Webinar: Gerenciando el GLOBAL BEST PROJECT AWARD 2020

On October 29, a webinar was held in which members of the Gisystems team participated as well as representatives of the C3 – Louis Berger Consortium entitled “Managing GLOBAL BEST PROJECT AWARD 2020”.

Spectator view

Engineer Luis Licona

I feel the value of the contract and the other part corresponded to remediation work in the center of the city of Colon. In an area of approximately 200 hectares. In this case, the works included road infrastructure, rainwater evacuation systems; contemplating the lines of conduction and pumping stations that were 3 in total of which one of them was completely built new. Restorations were also made to the citywide sewage system, covering pipe systems and three existing pumping stations. In the urban part of this component was included the total construction of a completely new recreational attraction for the city which was called a marine promenade that in its initial phase has 7 hectares, in addition to the restoration of the urbanism of another 7 avenues; the largest in the city. Also in the city of Colon, the municipal market was completely remodeled, which is one of the emblematic institutional buildings, and as part of the recovery of buildings of social interest, one of the housing complexes known as bamboo ley was also restored. Returning to the new urban complex of which we spoke at the beginning this was called heights of the lakes, and covered an area of 70 hectares. The most outstanding works, in the housing complex, were the choice of a total of 180 multifamily buildings of 5 floors and 30 residential units each. This component provided housing for a total of 27,000 people. As the development was completely new, the works designed and built contemplated all the movement of earth and dirt roads, as well as the channeling of groundwater and surface water currents including the Cocusol River. Other works designed and built were roads, recreational parks and a plural number of sports fields; Also included was a weapons tank storing drinking water to store one million gallons. The drinking water system and pumping stations the fire conduction system and sewage treatment. A dozen commercial and institutional buildings also made up the high lakes residential development. The final cost of the project reached $650 million.

Who participates in this project?

The works contractor, hired by the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning called MIVIOT, was the new colon consortium composed of the construction companies Norberto Odebretch; urban construction company, known as CUSA; and its main subcontractors who were the key companies for infrastructure and urban management for architecture and urbanism. The contractor of the inspection of works, also contracted by MIVIOT, was the consortium known as LCC systems, composed of the companies “LCC Ingeniería” and “Sistema Ingeniería”. The contractor for the management of technical assistance, hired in this case by the Ministry of the Presidency of Panama, was the consortium C3; composed of the companies Louis Berger Group, which today is WCP and consultant in civil engineering and systems projects, Public Limited Company known as Gisystems. To summarize, the contracting entities for all these services were then: the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning, and the Ministry of the Presidency of Panama through the National Council for Sustainable Development.

What was part of the role of the C3 consortium in this project?

As part of its role the C3 consortium in its role of carrying out management, administration and technical assistance; He developed the following concern: the review of the necessary designs and studies, as well as the follow-up of the approval process of these designs in all national and municipal entities. Due to issues that forced MIVIOT to contract a company for the inspection of these works after the works began, the C3 consortium carried out the inspection during the first year. In addition, the management activities were carried out such as: supervision and control of the project in the field, evaluation of procedures, quality assurance, control of both physical and financial progress for the institutional management report, and among other most important actions much effort was devoted to the accompaniment to the MIVIOT in the processes of reception of substance or final works, as the case may be. Let’s talk a little about the ENR Global Best Project: Engineering News Record award, known as ENR, is an American weekly magazine that highlights news, analysis and opinions for the construction industry worldwide. It is a specialized magazine of Engineering more famous in the world and surely the largest in the USA. According to the specialties, ENR classifies the categories and elaborates a ranking of engineering and construction company that marks an important range of recognition worldwide. In addition to the periodic classification of outstanding companies, ENR competes for outstanding works in several categories which are registered by the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. In reference to these awards, the colon urban renewal project won the annual award in the category of restoration and renovation, which earned it the nomination for the most recent global award 2020, and already being a finalist it managed to become the global award as the best project of the year. For now, thank you very much.

Moderator Edgar García

Thank you very much Engineer Licona for sharing widely and explaining just what the project consists of, we are realizing the size of the project that is just very large it is not a worldwide project we thank you for having just shared us and we can understand just the project the magnitude of it. Next, the architect Orlando Agustín Bowen will also tell us a little about his experience in this project. Architect you have the floor ahead. His microphone is off, if he wants I turn it on.

