Building a Smart City Demands a Strategy and Tools for Industrialized Design and Construction
A megaproject featuring industrial symbiosis will move forward with an open platform that enables circularity.
SmartCityCo* is a greenfield development project dedicated from inception to modern methods of construction (MMC). Its founders have sought to maximize the proportion of building activities taking place off-site, seeking to reduce costs and waste, foster innovation, and develop their ambitious project at unprecedented scale and speed.
We helped SmartCityCo’s leaders develop the strategic objectives, concept map, and value chain, as well as shape the project’s organizational design and governance model. Our multidisciplinary team of experts delivered process maps, decision frameworks, recommendations for potential partners, financial planning, and IT architecture design.
Crucially, we recommended unifying the project with an open, industry-wide, collaborative construction platform. Our team outlined a strategy and implementation roadmap for this platform, which facilitates more efficient MMC-based construction, reducing the timeline, cost, and risk of the project.
SmartCityCo’s leaders had the boldest of ambitions, seeking to create a massive development in an area previously devoid of major infrastructure or settlement. They sought to prefabricate and assemble most component pieces off-site, and digitize and automate the project to the greatest extent possible.
Such an MMC strategy enables optimization all along the construction value chain, enhancing worksite safety, lessening waste and emissions, and improving the end-user experience through superior quality and customer-centric design.
Our research shows that MMC techniques can reduce building costs by 15%–20% through labor and material savings and enhanced predictability. Project completion can arrive 20%–50% faster thanks to 24/7 manufacturing, concurrent off-site and on-site work, and real-time digital collaboration.
But these methods only help if a vast number of stakeholders can work together using digital solutions to transform abstract models and generic objects into manufactured components with standardized interfaces. SmartCityCo proposed leveraging a global network of people and businesses to set up a vibrant community that included architects, contractors, machinery and materials suppliers, investors, insurers, and logistics specialists—all of whose success would require working together in a collaborative environment.
SmartCityCo invited us to design a strategy and detailed governance model for a single platform that could engage players across the value chain, define interoperability standards, and catalyze innovation.
We outlined the requirements for a system, including process maps and decision frameworks; developed a detailed governance model; and defined potential partners and founding members, a financial plan, and an IT architecture design. The implementation roadmap we delivered included key activities and necessary milestones over five years.
Today, SmartCityCo’s development is underway, anchored by a platform that creates a common language, drives open-sourced innovation, and facilitates the company’s goal of moving quickly to complete a project of nearly unprecedented scale and ambition.