Innovate
 

Main actors have their say

Which innovations would you outline?

José Vicente Candel, Design Manager in D4R7

  • “I think it is important to mention innovation itself as the strategy adopted to face this complexity and push the project forward, through the implementation of innovative solutions. “
  • “One example is the use of a semi-rigid pavement supported on a cement-stabilized esplanade with a high support capacity, which has also had to be studied and developed for particular frost conditions. Another example of a unique solution is the one developed for the problem of the Bratislava airport radar being affected by the D4 traffic (development of Radar Shielding Wall display system)”

Wojciech Wlodzimirski, Design Manager in D4R7

We have designed and built 120 bridges, one of them is the emblematic structure of the Bridge crossing the Danube, which is 3km long. We designed a 210m span, the longest span, and the structure where we have incorporated the most innovative solutions.

Paula García Martínez, Hydraulic Works Coordinator (Technical Office)

Don’t miss the projects mentioned. Find the full info HERE

José Vicente, you mention innovation as a clear strategy to face the many possibilities of the project. Could you tell us some of the keys of this strategy?

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Rigorous work and coordination of the project teams. A result of this is the close collaboration between design, construction, procurement and the rest of the departments has allowed to design the solutions taking into account the construction aspects, cost, deadlines, available suppliers and their know-how. The collaboration with local Slovak teams has also proved a key to success.

It has been essential to employ and go hand in hand with local designers (in this case Dopravoprojekt) when defending the solutions, leading the delivery of the design and the management of the permits but combined with the integration of trusted designers and previous collaborators with Ferrovial in the past (e.g. Torroja, GPO).

Close collaboration with universities and local experts, and where we have often created work teams that incorporate Ferrovial experts, both local and international. In order to analyze and develop the solutions, it has been necessary to convince the local designer, the client and in some cases even the general public  – with rigor and technical discussion-. The path followed has been to achieve very close collaboration with universities and local experts, and where we have often created work teams that incorporate Ferrovial experts, both local and international. The support of these experts for the solutions and their technical and regulatory suitability has been decisive in many cases, and of great help in communicating with the local authorities that had to approve the solutions.

On a communication level, D4R7 has taken an active approach, publishing articles regularly in specialized engineering and environmental magazines in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It has participated in technical discussion forums, conferences (also in neighboring countries, such as in Vienna for the Danube bridges), not shying away from technical discussion but rather promoting it in order to take innovations forward. For example, a good number of innovative solutions in Slovakia have been presented through these mechanisms. We can mention the design and construction of the Danube bridges, the piers of the Danube bridge, the pavement solution I indicated before, structural typologies of new use in Slovakia such as isostatic bridges on floating piers, use of earth walls reinforced with metal strips for floating piers,…etc).

A project with this magnitude requires doing your very best and facing big challenges. Which have these been in your role?

  • “D4R7 is a complex Project.  This is a contract in which Ferrovial Construction carries out the design and construction. During bidding, we  already included some innovative solutions in Slovakia, which were therefore already incorporated in the contract price and with possible risk of deviation.”
  • Slovakia was a completely new country for Ferrovial, with Slovak being the language of the contract and communication with the authorities that issue construction permits.”
  • Media have their eyes on this project. We are talking about 1000 M Euros for a relatively small country (5.5 M inhabitants). There was no precedent in the country for any project of similar size, and it is also located around the capital Bratislava.”
  • “The great bureaucratic complexity of obtaining environmental and construction permits for the design must also be considered. “
  • “This combination of project size and location also posed many challenges in the supply chain, both in design and construction”
  • “The Danube River…. The physical dimensions of the environment”
  • “Executing two piles in the main Drains was a top engineering challenge. And last but not least, the configuration of the pile is complex and disruptive itself. “

Slovakia is a new geography for Ferrovial. It is a big project, with very complex structures we have had to design and build in a time limit (as always). To be successful in finding an optimal design, we worked along experts from countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Spain and Portugal. Additionally, this formula of projects including design and constructionis quite new in Slovakia and uncommon.

Great challenges also bring along exciting opportunities…

  • “Both the model and the protocol can be applied in any construction related to water environments: maritime and river (piers, abutments, dikes, flecks, breakwaters, dikes, ecological restorations…). It would only be necessary to adapt it to the particular conditions of each project, but the philosophy could be maintained”
  • “We have gained experience in design and construction of complex bridges with different typologies and different construction means”
  • “We extended our network of contacts to develop innovative solutions with different groups of experts from different countries.
  • “This project has created a team of Ferrovial professionals that I am sure will provide added value in future projects of the company”

Would you like to share a learnt lesson?

  • “I think we all learned from seeing different work cultures and we have learned things from the local market and the local market has certainly learned a lot from what is done at Ferrovial and how we work.
  • “Looking ahead, I think it is important to continue developing the BIM solution, which we have already incorporated some concepts. We have designed construction processes with the BIM philosophy”.

“I have become completely aware of the effort (economical, technical and professional) necessary to develop such sophisticated models. In projects as unique as D4R7 that imply substantial changes with impact on the environment, we should consider using new methods so we can control in advance, cost, time needed, or any other necessary resources. Showing the new models- complete and rigorous- have proved pretty useful to convince the local authorities and have helped to obtain construction permits.”

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