The Southwest Parkway: collaborative effort

By Richard High16 June 2009

Driving cattle up the old Chisholm Trial required a truly collaborative effort between the trail boss, cook, wrangler and the point, swing, flank and drag riders. Each of these cowboys had to fulfill their specific role if they were to deliver their cattle to market.

In this same spirit of collaboration, HDR's Dallas office would have to mobilize and integrate a seamless national design team of 174 people located in 17 different cities across five US states in order to meet its 18 month design schedule.

Project Wise, by Bentley Systems, was selected as the collaborative tool and document management system (DMS) for all 20000 project files. This included not only CAD files but all engineering calculations, spreadsheets, word documents and email correspondence.

By using collaborative technology, HDR was able to create a virtual project team office that reduced the costs associated with collocating design team members. After completing a thorough analysis of its monthly billings for the Southwest Parkway project between January 2006 and April 2008, HDR found that it had saved nearly 1400 round trip airline flights and reduced the project team's air travel by almost 1 million miles (1.609 million km).

More significant was the 7000 hotel nights that were avoided by a team that got to stay at home. "For the Southwest Parkway Project, we moved the work, not the people," said HDR Project Wise coordinator and professional associate John Quintero.

In addition to dollar-cost savings of reduced travel, HDR enjoyed significant savings relating to its green business practices. The environmental benefits of keeping most of its design team members grounded reduced the project's carbon footprint by a staggering 581 tonnes of CO2.

Put into context, that is the equivalent of:

  • 96 cars being taken off the road for an entire year
  • 73 American households' average annual consumption of electricity
  • 1226 barrels of oil or 226445 litres of petrol

John R. Quintero, professional associate, HDR

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