Steffen Mader, Planning Manager at HRS
«We know Olmero well and have been involved as partners in a wide variety of projects for many years. For example, we have already been able to use Olmero at the stadium in Biel. Of course, there are also projects where specifications come from the construction owner, but in principle HRS works together with Olmero. This is also a good thing because it is a platform that we know and trust.»
Swiss Life is the general sponsor of ZSC Lions and the name sponsor of the new Swiss Life Arena. The 170 metre long, 110 metre wide and 30 metre high building was designed by the London-based architectural team Caruso St John under the name Theatre of Dreams. It is realised at Vulkanstrasse between railway tracks and the motorway near the border to Schlieren. In an exclusive interview, Mr. Steffen Mader, Planning Manager at HRS, tells us how the collaboration with Olmero came about.
Mr. Mader, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about the cooperation with Olmero. Today we are talking about the new hockey stadium for ZSC Lions. What news can you already tell us about the project?
We have been involved since 2018, because we won the tender and are now able to implement this exciting project for ZSC Lions. The construction owner is relatively fast, sometimes even too fast for the architects, because they still want to define a lot of design things, especially in the execution process. Otherwise, we are making rapid progress, which is also evident on the building site with the façades already built.
The basic structure is set in this sense, now what about the name? Are we talking about the Swiss Life Arena or the ZSC Stadium?
Exactly, it is called the Swiss Life Arena. For us it was the ZSC Stadium in the beginning. This has now changed because Swiss Life is represented as the main partner. Since then the project has been called Swiss Life Arena.
You have brought documents with you. Can you perhaps tell us more about them?
These are the documents of the construction owner, which we also received only 2-3 weeks ago. The documentary contains the essential facts about the arena, such as the opening in August 2022, a few figures about the catering areas, how many spectators the arena can hold and what else ZSC is planning with the Swiss Life Arena. This is also about other occasions and events, as the arena is only used for ice hockey games during the season.
How did the collaboration with Olmero come about in this project?
We know Olmero well and have been involved as partners in a wide variety of projects for many years. For example, we have already been able to use Olmero at the stadium in Biel. Of course, there are also projects where specifications come from the construction owner, but in principle HRS works together with Olmero. This is also a good thing because it is a platform that we know and trust. In fact, each platform has a different philosophy for implementation and management.
How exactly does the collaboration take place, and what does HRS handle via Olmero?
In any large project, the basic aim is to ensure that the communication is right. That is actually the most difficult part. All information is to be exchanged so that everyone always knows the latest status, even if changes or additional requests are made by the construction owner. For us, Olmero is actually the platform where we upload all the information and exchange it with the teams it affects.
Approvals are also made on the Olmero platform. The partners who are not in approval distribution can only view the documents. We can therefore differentiate which plans and contents are intended for whom.
Do the physical plans behind you on the wall concern the hall and the inner area you just mentioned?
These are the execution plans for the shell construction, which are mainly processed by architects, civil engineers and building technicians and where a lot of adjustment and coordination takes place.
From the perspective of the general contractor - can you explain the process of uploading all plans to the Olmero platform?
A so-called planning number scheme is defined in advance. There information is contained in a code, such as which plan refers to which trade. Numbers are also assigned to find out which phase you are in and later in the number sequence you indicate whether it is for building services, electrical or sanitary installations.
Very important is the addition of free text definitions. Since several project participants have access to the Olmero platform and not all of them know all the technical terms and codes we work with, certain free texts are very important for us in our cooperation with the construction owner. Olmero allows you to add keywords to make the data easier to find.
The status of the project can also be tracked at any time, everyone has access and can call up the required plans as required. The different forms of distribution also help with communication. We have, for example, a distribution list for our internal planning team and an additional one with the construction owner, through which approvals are processed. In addition, the team of specialists for additional testing can also be included in the desired distribution list.
Do you as a Planning Manager also use the digital plan verification via Olmero?
Correct, this enables me to record changes, any clarifications and the response to the cooperation and to implement a regulated process and a controlling function.
How do you manage to keep track of things with so many plans and what are the challenges?
The digitalisation in the construction industry will also be a challenging task for Olmero, because more and more information and data will tend to be collected and exchanged. Thus, the tools will certainly be optimised and extended over time, similar to the programmes of software manufacturers which are becoming more and more extensive. However, I think that in the future this will be a general task for all project participants and that the platform should therefore be understandable for all users and not just experts.
How do you see the future of the construction industry?
Young people would now speak of a digital construction site and a paperless office, but every entrepreneur has the duty to lead his entire team towards this goal step by step. Also, everyone has the duty to communicate with each other, so that all the basics and tools are available.
In my opinion, however, a general digitalisation or even automation of the construction site is not possible because we are still in an ongoing process and the issue is still being dealt with rather hesitantly. Architects and specialist planners are already working with 3D models, but they are still quite reluctant to trust this model completely. There is also an extreme management effort behind it, which should not be underestimated. HRS itself also has its own department that is working on test models, so that in future we can work paperlessly as a total contractor and react to the market at any time. So, we are all still learning to digitalise.