University of Cambridge Selects Aconex for City Development

North West Cambridge Development will Support University’s Growth

CAMBRIDGE, England, February 27, 2014 – Aconex, provider of the world’s most widely used construction project management software, will provide its project collaboration solutions to the University of Cambridge for the  North West Cambridge Development. This project will extend the city of Cambridge to support the university’s future growth requirements.

With an estimated value of £1 billion, the North West Cambridge Development is the single largest capital project in the 800-year history of the University of Cambridge. Outline planning permission for the scheme was granted in February 2013, subject to approval of site-wide legal conditions and reserved matters applications. The 150-hectare site of university farmland is situated between Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11 motorway.

Focus on Quality and Sustainability

The 15-year master plan for the North West Cambridge Development includes: 3,000 homes, 50% of which will be key-worker housing for qualifying employees of the university and colleges; living accommodation for 2,000 post-graduate students; 100,000 square meters of research space; 5,300 square meters of retail and supermarket space; a senior living facility; a community center; a health care center; a primary school; child care facilities; a 130-room hotel; access, vehicle, cycle, and pedestrian roads; open space for recreation; a sustainable urban drainage system; an integrated waste management system; and site infrastructure and landscaping.

The development was designed as a high-quality extension of the city of Cambridge, with an urban rather than a suburban ambience. All buildings and infrastructure will be constructed to meet exemplary standards of sustainability (zero carbon).

Compliance and Cost Reduction

After a thorough review of competitive vendors, the University of Cambridge determined that Aconex was best suited to support a project of this scope and magnitude, which requires a combination of extreme attention to detail and a vision of the ultimate human outcome.

The entire project is being planned and managed under the  NEC family of construction procurement contracts. The University of Cambridge is currently using the Aconex Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to manage the bidding and tendering process for its contractors. This will help the university proactively meet compliance requirements, reduce cost and manage risk.

Managing Risk between Multiple Project Partners

The multi-company project team for the North West Cambridge Development will use the Aconex platform to process documents, communications and workflows according to uniform, coordinated procedures – all in a single, secure system. The platform will enable the tracking and reporting of all deliverables, with a permanent audit trail, to ensure that the team meets the precise project specifications within the NEC framework.

“We’re honored to have been chosen by the University of Cambridge to support this construction and infrastructure mega-project,” said Hervé Hamelin, general manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Aconex. “While Aconex has effectively served capital projects of all sizes, a project of this size – not a building, a bridge or an airport, but an entire urban extension – is where we differentiate ourselves from other construction project management software providers. We look forward to helping the university execute all aspects of the project efficiently to fulfill its vision of the proposed North West Cambridge Development.”

About Aconex

Aconex provides the world’s most widely used Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for managing information and processes between companies throughout the lifecycle of construction and engineering projects. The Aconex suite of solutions – secure, neutral and centralized – enables owners, developers, contractors, and project managers to reduce the cost and risk inherent in capital projects of all sizes and improve efficiency, productivity and accountability for all project participants. Aconex has served projects valued at more than US$880 billion, with over 480,000 users. Clients include nine of the top ten engineering, procurement and construction (EPC/EPCM) firms, 23 of the 25 largest global design firms, and nearly all Fortune 500 construction and engineering companies.

For more information and examples of Aconex in action, see Follow Aconex on Twitter at  @aconex and on LinkedIn at

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