Naylor Love is a leading commercial construction company in New Zealand, serving a broad clientele of property developers, multinational corporations, and the New Zealand government. With over 100 years in the industry and a team of almost a thousand, Naylor Love offers a full range of commercial construction services right from pre-construction to adaptive reuse builds. Their team not only possesses extensive expertise in construction management but also prides itself on retaining a technical culture and the capacity to take on large, complex projects. Their management teams, both in the office and on-site, are equipped with an intimate understanding of the project process, ensuring seamless coordination from planning to execution.
We sat down with Pete Lockhart, General Manager Construction, and Cameron Belliss, Group Preconstruction Engineer at Naylor Love, to get insights on Naylor Love’s digital journey so far, how cmBuilder is playing a role; and their future technology goals as a business going forward.
“One of the key things that attracted us to cmBuilder was the simplicity. It lowered the entry-level for those interested in working in the 3D space and it allowed them to learn how to use BIM without being a BIM specialist.”
- Peter Lockhart - General Manager – Construction at Naylor Love
Passionate about operating at the highest standards, Naylor Love recognizes the importance of staying current with the latest trends and technologies in the ever-evolving construction field. To this end, Pete has embarked on a series of international trips to explore new innovations and technologies that can bring value to the firm. As we discussed his learning outcomes, he mentioned how the true value of these trips lies in him being able to compare and contrast the challenges faced by Naylor Love to those encountered by other construction companies around the globe, enabling him to gain a better understanding of how these issues can be tackled in a more efficient manner. He stressed that while having the right tools and technology is crucial, it's equally important to pay close attention to how people and processes, globally, are adapting and responding to the changes.
During our discussion on where technology is acting as a value driver for Naylor Love, Cam highlighted that Naylor Love places more emphasis on the "when" rather than "where" aspect of technology - in other words, the timing of technology implementation rather than the area of technology implementation. Cam explained that the key to deriving the maximum value from technology is to incorporate it at the earliest possible stage in the pre-construction process. By doing so, the technology has a longer lifespan to add value, resulting in more significant benefits for the company.
On a wider lens, we touched upon Pete’s goals for technology implementation, where he emphasized the importance of ‘interactivity’. With 40 years of experience in the industry, he recognizes that showing people how and what you intend to do is far more impactful than simply verbalizing it. This not only fosters an interactive environment with external stakeholders but is also highly appreciated by them.
This commitment to ‘interactivity’ is where the partnership between Naylor Love and cmBuilder comes in. Cam shares how Naylor Love has harnessed cmBuilder to create an interactive digital environment, both internally and externally - “Internally, we get a lot of value within our teams by being able to communicate in 3D; it saves us a lot of time, phone calls, and back and forth communication. But, at the same time, using cmBuilder as a communication tool with our clients and other projects where we have a high number of stakeholders is adding immense value.” Naylor Love is also able to incorporate elements of safety planning and how the design and simulation of temporary works onsite (fall protection, scaffolding, restricted access and hazard zones, etc.) will provide a safe working environment for all workers on the job, which is a critical element of construction site logistics planning.
Furthermore, Cam shed light on Naylor Love’s long-term goals with cmBuilder - they aim to democratize 3D and 4D planning by involving all team members in the digital construction site logistics simulation process, rather than just relying on BIM/VDC specialists. This is strategic, as it allows the BIM/VDC team to tackle other challenges in the business and on project delivery. According to him, cmBuilder has been instrumental in enabling many members of their team to embark on their digital journey while freeing up time for specialists to focus on more technical, construction phase tasks.
“A picture is worth a thousand words and a 4D sequence is worth many more”
- Cameron Belliss - Preconstruction Engineer at Naylor Love.
As we discussed the future of the con-tech industry, Cam provided valuable insights into what he believes lies ahead. Firstly, he believes that the industry is poised to see significant advancements in the interface between digital tools and individuals, particularly with the emergence of a more digitally-savvy younger workforce. He also discussed how revolutionary technologies like augmented reality can be used as problem-identifiers - overlaying models onto real-life scenarios to catch issues before they arise. Finally, Cam emphasized the importance of a product-based design approach, which enables investment in automation and robotics technology for carrying out repeatable tasks which could result in higher efficiency and cost savings.
Meanwhile, Pete gave us a well-rounded perspective on the future of the con-tech industry as a whole, as he states, “We are in for a seismic shift in the industry as a whole. In 5-10 years, I don’t think it will be the same industry. It will be a lot more interactive and collaborative, which is all going to be driven by the technology itself.” It's enlightening to hear veterans such as Pete speak about digital transformation and disruption to the status quo-the construction industry better buckle up, change is coming and only the firms that can adapt and evolve will thrive in the coming years.