Case Study
CJ Duncan: Applying Cutting Edge Technology to Large-Scale Remediation Projects
| 4 minute read
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CJ Duncan: 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 way it's built, cmBuilder is really intuitive. It's easy to add a model and then to throw all of the plant equipment, access, access machinery, that type of thing in there. I was really impressed with just how, how easy it is to pull it together. I thought it was almost going to be like learning CAD again, but it's not."

-Joshua Black, Head of Pre-Construction

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 cmBuilder.io! 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.

"I think the milestones is an incredible feature. It's not like CAD where you only get to see the building at the end. With the presentation mode in cmBuilder, you can see the wee-by-week progress and important details of what is actually happening at the stage of the project."

-Marina Aziz, Estimating Co-Ordinator

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!

"Bringing in cmBuilder has helped us a lot to show the client, this is the visual presentation of each step of the project timeline of what's happening from when we've been awarded the contract to when it's been completed and the works that have been complete."

-Marina Aziz, Estimating Co-Ordinator

CJ Duncan Builders
"Our tender submissions have become so visually rich. cmBuilder helps us better visually communicate. We can easily show stakeholders, especially presidents of combustible cladding remedial projects, how we are going to build the projects, the sequence of events, and how it is going to affect them. That's an important one for us."

-Joshua Black, Head of Pre-Construction

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

"cmBuilder saves us a ton of time! Topping things up on a gantt chart would take me 2-3 days vs. with cmBuilder it doesn't even take a full day. It's a quicker than sitting there typing up every single progress that's happening. The tools are all right there. I just pop it into the projects with the click of a button. Perfect!"

-Marina Aziz, Estimating Co-Ordinator

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.

"It is a combination of visuals and time that I think is really compelling with cmBuilder, because not only does it beautifully express the visual aspects of how building a house construction project is going to unfold, but it also does that over time. This combination is super valuable! Either one of them is great, but both working seamlessly together is super valuable to us."

-Joshua Black, Head of Pre-Construction

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