Arquitecto Orlando Bowen

Good evening, Orlando Bowen, Architect, the director of the LCC Sistemas Consortium, in charge of the inspection of the project. We, the LCC Sistemas Consortium, is made up of two companies that are: Sistema Ingeniería and LC Sistema de Panamá. We were hired by the housing ministry to carry out the supervision and inspection of the project. We are made up of different types of specialists, among which we can mention: environmental engineer, occupational safety specialist, electromechanical engineers, civil engineers, technicians, structural engineer of which we complemented each other to form a team in which we had to do what was the supervision and evaluation of the work carried out by the construction consortium in conjunction with the Ministry of Housing and in conjunction with CC3; which was management.

The project was divided into two main sections which is the one that is high of the lakes, which was a new area, a virgin area, which was intervened where the buildings were built among which we can mention the residential buildings. It had police stations, fire brigades, water tank, treatment plant among other buildings; and also batches served…

Moderator Edgar García

I think his microphone stayed…

Arquitecto Orlando Bowen

Sorry, I’m touching the screen. In the part of what was Colon was characterized by the improvement of infrastructure and of which we can mention what are the streets, the pavement of the streets, pumping stations, storm drains and a recreation area that was built new, as mentioned by the Engineer Licona, which is the marine promenade and the improvement of buildings; a building complex in this case was the case of Bambuley. As for the inspection process as such, we in the two sections – these that I mentioned is Alto de los Lagos and with a center – in Alto de los Lagos made approximately four hundred and fifty-nine field notes and in center color 657 field notes, in which field notes were made by means of field notes or not or non-conformity where, we as inspectors, where we demonstrated/found some kind of shortcomings or failures made by the builder, we prepared a field note that was presented to the construction contractor with supervision review by the Ministry of Housing and also by the CS3 consortium, then it was presented to the contractor so that he had, so that they made the necessary corrections to the case; depending on the type of failures that we would have seen that they had incurred. These deficiencies or non-conformities also served at the same time at the time of preparing what was the accounts, by the contractor, they served as a method of retention, which was not made different payments were withheld from different payments or a percentage of the payment until they made respective corrections. At the time of the corrections, they called us to verify in the field that the improvement of what had been put in the non-conformity was fulfilled, then there the breakdown of the additional money could be made.

We also in the purchase project, this is an extremely important point that was with the Elephant platform, where we had everything that was the plans at the executive level, we had everything that all the procedures and all the instructions prepared by the consortium and that were reviewed by the ministry of housing in conjunction with CC 3 to verify that they were made in the manner, in the constructive manner, in accordance with Panamanian standards; then they were on the Elephant platform were all the plans, all the instructions so that we could access them and be able to verify, and have access to them to be able to verify in the field the fulfillment or not of the same then. So for us it was something that is extremely important to manage a project because, as Engineer Licona mentioned, it is a project of an extremely large magnitude where a number of documents were prepared, documentations that were changing on the fly and also remember that this was a design and construction project then many of the things were happening on the fly and once they were approved by the housing ministry, in conjunction with the CC3 consortium, they were uploaded to the Elephant platform where we as an inspection could, we could forgive, investigate and look for each of the updates that go so that we could then do some kind of non-conformity or verification if the construction consortium did it in the right way.

The field notes were divided as in areas among which we can mention what it is: infrastructures, buildings and there were also as sub areas among which were, there were notes on the treatment plant, on pavements, finishes, on water tank, on the treatment plant, and so on. Then they were uploaded to the platform so that the consortium, MIVIOT and the management could see which were the field notes that were, that were active and which were those that were not active, then it was verified there which were the ones that the consortium had made the appropriate adjustments for the improvement and for the closure of the same; Without that closure they were not made their respective disbursements, depending on what I were charging at any specific time. So as I mentioned, we as an inspector had access to the Elephant platform where all these were all these instructive plans and procedures just to verify it; As I mentioned, a project of such magnitude, which was also a process of design and construction on the fly, a series of projects, procedures, plans and instructions were being developed and approved on the fly in which we already served to verify on the platform which were the most updated, So based on that to be able to make the respective field notes and also do the inspections.

