Digital Construction Awards 2024: McLaughlin & Harvey wins Digital Contractor of the Year

McLaughlin & Harvey wins Digital Contractor of the Year at the Digital Construction Awards 2024
The McLaughlin & Harvey team, led by Glenn McCaffrey (second left), with Ollie Hughes of Digital Construction Week (left), Dan Corbett from Procore (second right) and Tom Allen (right) (Photo © 2024 – ASV Photography Ltd.

McLaughlin & Harvey’s commitment to clear information management and its impressive in-house digital construction expertise made the contractor the unanimous choice of the judges for the Digital Contractor of the Year prize – sponsored by Procore – at the Digital Construction Awards last night (2 July). 

Belfast-headquartered McLaughlin & Harvey has met the digital construction challenge by focusing on people, processes, and technology. The contractor, which has a workforce of more than 800 and operates across the UK, sees digital adoption as key to making it more innovative, improving project outcomes, productivity, staff retention, client satisfaction, and profitability.  

Category sponsor

M&H has shifted towards managing all its projects digitally and has built up its in-house expertise, growing its digital team from a single manager to a 10-strong department.  

It has prioritised clear information management, following the ISO 19650 standards and the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema. This has transformed previously disjointed processes into a coherent and well-structured system.  

M&H, while believing that technology should not become the “tail that wags the dog”, has made several judicious software procurement decisions to support its digital strategy, including: 

  • Viewpoint For Projects (VfP), to host its Common Data Environment (CDE) process, which M&H configured to be compliant with BS EN ISO 19650; 
  • Notion, for development of an information hub, supported by Airtable databases, serving as the central repository for BIM documentation;
  • Solibri, to check and validate the information layer on M&H projects using IFC-SPF files;
  • Trimble Connect Model Viewer, supporting the contractor’s objective for a model-centric approach to design and build, which enables models to be viewed simultaneously via any device, promoting collaborative work; 
  • BIMCollabCloud, a cloud-based platform to report issues arising from clash detection;
  • Morta, a collaboration with the software supplier to develop a process to push and pull data between Morta and IFC-SPF files, enriching the files with manufacturer and installation information captured during the build stage;
  • OpenSpace, ensuring uniform adoption of software and standardised data capture processes across all sites. It provides a comprehensive 360-degree photographic record of each week’s build. 

“M&H demonstrated a thorough implementation of digital throughout many aspects of the organisation. The company uses differing tools and apps for a particular purpose or process, with all data created being held in a form available to relevant internal staff and external stakeholders.

What the judges said

The development of this in-house expertise has enabled M&H to assist its clients in specifying their requirements, and subsequently delivering and verifying those requirements using ISO 19650-compliant processes and appropriate technology.  

Prioritising information management has improved project delivery, communication, transparency, and efficiency, boosting client satisfaction and trust in M&H’s capability. 

By developing robust delivery strategies, clearly set out within BIM documentation, and managing the process throughout the project lifecycle, M&H project teams can exchange comprehensive asset data to end users in structured formats, such as COBie. 

Its digital strategy has also enhanced engagement with suppliers, and added value through upskilling and training, as well as increasing productivity. 

Glenn McCaffrey, digital construction director at M&H, said: "This award means everything. We have been working hard and building towards this over the last five years. It is absolutely fantastic and ratifies all the hard work that is being delivered at McLaughlin & Harvey in relation to digital construction.

"As a business, we are all about the fundamental basics of construction. We’re focused on our people, processes, and technology – ultimately, providing authentic information management."

  • BAM UK & Ireland
  • McLaren Construction
  • McLaughlin & Harvey 
  • PCE  
  • SER Contractor 
  • Zed Pods
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