English Translation:
Traduction en français:
Lauréat du prix de l’entrepreneur général 2019

Willow Square, by Pomerleau

Willow Square will be the first major project delivered to Alberta Infrastructure by Pomerleau using the updated Digital Project Delivery guidelines. These requirements demand exceptional BIM collaboration from the beginning to the end of a project. Having multiple different users at various levels of BIM prowess requires bringing all project stakeholders to a similar level of understanding to better communicate project expectations and delivery.

Pomerleau uses its expertise to coach and mentor the project members to achieve a high level of BIM coordination. An Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach was used to ensure that each project member was aware of their individual impact on the project and promote collaborative solutions to problems. The use of site technology was also utilised as a support tool to achieve a successful digital handover.


Willow Square Continuing Care Centre is a long awaited long-term care facility located in Fort McMurray. With 144 beds and a site size of 14,800m2, it will be a landmark facility that integrates with the surrounding community. Pomerleau, as the design builder, has implemented an IPD approach in which all consultants are pro-actively collaborating with one another from the projects on-set. Together, we set out to deliver a high-quality project with complex systems in a condensed time-line while utilizing as many digital aides as we could.

Problem Definition

Pomerleau was challenged with many key factors from the project onset. The project is located in the heart of downtown Fort McMurray, and due to high traffic in the area there are many interested parties eagerly following the project progress. Aggressive timelines also played into the need for the use of technology on site.

Being mandated with a high level of BIM collaboration throughout the project lifecycle, Pomerleau ran into challenges with different levels of understanding across the consultant/sub/owner landscape. Proper set-up, management, and coaching were required to elevate the overall ability of BIM coordination on the project.

High Level Solutions

Willow Square has had many forms of innovation thrown at it throughout its design and construction life-cycle. BIM 360 Team was critical to the lightning fast coordination that needed to take place. Being able to access and share data across every model in the moment greatly accelerated the collaboration between consultants. To complement the use of BIM360 Teams, Pomerleau also worked with SmartUse to ensure coordination was making its way to site for the construction team, sub-trades, and visitors alike.

As the trade professionals will need to participate in the data acquisition process for a seamless FM model, a non-judgmental platform for unabashed collaboration was the intended goal. The subtrades needed to work with the consultants in an unbroken unison to fully utilize BIM at all stages of construction. We aim to position BIM as a time and money saving tool, and not just a passing trend.

To increase the level of collaboration on this project and to better support our subcontractors, the Pomerleau team has implemented the use of the following digital acquisition tools: Drone Photogrammetric Scanning, Lidar Scanning, 360 Degree Photo capture, VR space visualisation, and 4D visual scheduling.

Solution Details

By starting the project with a model, 4D schedule, and strong BIM presence, Pomerleau can carry BIM technologies throughout the project which will integrate seamlessly with one another. A good example of this is geolocating the consultant models accurately to real world coordinates; our bench marked point-cloud automatically aligns to the model elements. We used this method to check as-built vs. designed dimensions and we are proud to be within 5cm of almost every concrete element.

To alleviate some of the technical worries, automated model push/pull operations were used to take away minor procedural processes required when working in BIM360 Teams. To facilitate modelling to a higher level of detail, tutorials and customized coaching for each discipline were offered. These learning sessions were backed up with one-on-one support that we offered to all consultants. Collaboration was fostered with design coordination meetings.

To overcome reluctance of working in a BIM project of this size and complexity, Pomerleau implemented a few key methods. All trade foremen were shown what Revit was capable of. Followed by coordination sessions with live model manipulation to drive home the practicality of the software, foremen, superintendents and consultants were all walking around site with drawings in one hand and an iPad with BIM models in the other.

Virtual Reality space visualisation was used as a collaborative tool with the facility owner and operator. Immersing into the space prior to finalizing design and construction allows for operational efficiency changes that might be costly further down the project timeline. The use of digital technology was proven to save time and money on this project.


This project gave a clear understanding of the potentials in an IPD approach and the challenges that can arise. Clarity of modeling expectations and collaboration between all consultants at any time, from anywhere, opens the industry to the global market. Each member of the project team, from consultants to trade professionals, have adjusted their normal workflows to accommodate the goals of this project. Trade partners have stepped-up and shown that they are ready for the next level of BIM engagement. By amalgamating multiple users with various backgrounds, Pomerleau was able to find solutions that better fit the project deliverables.

Willow Square has far reaching effects that will send positive ripples through not only Pomerleau, but also the community it is situated in and the government body overseeing the project. Very few projects come along with such a wide-reaching impact. Pomerleau is very proud of Willow Square, of the design & construction teams, and all the trade partners who made this possible.

Related Awards

Willow Square Continuing Care Centre

Related Presentations

No items found.