CJ Duncan x Applying Cutting Edge Technology to Large-Scale Remediation Projects
| 4 minute read

Spanning over 40 years in the construction business, CJ Duncan is an Australian based, specialist building contractor experienced in remedial & insurance, façade solutions, fit outs and refurbishments. With a diverse client base ranging from Australia's largest property owners, managers and insurers, to commercial and residential strata, CJ Duncan has built a long-lasting reputation based on quality of work and trust.

We sat down with Josh Black, Head of Pre-construction at CJ Duncan, to learn more about the valuable work being done at CJ Duncan and how the team is addressing the inherent challenges around safety and project efficiency that come with taking on complex remedial projects for large commercial and residential buildings with combustible cladding.

The Challenge:

Following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in2017, Australia has since banned a number of cladding products, all of which are highly combustible. The team at CJ Duncan primarily focuses on combustible cladding remediation projects that can have a lot of complex access requirements. While simply replacing legacy combustible cladding with approved new cladding materials is relatively easy work to perform, since these are typically existing buildings, often in dense urban areas, the first key challenge is to simply access the combustible cladding to perform the work. The cladding being remediated can he as high as 20+ stories up, making safety as well as cost management key to a successful project. Planning access and the subsequent temporary resources required is a critical piece of the puzzle to solve, whether it's utilizing a swing stage or scaffolding, a boom or scissor lift, each project has its nuances.

CJ Duncan Builders

In such scenarios it is essential to clearly demonstrate what the access methodology for the project is and communicate that effectively to clients and the project stakeholders. For this purpose, the team at CJ Duncan had been utilizing a 2D PDF mark-up tool to annotate images and plans, which were very time consuming to create and the result was difficult for project stakeholders to visualize. They wanted to have a more dynamic approach to communicating and highlighting key parts of their plan to execute the project, covering site establishment, the various staging areas required, access methodologies and proposed sequencing of the work onsite. Stakeholder communication was a big challenge for CJ Duncan, especially when working with the non-technical stakeholders such as existing building residents.

We spoke with Marina Aziz, Estimating Coordinator at CJ Duncan who gave us an insight into one of the major roadblocks they faced in terms of client communication. Traditionally, the team documented the process through a Gantt chart which was difficult for the non-construction stakeholders to comprehend. Even after writing a detailed plan of action that was several pages in length, it was hard for the residents to be able to understand the specifics of the process without any interactive visual tool.

The Solution:

Enter! By adopting cmBuilder’s intelligent 4D site simulations into their project planning process, CJ Duncan has been able to transform the way they communicate their proposed plans to their critical project stakeholders. Not only are they now able to visually demonstrate to stakeholders how they plan to build the project, but also provide a detailed step-by-step 4D sequence of construction activities over time as “milestones” and how these milestones will impact them throughout the project lifecycle.

This new tech-enabled method of communication has proven to be far superior than their previous process of marking up 2D drawings and photos, now the CJ Duncan team can simply create a detailed 3D model of all site logistics and work to be completed, add the sequencing in 4D and then share a live link or QR code that their stakeholders can run in the web from any mobile device!

CJ Duncan Builders

Apart from the rich visual quality of the cmBuilder platform, what fueled the transition for CJ Duncan was the ease at which you can perform the work and put it all together. At first, Josh revealed that the team was concerned that a powerful tool like this might be too hard to implement with the tight timelines provided to prepare tenders and planning projects. After some onboarding assistance from the cmBuilder customer success team, they were pleased with the results as they were ale to implement cmBuilder into their tender and planning process within a matter of days. The cmBuilder platform was indeed powerful, but also easy to use and proved fast to create intelligent site plans and simulations.

CJ Duncan Builders

The Results:

CJ Duncan has now made cmBuilder is a pivotal piece of their tender submissions and early project planning. Adopting this new technology has helped CJ Duncan differentiate their client offerings by applying digital innovation in new ways on their projects and also to help provide a competitive edge when pursuing new projects.

The road ahead? CJ Duncan plans to continue leveraging cmBuilder for enhanced visual communication and powerful simulations in the pursuit and early planning phases. Next will be pushing the envelope (literally and figuratively!) to create more detailed and insightful project plans ensuring transparency, safety and cost efficiency not just in the early project phases, but also as a visual aid during the construction phase, where they can truly leverage a digital model by connecting the office to the field.

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