Symetri helps the award-winning Collen Construction to continue building the future with leading edge solutions, and uninterrupted momentum

“As a company, we’re passionate about innovation. This is where Symetri fulfils an essential role in supporting our various teams, by helping to align our choices around Autodesk software’s precisely to our needs. When we need advice or technical support, Symetri are there for us. They’ve been accompanying Collen for over ten years and we consider them an integral part of the continuing Collen success story”.
- Javier Ordóñez Alonso, Regional BIM Manager (Sweden), Collen Construction

Meet Collen Construction

Collen Construction’s history goes back over 200 years. Founded in 1810 as Collen Bros, the company is today ranked as one of the top five main building contractors in Ireland; justifiably proud of its heritage and its reputation for building quality and excellence. The company provides a full spectrum of construction services, encompassing management contracting, design and build, joint venture/partnering, and turnkey contracts. It works in diverse areas including data centres, residential, commercial, fit-out, educational, retail, leisure, health, pharmaceutical, industrial and conservation; ranging in value from under €1Million to more than €700 Million. The company’s range of clients includes large multi-national corporations, private companies, local authorities and state authorities. Among Collen’s numerous awards, it won Engineering Project of the Year in the Irish Construction Industry Awards 2023, for its work on the Hold Baggage System (HBS) upgrade at Dublin Airport. For this project, Collen fulfilled the role of facilitation integrator, taking charge of the smooth operation of the Baggage Handling System and ensuring efficient system integration. The project was presented at Autodesk University 2023 at the mainstage. Collen’s responsibilities at Dublin Airport included designing, planning, and delivering new buildings, redirecting services, and adjusting existing structural elements to facilitate the new system. The outcome is that the average time it takes for passengers to receive their luggage at Dublin Airport is now amongst the lowest in Europe: 18 minutes, compared to the EU average of 40 minutes.


The challenge: Making sure that every next step is the right one to take

Beyond its acknowledged leadership position in Ireland’s construction sector, Collen has a strong international track record, with operations also in Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. It was in the Swedish office that Javier Ordóñez Alonso joined the company, as BIM Coordinator, in 2019. Today, Javier is Collen’s Regional BIM Manager for Sweden.

“There was a long-standing relationship between Collen and Symetri when I joined the company. I understood that Symetri were considered very much our ‘go-to’ support team for all issues technical as well as advice on improvements we could make to our processes through the adoption of new software”, says Javier. “As soon as I encountered day-to-day issues with Autodesk solutions, I naturally got in touch with Symetri’s support team. That’s when I experienced the value of the relationship our company had with them. They resolved the issues instantly but then explained additional solutions I could consider. They asked a lot about my background and the nature of various projects I was working on and I felt that they very much cared about helping our business. They didn’t just solve our issues; they added value at the same time”.

The solution: Partnership | Respect |Trust

Giving the guidance and insight to just turn on the software and start using it

Throughout the business, Collen has a number of BIM Leads charged with driving the company’s implementation of BIM strategies, particularly in areas such as quality and construction coordination, and comprehensive and detailed information passed on to clients  at project handover. Javier is one of these Leads.

Given Collen’s focus on BIM, Collen uses the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Collection across all its projects, accompanied by a staged move to the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC). Supporting workflows that span all phases of construction – design, planning, building, and operating – ACC offers users the freedom to use any product most relevant to their needs, whenever they need it. Two products are of significant value to Collen in its work on data centre projects; BIM 360 Glue and Autodesk Docs.

As the largest Data Centre General Contractor in Ireland, Collen operates a fully integrated design and build capability, coupled with experienced project management expertise from a Civil, Structural, Architectural (CSA), Mechanical and Electrical (MEP) standpoint. Priority issues on projects in such a fast-paced sector include compliance, documentation validation and management through to full turnkey commissioning from Factory Acceptance Testing to Integrated Systems Testing and handover.

Symetri supports in getting issues resolved before they become problems:

“When we experience issues, Symetri helps us to resolve them before they become problems”.

Collen promotes partnership working and close ongoing collaboration with all its clients. In major projects such as data centres, this all starts with close stakeholder engagement from the moment the project is discussed. Underpinning and facilitating such engagement is a shared knowledge and lessons-learned approach, where Collen looks to continually improve its offering working with a long-serving, trusted supply chain. Integral to this commitment is Collen’s openness to taking on new solutions; with evaluations on the benefits it stands to gain by deploying Autodesk BIM Collaborate, as its next phase of going deeper within the Autodesk Construction Cloud. “Autodesk Collaborate offers great potential to us”, says Javier. “Symetri will be instrumental in accelerating our adoption of the software, guiding us through its usage so that we hit the ground running. This will prove to be yet another instance where the Symetri technical team anticipates
our teething problems and effectively solves them in advance. We can just keep moving forward
with the confidence that we have a trusted expert team supporting for our next advance”.

The outcome: Instantaneous expertise

Empowering Collen to make the right decisions

“In the time I have worked with the support and guidance of the Symetri technical team, I have come to regard them as the ‘eyes’ and the ‘ears’ of Collen when it comes to innovation for Autodesk products”, says Javier. “We have a significant ongoing workload at Collen. That means we simply cannot assign any of our team to researching new Autodesk releases and evaluating new developments on Autodesk Software’s. It would involve giving over time to work through demos and the comparative strengths and weaknesses of different options. This would mean time taken away from ongoing project work. With Symetri on our side we know that their recommendations are always based on profound experience and extensive real-life use cases from other similar clients facing similar problems. The next step to take almost always comes ‘ready-made’ from Symetri”.


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