Another extremely important point, in terms of the platform, was to upload daily images for the verification of the progress of the work, because the work was not only to verify at the internal level of the housing ministry, but at the higher level of the housing ministry of the deputy ministers and also at the level of the presidency of the republic. Then it was necessary that we have to upload the photos to the platform, to verify the progress of the works so that they at the management level could see the progress that the work had at a certain time. So, this is for, I can finish with that is to say that the platform was really extremely useful for us in terms of being able to count in one place with instructive plans and procedures, and also just served so that you could see the photographic progress of the work during the process of it.

Good night.

Moderator Edgar García

Thank you very much Architect Orlando, thank you there for being able to share just all your experiences and as you mention just having a technological tool definitely because it helps, it definitely helps in being able to manage a project in which the information is available to all people at any time and that the work that is being done can be evidenced then just as you mention this tool because it has helped a lot in This project and just is for other projects at any time.

Ok, thank you very much Architect, then the environmental engineer Luis Carlos Rodríguez will also tell us about his experience; Engineer Rodriguez we give you the floor, go ahead.

Engineer Luis Carlos Rodríguez

Good evening, yes thank you for this invitation, Luis Carlos Rodríguez Muñoz and be part of the C3 Consortium at the time. In this project as big as was the urban renewal of colon. Perform the position of environmental specialist that consisted of the review of reports, procedures, instructions, environmental; Talk about landscaping, wildlife rescue, tree planting plans, drafts of environmental impact studies before approval, monitoring of environmental impact studies, discharge parameters, etc. These reports were submitted for the approval of the client, in this case it was the Ministry of Housing, in addition to performing what was to ensure that contractors and subcontractors complied with everything that were the environmental requirements of the project; referring to statement of objections, approved environmental impact studies; Once Panamanian law requires that each environmental impact study must comply with mitigation measures and with everything established by the approval law that is generated from them. So, a project as large as the renovation of Colon generated a lot of environmental impact study, due to its characteristic. As it was a design and construction project, as the work progressed, different extra activities were generated, often not contemplated within the initial environmental impact study of the project, then for this reason it is necessary to carry out new environmental impact studies in which we can mention that they could up to 2 environmental impact study carried out during the work as we can mention among the main category study 3; which was the great study that contained two components, which was the city of Colon and Altos de los Lagos. was also the study of expansion of extra areas for a future development of the same project; also developed what was the study of the promenade, in the city of Colon; It was necessary studies of clay deposits and mechanical workshops after the project required to house everything that was excavation and cuts of land, as well as the repair of imaginary equipment. It was also necessary to carry out an environmental impact study such as a concrete plant for the different concrete pours. It was also necessary to make a diversion of the Coco River only to reorganize the construction areas, and what was the environmental impact study of camps and parking lots for what was a contractor and subcontractor were done; even dead offices. It is important to mention that each environmental impact study according to Panamanian laws requires after its approval an environmental monitoring during its construction and operation. After this follow-up, meetings, photographic and documentary evidence are generated and inspections in large quantities; Then, and of different kinds, in which it must be regrouped and organized through periodic reports to be sent later to the Ministry of Environment. Additionally, all this information generated had to be filed by the client who was the MIVIOT, in this case the Ministry of Housing, by the contractor and by us. It worked a bit tedious if there was no tool to rely on, in our case we had the opportunity to handle the Elephant tool, which was very useful, since it allowed us to file everything that was given in minutes of meetings, photographs of inspections, documentations that are sent, responses of notes. It could be the case that when you need to locate any of these mentioned above, it was a great difficulty what was the search for, without having a program, as well as by the Elephant. In other cases where there is no tool as effective as this, you would have to look on shelves, folders that required documentation; even make unnecessary prints to illustrate better. Issue that, if there is not a good organization, in physically filing the documentation, can generate multiple problems, then environmentally I think that this tool the Elephant was of great help for issues such as that we were not to give an impression forced to everything we need, because both the client, as contractor, subcontractor maintained access to the Elephant tool; Many sometimes restricted certain things, but the biggest thing, communication, were all open for, that tool and in that case the same information uploaded to the system was handled so we only searched by date or file name, and in the program we automatically looked for them where we only downloaded on the same laptop and reviewed what we had to see online.

