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Site working

MANCHESTER AIRPORT'S £50M design and build ground transport interchange (GTI) is being managed from start to finish with the help of the Building Information Warehouse's project information channel (PIC).

The GTI will be a multi-modal transport interchange combining heavy and light rail, local bus and coach services and taxi and car drop-off points. The complex will include ticket halls, baggage handling, shops and offices.

D&B contractor Skanska and engineer Mott MacDonald head a project team of 10 companies. Construction begins this month and should be complete in mid-2003.

'This is a complex and high profile scheme, ' said Manchester Airport's head of development Andrew Campbell. 'With so many different consultants and other professionals involved, it is vital that we have an efficient information management regime.'

Manchester Airport has adopted the partnering approach for the GTI project, making an open book policy essential. The PIC facilitates this and use of the channel forms part of the contract conditions.

'The PIC helps to foster the commitment, collaboration and teamwork we need to deliver the project on time, ' says Campbell.

'I can track from my office the progress of drawing production and its co-ordination by our lead consultant, and the procurement progress of my works contractor.

'When you spread this through the team you can't help but promote a team approach to the project. By its very nature, it breaks down the barriers so there is nothing that can be hidden - though this can be something of a culture shock to the some project team members.

By collating and managing all technical information associated with the scheme, the technology is also expected to save the project team thousands of pounds by cutting out the costs associated with paper based filing systems.

BIW's system uses a central server, with all information accessed via a secure, projectspecific website. There is no requirement to use any particular hardware or software, only a standard internet browser.

The monthly fee is dependent on the data storage space required. Manchester Airport is paying around £2,000 on a monthly basis. 'This is very cost effective, ' explains Manchester Airport's senior development manager Aslan Khan, 'and means we are in control. BIW knows that if someone offers better then it would be a business decision to go to them.'

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