing over $2.5bn worth of prominent projects in the hospitality and sports and entertainment industry over the past 30 years. He has planned, designed, managed and constructed over 200 projects ranging in value from $500,000 to $120mn across North America. Client lists include Hilton Garden Inn, SOHO Metropolitan Hotel, Adomo Winery. Waddell leads our design build initiatives and most recently executed the Central Park Arena and Centennial Aquatic Center in Collingwood under this programme.

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We are a Proud Canadian Manufacturer of

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John Jung

Vice President Operations

With over 20 years of experience and exposure to various sectors of management, purchasing and design, John Jung is able to provide unique insights into the construction management process. Applying these skills and experiences to bring close attention to fine details and the efficient, systematic approach to construction are the priority, ensuring the â&#x20AC;&#x153;on time and on budgetâ&#x20AC;? mantra BLT shares with their Clients. Some recent projects include Drake 150, Drake Commissary, and Drake Minibar.

Today, BLT is expanding into Atlantic Canada, where it is building a 110room hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn in Fredericton. With this and other sizeable upcoming projects, BLT has broken through the plateau of being a midsize company and is on an exciting path to becoming a large general contractor. In fact, BLT currently has its sight set on developing the company on the east coast and is in the midst of setting up another office in Halifax. The growth, however, cannot be successfully achieved without increased efficiencies in process and in tandem, technological advancements the team is able to harness. ProCore, a shared, online portal BLT uses for construction management is accessible by all including the consultants and client. It has been a crucial tool for fluid communication as well as up-todate document control. It brings order and organisation to what could become a whirlwind of uncoordinated information that may lead to potential delays and/or errors. BLT is also forging partnerships with Consultants who provide Revit and 3D modelling

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Arvin Srivastava Vice President – Development and Project Delivery

Arvin Srivastava has over 20 year experience from the client’s perspective in various sectors such as retail, office and hospitality executing projects in both the Canadian and International markets. He has held leadership positions within many prominent brands such as FedEx, Bank of Montreal, Yum! Brands, Boston Pizza and most recently for CARA Operations Ltd. where he executed “1909 Taverne Moderne” – a joint venture with the Montreal Canadiens delivering a 25,714 sq. ft. multi-level sports and entertainment venue restaurant. Our clients will be able to leverage his knowledge and relationships he has built throughout his career to provide creative solutions to meet challenging economic models and any other project requirement.   174

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to create and overlay interference drawings. BLT utilities SketchUp providing in-house renderings for design build proposals; an effective tool for clients to visualise the end product. In essence, if technology contributes to meaningful change, BLT will welcome its use. Being meaningful is the common thread throughout the company. BLTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service brings meaningful value to the

clients. The projects are meaningful to BLT because each team member is passionate about what they do building incredible spaces. At the end of day, what is most meaningful for the company is delivering a project that the end user is thoroughly impressed with, which ultimately reinforces that BLTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clients and the team have successfully accomplished what they all initially set out to do.

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May 2018


early 80% of new homes in the US today are built by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) members, which include single-family and multifamily homes. The NAHB has over 700 state and local associations, and 140,000 members. Roughly a third of members are homebuilders and remodelers. The NAHB provides educational opportunities, and hosts a student competition every year at the International Buildersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Show (IBS), which is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest residential and light commercial construction trade show that brings 60,000 visitors from 100 countries to see the newest and best products in the industry. The NAHB offers many opportunities to get people involved in the industry and make connections with industry leaders early on. Becoming an NAHB member has many benefits including discounts online, in stores, at car dealerships, credit card companies, hotels, and car rentals. Member benefits also include access to student scholarships, classes, and trainings in different

areas such as design-build, building safety, project management, risk management, green building, and The Builder Assessment Review (BAR). Building safety has always been a primary concern in the construction industry. In order to raise public awareness on this issue, the NAHB has started a campaign called Safety 365 to provide information and resources to the public to keep construction workers safe, and eliminate preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths. The Safety 365 campaign highlights different aspects of construction safety each month, and also promotes safety outside of the job. The NAHB offers classes, safety training materials, and news updates to educate employers and workers on safety and health hazards in the industry and on the jobsite to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. The NAHB also supports the increase in sustainable or green building in response to rising energy costs, the need to improve air quality,

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Chantal Contreras, NAHB President at CSULB

ensuring clean water, and conserving water usage. The goal of sustainable buildings is high performance through construction and development techniques, materials, and designs that minimize the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impact on the environment and conservation natural resources. Sustainable buildings are moving towards using more efficient systems; some of the energy conservation systems include


May 2018

high-performance windows, energyefficient appliances, lighting, better insulation, and HVAC systems. Another important factor that contributes to green building is water conserving systems such as waterefficient appliances, fixtures, filtration systems, and low-maintenance landscaping and irrigation systems. Using better resources like high performance engineered wood, wood

alternatives, allergen-free materials, and recycled building materials also aid in sustainable building. Lastly, using effective HVAC equipment, formaldehyde-free finishes, and products with minimum off-gassing or low-VOCs will ultimately better the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indoor air quality. Sustainable buildings not only encourage environmental awareness and more efficient uses of scarce resources, but also result in an improved living environment and lower utility bills. The NAHB continues to follow current issues that arise in the industry. Some of the hottest topics in the industry right now are that design build is on the rise, as

design-bid-build seems to be winding down, collaborative approaches are becoming more and more common for projects. Cyber risks are an enormous issue nowadays, as the rise of technology becomes more advanced, the exposure to information is put at risk for many companies and digitally collaborative programs including building information modeling (BIM). The rise of robotics in the construction industry in projected to make construction sites virtually human-free by 2050 by using drones to monitor site status, smart sensors to track people on-site, and radiofrequency identification to track site equipment and materials.

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Residential construction is governed by building codes and standards set by local and state laws. These codes often reflect local construction practices, climate, and geography. Most US communities have adopted the International Code Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s I-Codes. The I-Codes address all aspects of single-family


May 2018

and multifamily construction, including structural and MEP, and energy conservation requirements. The codes protect public health and safety, and have now turned to energy efficiency, sustainability, and property protection. But some of these energy code changes are benefiting specific product manufacturers and

take away consumer flexibility. The ICC codes are updated every three years, and the NAHB analyzes their impact on new and existing buildings. Their role is to ensure that the ICC evaluates all proposals objectively and that any changes or additional code requirements that are adopted are necessary and cost-effective. Through

NAHB efforts, the International Code Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Board of Directors now requires cost impact information. If that information is not included, the proposed change will be rejected. If you are interested in learning more about the NAHB or becoming a member, please visit our website at

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Construction Global Magazine - May 2018  
Construction Global Magazine - May 2018