About the Company
Wates Group Ltd. are one of the UK’s largest contractors in the construction industry, with a turnover of over £1.6bn in 2019. Wates Construction delivers projects across both public and private sectors with its core markets focusing on commercial and mixed-use developments, education and student accommodation, inner-city residential and more.
The Nottingham City Hub is a £58.5m educational facility procured via Major Works—UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework. Once complete, it will offer state-of-the-art facilities and resources for college students, as well as amenities including a restaurant, café and new performing arts centre.
Throughout the project, Wates engaged the local supply chain and provided training and employment opportunities for local workers, ensuring the project delivers a social, skills and economic boost to the city. To date, more than 80% of the entire City Hub supply chain has been sourced from businesses within a 64-km radius of the site and just under 25% of the full £23,881,187 supply chain spend was sourced from within a 16-km radius.
- Fragmented systems in place for the management of COVID-19
- Managers moving between site and office faced with newly-required safety paperwork and processes
- Work paused during pandemic as stronger safety and business continuity measures were needed
- Savings of £40,000 in the remainder of the project
- Improved health and safety procedures
- Real-time project delivery monitoring
- Managers saved 2–3 hours a day in administrative work
When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, Wates “took measures every step of the way, but when the lockdown was announced in late March, we decided as a company to press pause. We weren’t comfortable letting our teams work under existing protocols with the potential health risks from COVID-19” said John Carlin, Regional Director Midlands at Wates.
A team began working around the clock to analyse all aspects of Wates’ operating procedures and establish a model that would allow projects to continue moving forward while protecting the health and wellbeing of those working on site.
“Being able to return to work hinged on our ability to manage our sites safely in line with the requirements of the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures,” Carlin said. “Our teams were extremely diligent in identifying a combination of technology and processes that would keep our workers safe.”
Two days later, the company’s projects were up and running again, thanks to Trimble Viewpoint’s Field View solution, including The Nottingham City Hub, which was one of the company’s flagship projects for the Midlands.
For years, Wates relied on Field View, a cloud- based and off-line project management solution to streamline field tasks and automate workflows for quality assurance/quality control, safety, project delivery and handover. It also served as an essential communications tool, helping ensure that everyone was on the same page when it came to the timeline, budget and safety protocols—both before and after COVID-19 hit.
With Field View, snags can be easily captured with photos and annotations, which are then uploaded into the system in real-time and subcontractors and other relevant stakeholders are immediately notified of them. All the snags are visible on the platform, making it that much easier to fix snags and manage the project overall.
COVID site diaries are produced in Field View which enables site teams to accurately capture in real-time how the pandemic was affecting project delivery, be that impact on labour resources, availability of materials and equipment, sequence of works and working hours, etc. As well as site diaries the Field View customisable form feature can be used to adapt health and safety forms to meet the requirements Wates were faced with during the pandemic.
Innovating to identify safe ways to continue work and accelerating the use of technology has reinforced our reputation as a can-do contractor.— Adam Cannon, Project Director
“Field View has been a key element in keeping workers on the City Hub site safe,” Cannon said. “Not only did it enable us to get the project back on track and delivered on time, but it also kept everyone safe in the process. I can’t imagine how we would have captured data and ensured protocols were followed without it.”
COVID site diaries enabled managers to monitor progress, assess the impacts and take appropriate action, thereby ensuring that the project could run at optimum capacity. Field View enabled Wates managers to spend between two and three hours hours on-site extra per day versus having to constantly go back to the office to complete paperwork, which saved the company in the region of £40,000 throughout the course remainder of the project.