As well as retail, another UK market sector that is helping construction businesses survive the ravages of the current recession is the healthcare sector, buoyed – like education – by government investment.
However, I don’t see the latest entrant to the design collaboration market place as a major player (at least not yet). A news item on the Building website says that MJ Medical‘s Online Stakeholder Update allows clients to amend project data online, using a “unique web-based design tool” to allow clients to amend room design data online (you can also view the 12 February news release on MJ Medical’s irritatingly Flash-powered website).
It claims that room data sheets were previously amended through exchanges of emails, with details stored in spreadsheets, and that its system allows remote user access, reducing the number of meetings.
Looking at such claims from a construction collaboration perspective, remote sharing of design information via the web without email is certainly nothing new. Such platforms can also enable management of standardised design details. However, while these evolved extranets don’t tend to be working at the level of room data-sheets, there are other applications that do. One is ActivePlan (run by former BIW director [and colleague of mine], George Stevenson), which also focuses on health projects alongside retail, offices, education and construction.