Case Studies

The Shard at London Bridge


The Shard, on the south side of the River Thames, is a landmark structure and Western Europe’s tallest building at 306 meters on 72 levels

Developer: Sellar Property Group
Construction Manager: Mace
Architect: Renzo Piano

“Synchro provides the graphic simulation needed to deliver and improve construction solutions for our clients, along with a real time based 4D model for idea generation and problem solving within the project team.” Rob Owen, Director at Mace Group Ltd

The Challenge:

Mace had responsibility to deliver this unique building on time for the 2012 Olympic Games, creating London’s newest flagship city center transportation hub. The objective was to beat the competition to the real estate market and deliver the project on budget. The company has a reputation for finding the best solutions to complex projects and has been responsible for the successful delivery of some of the most complex, prestigious and award winning projects including: London Eye, British Museum Great Court, More London, Heathrow T5, RBS Gogarburn and the City of London’s fourth tallest tower, 51 Lime Street. Some of the challenges on this project were:

  • The building was built almost on top of one of the busiest transport stations making logistics extremely constrained
  • Top down bottom up construction is rare
  • The building’s unique design posed engineering and logistics challenges

Why Synchro?


As part of their best practice review, Mace understood that visual scheduling and planning had tremendous benefits which could help communicate their programme to the delivery team. Synchro Pro’s interoperability and ability to retain integrity in the programme was crucial. Synchro Pro provided:

  • the ability to visualize the project plan, greatly improving the quality of communications and collaboration among project stakeholders by creating a shared vision
  • quick and easy exploration of different strategies and their impact on the programme
  • logistics coordination to help position cranes, roads, parking and earth stores in a city centre site where logistics played a crucial role

The Outcome

Synchro Pro enabled Mace to orchestrate the logistics of the project in real time and to identify problems commonly missed using traditional planning methods. Hundreds of items were identified through the visual planning review process which were fixed, adjusted and completed in the planning process- before they became costly changes during construction. Two examples include:

  • The deployment of tower cranes had been scheduled too late into the project. Early discovery of this coordination gap enabled the problem to be rectified before it even manifested itself.
  • Issues in the MEP scheduling, such as omissions of certain components from the program, were highlighted before they became a problem, thus avoiding costly time delays.

Mace delivered the project on time and on budget and took full honors as the newest city

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