ELECOSOFT’S ICONSYSTEM IS REVOLUTIONISING THE HOUSE BUILDING SECTOR

Over the past 14 months, Elecosoft’s IconSystem, referred to by McCarthy & Stone as ‘Datum’, has been tailored specifically  using our Specs & Standards and Projects & Properties solutions, and has been rolled out across almost every department in their business. After rigorous testing, all construction data is now housed in a single robust, trustworthy system that can be accessed by all employees and external consultants. Over 650 people, including McCarthy & Stone's board members, have been trained to use Datum across nine regions. To manage the change in processes, Ridgeline Consulting worked with the Elecosoft and McCarthy & Stone teams to ensure that every organisation involved bought into the IconSystem and fully understood the benefits to them individually as well as each organisation as a whole.

McCarthy & Stone has been a leading builder of outstanding retirement properties for the past 39 years, and attribute their success not only to the design and quality of their range of retirement homes but also to their policy of applying the latest technologies and software in the build process.

As a consequence, McCarthy & Stone is the only house builder in the UK to fully realise the potential of BIM (Building Information Modelling) and has developed a vital technical partnership with web solutions software developer Elecosoft. This has resulted in the installation of the web-based IconSystem to enable it keep up with the demand for consistent and accurate data. The system is fully integrated and introduces methodologies that enable McCarthy & Stone to bring together a mass of BIM-based construction data into one, easy-to-use platform. This allows the planning, implementation and delivery of a fully-integrated BIM-based build program, which ensures that McCarthy & Stone will benefit to the full from the comprehensive application of BIM methodologies in a project.

BIM has become a crucial turning point in the modernisation of the building and construction industry. However, ‘Modernise or die: The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model’, an independent review of the sector which focussed on the skills, pressures and other constraints that limit housebuilding and infrastructure development in the UK, found that currently there is a significant reality gap when it comes to the industry’s adoption strategy of BIM. The report specifically stresses that “…the industry’s route map to collaboration and high efficiency new delivery models can only be underpinned by BIM and the importance of its adoption cannot be overestimated.” McCarthy & Stone have gone a step further and recognised that what they are doing in not just about the information management of building, it is bigger than that. It is also about business processes, working methodologies and more. As a result, the IconSystem is their ‘go-to’ place for Information Management across the company.

McCarthy & Stone readily appreciate that the effectiveness of the application of BIM technologies in building projects is crucially dependent on the accuracy and scope of the BIM data to be applied in a construction project.

Speaking of Elecosoft’s partnership with McCarthy & Stone, Graham Clarkson of the South-East Construction Board of Excellence stated, “To date the UK house building sector has been slow to adopt BIM… To our knowledge McCarthy & Stone are one of the first within the housebuilding sector to realise how much the application of BIM technologies has the potential to increase margins.”

This new system introduced both process and technical innovation to increase the consistency of information from product development through to management services.  The information management system helps ensure a consistent and standardised, high-quality product and embedded processes enable their teams and partners to work more effectively together throughout the lifecycle of any of their property developments.

Having completed the primary initiative, McCarthy & Stone are now developing the information management system to further improve operational efficiency. Using an integrated 3D building model and supporting technologies, they are improving the accuracy of pre-build cost estimates as well as construction programs, and also the management of their built assets. This has in part been made possible by utilising some of Elecosoft’s other software offerings such as the fully BIM-enabled tool, Bidcon, developed by Elecosoft’s Swedish development team, gives a true 5D (a 3D model with time and costs added) environment for costing and estimating.

The system’s implementation has set McCarthy & Stone as a forerunner in its sector, further proving the potential of BIM for other house builders. McCarthy & Stone are already seeing a strong ROI from their partnership with Elecosoft and look forward to the system delivering further efficiencies within their business.

McCarthy & Stone have praised Elecosoft for their flexible and adaptable approach to helping them adopt BIM across their company. The partnership between the teams of both companies was not just a formal contract signing, but an in-depth collaboration where the two dedicated groups worked together to deliver the best possible solution for their unique working model. Elecosoft shares McCarthy & Stone’s commitment to being at the forefront of the Building and Construction industry, and continue their dedication to revolutionising the way data is managed. McCarthy & Stone now see this new working process as the future of the house building sector, and as a vital step towards tackling the problems the sector now faces, including lack of collaboration, inconsistent and inaccurate data, and outdated working methods.

With Elecosoft's IconSystem now in place, McCarthy & Stone are set to keep their place as the UK’s leading retirement property builder for years to come.