Pell Frischmann completes design of Iraqi water project

$700m infrastructure project was carried out with the help of Aconex, consultancy adds

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Pell Frischmann, a UK-based engineering, development and management consultancy, has said that it has completed the design of a $700 million water infrastructure rehabilitation project in Iraq.

The project was carried out with the help of Aconex, a major provider of the international platform that connects teams on construction and engineering projects, the consultancy added.

The Water Supply Sector Loan Project involves the refurbishment of aging facilities and the construction of new infrastructure to support the public health of residents in the Ninewa, Anbar and Salah El Din governorates of Iraq, it said in a statement, pointing out that the entire water system had been long overdue for a major upgrade.

“The people here badly needed this system,” remarked Stewart Neal, civil engineer at Pell Frischmann and design manager on the project.

“Since water demand exceeded supply, water would be turned on for 24 hours in one zone of a city, and the next day water would be turned off in that zone and directed to another zone. The intermittent water supply and low water quality created public health risks,” stated Neal.

In 2012, the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works utilised financing from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the redesign and reconstruction of water intake facilities, water treatment plants, transmission facilities and distribution pipelines.

Pell Frischmann was awarded the design project following an international tendering process. The company has been active in Iraq since 2004, and has been recognised for its collaborative work on the country’s infrastructure.

In a statement, the consultancy said that key that the project would present challenges due to it having design teams in Exeter and London (UK), Baghdad (Iraq) and in Mumbai (India), and a client in Iraq with an unreliable IT infrastructure and security issues.

Therefore, the firm selected the Aconex platform so as to be able to store, access and share design data securely in the cloud, manage complex design reviews, track approvals, and keep all communications and processes connected to the project, rather than lost on email or internal servers, Neal said.

Despite this, Aconex helped resolve problems and avert issues that weren’t even anticipated, he pointed out.

“We found that the client preferred to review and approve designs on paper,” explained Neal. “Sending design documents by mail or courier was expensive and time-consuming. File sizes and regional connectivity issues made email impractical,” he added.

Aconex solved the problem with project-wide collaboration, connecting the entire team and all project data on a single platform.

The design phase of the project was completed on schedule due to the visibility and control Aconex gave Pell Frischmann, said Neal.

“There was never any ambiguity about who was holding up the workflow. Everyone could see who had approved designs, where the bottlenecks were and who needed to take action,” he added.

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