Glenveagh Properties floated on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges in October 2017, with ambitious plans for the future. In 2018 alone, the company worked on over 800 sites in Ireland to develop housing and apartments, continuing to grow their business across the region.
Nancy Sweeney joined Glenveagh Properties in May 2018 as Quality Manager. Her role is essential to the company strategy, as delivering the best quality housing and apartments is at the heart of Glenveagh’s principles. However, Nancy found that,
on apartment developments particularly, meeting regulatory requirements at the completion of projects was taking a significant amount of time – and acting as a drain on overall productivity.
Since 2014, developments in Ireland have been subject to Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR), to ensure the safety and quality of buildings. This requires that all projects appoint an assigned certifier (AC), to sign off a building on completion. Glenveagh Properties employs an independent company as acting AC to approve their apartment block developments, while also working with the project architect in this
regard on other developments.
The AC is involved throughout the construction process and delivers a detailed and complete set of documentation to the owner on completion. In the final stages of the build, that means checking all faults are resolved and all documents are completed. For Glenveagh, this stage was creating challenges and delays as they were relying on spreadsheets and emails to share all relevant details.
“Our approach to closing out projects wasn’t very sophisticated,” noted Nancy. “Updates on any defects had to be logged on a computer, offsite, into a hefty spreadsheet. The process was slow and very resource intensive and it was hard for our architects to see where we were up to with the inspections. We wanted to complete projects and
handover the new homes as soon as possible, but our processes were holding us back.”
Nancy was keen to achieve the highest level of regulatory adherence and quality, while also improving the speed of the close. Glenveagh needed a solution that would support their full compliance and also improve efficiency, to underpin the business’ ambitious growth plans.
“Our approach to closing out projects wasn’t very sophisticated. Updates on any defects had to be logged on a computer, offsite, into a hefty spreadsheet.”
When Glenveagh Properties was approaching the close of Herbert Hill, an apartment complex located in Dublin, in 2018 the team was running into the usual difficulties with managing the close out and completing the necessary documentation. However, the architect on the project had used PlanGrid elsewhere and told Nancy how effectively the platform could support the process of closing out.
PlanGrid acts as a central location for all necessary documentation, with clear version
tracking. The platform provides a means of recording outstanding issues against project
plans, enabling teams to confirm when problems are resolved, attaching photos and comments as supporting proof. PlanGrid can be accessed from tablets and mobile phones on-site and, provides a single source of truth to all parties on a project.
Nancy was excited to see how PlanGrid could help Glenveagh and signed up to use the cloud solution on the Herbert Hill and Marina Village development. She secured licences for the engineers and foremen on the team to help them effectively raise and track any final issues to be checked.
The project team quickly saw how easy PlanGrid is to use. “The team was very keen to embrace a solution that meant they could avoid spending hours in front of a computer, typing everything up,” recalled Nancy. “With PlanGrid, they could take photos, upload them on site and add new comments to the plans at speed. It meant issues were very quickly done and dusted. Overall PlanGrid really helped us make closing out easier and faster.”
Glenveagh Properties is now rolling out PlanGrid across all new apartment projects. Nancy has been really pleased with the way that the platform has supported greater transparency, as well as efficiency, across projects.
“With photos, we can very easily verify that issues have been resolved,” Nancy notes. “You can see at a glance who has created comments and when. Altogether, it creates greater traceability and confidence on project closeout.”
Using PlanGrid has helped stakeholders throughout the business. Closing out is easier and faster for teams on the ground, while the traceability of the platform encourages everyone to be extremely thorough and ensure that all issues are resolved. Site managers are able to download reports and see what’s open and closed without sifting through spreadsheets. Meanwhile, architects can easily review and verify compliance, making it much faster to pull together the Certificate of Compliance on Completion for the new owner.
The management team also has a more direct view of what’s happening on the ground. “At our biweekly meetings, we can see at a glance where we are with every project – and even
From the leadership team’s perspective, it’s clear that efficiency is growing month on month, as the incident of snag lists is decreasing.
Employees across the business are also visibly excited to use PlanGrid. Younger employees in particular are especially keen to use digital tools to improve their efficiency and experience at work. Equally, more experienced staff find the platform easy and enjoyable to use and have been keen to adopt a solution that makes project closeout an easier and faster process.
For Glenveagh, the next stage will be to gain even more value from PlanGrid by rolling out its other functionalities. The team has already started to use checklists on its Marina Village residential development South of Dublin, integrating the platform with its
internal quality system. As the company continues to grow rapidly, finding the time to teach these new functionalities to the business is perhaps the biggest challenge! But by using PlanGrid during the close out, the team enjoys greater peace of mind that all projects meet regulatory requirements – and reflect Glenveagh’s commitment to absolute quality on every build.