Finally, if I had to recommend such a tool for another project I would do it with great confidence, because it was one of a great benefit in time and cost. Thank you very much, this is what I had to say about the project.

Moderator Edgar García

Thank you very much Engineer Rodriguez, I definitely think it can be evidenced that the fact that we have a physical place where we have all the digital information and available at all times, because it is fundamental right?, fundamental so that it can be distributed and that somehow it is easy to access and distributed also to other people, with the experience that what you have told us because it is very clear that a tool that provides these Functionalities because it helps a lot, helped a lot, precisely so that you see a more fluid information, there is a whole process and an evidence. We thank the Engineer for that experience.

Next, we also have the Engineer Ovidio, Antonio Ovidio who will tell us about his experience in this project. Go ahead engineer Ovid.

Engineer Antonio Ovidio Vallejos

Good evening, good afternoon to all participants. As my friend Edgar has indicated, I am Engineer Vallejos, Panamanian Civil Engineer integrated into the C3 Consortium staff in December 2017, in order to assist him as an external consultant in specific tasks corresponding to the civil works of the Colón center component. To speak of Colon center is to speak properly of the center of the city of Colon. Among the functions I was in charge of I can mention the review of construction plans, the review of methodological and operational proposals submitted by the contractor for different activities of the project Here we can include the instructions, the procedures in general, submissions of different kinds presented by the contractor. In addition, I had the opportunity to participate in the supervision and evaluation of details of specific cases directly on the site and attend meetings with the contractor and inspection teams to deal with very specific cases that arose during the development of the work. Obviously the development of each of the assignments results in the preparation of reports. In these reports it was up to me to present to C3 a detail with the main aspects that it can analyze. Basically, each report showed those details or situations that did not seem very clear, as well as those other aspects in which, as a result of the review carried out, inconsistencies were observed, between what the contractor presented in its documents and what the reference documents of the project required; Referential documents are understood as the statement of objections, technical specifications, tender drawings, technical standards and in general good engineering practice to name a few.

Each review process could involve one or more cycles of inputs and outputs of the corresponding document, and thus for each of them one or more revisions could also be generated, depending on the nature and magnitude of the observations; and the resulting changes or modifications, as well as clarifications, that the contractor wishes to make. It will reach the final review of each document C3 recommended the video its approval so that this document was sent to the contractor and its use within the work will be implemented as soon as possible. During the first months of my participation in the project, as an external consultant, the channels through which I had to give the course to the review process were basically limited to emails; WFT internal platforms, then Louis Berger, and external platforms, as well as access to certain areas of the Elephant platform. Based on this I had access to very specific menus of the Elephant platform through which I managed to obtain information regarding construction processes already carried out or with which I had not had the opportunity to get involved; As with the processes that were running in real time, already with my participation in the project. The platform has drop-down menus in which different phases of the construction processes are illustrated, in terms of what I had to see, in terms of what I had to see were detailed very independently for each system; Let’s talk about the rainwater system, sanitary system, electrical system, communications system and structures; basically the pavements which was what I was most involved with among others. Based on video photos, descriptions that were incorporated into the different menus it was possible for me to have in so many very precise activities carried out, problems that were found, proposed solutions and aspects that were still pending among a number of information.

Later there was a slight change in the traceability of my work, of the process that I carried out, because during the last months of my participation I began to receive the assignments through the Elephant platform directly, and by that means the contractor’s documents were also shared and finally it also corresponded to me, raise to the Elephant platform the reports that I generated. Taking into account this change in my work process, and considering the fact that all the information that I was handling in me in this process was concentrating on the platform, there is an important streamlining of the process. I am provided with the site of consultations to all the documents and also the documents that I generated were also produced to consult much more quickly and effectively.

I can say in conclusion, that although I do not use the platform to the fullest, Elephant appeared to me a very friendly and versatile tool; It really facilitates the search and collection of information, and for my part if I have to use it again in any project, I would really use it without any qualms. Thanks a lot.