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Digital Construction Excellence: Winner

Winner: M J Rooney Construction – Virtual Basements

M J Rooney’s progressive mindset and exceptional outputs left the judges unanimous in handing it this award.

The Virtual Basements Initiative was developed by M J Rooney to bring safety, innovation and organisation to every aspect of its construction projects with the intention of delivering safe and problem-free basements.

Its innovative approach has seen the company bring together existing technologies as well as a few relatively new ones developed in-house into a standard service for clients.

Virtual Basements combines the advantages of both 3D and 4D modelling. M J Rooney takes exceptionally accurate models from the design team and presents them in a detailed 3D model, allowing site teams to examine different construction layers.

Following this, 4D modelling then shows the detailed order of construction, use of safe access, temporary works clash detection and site layout / storage throughout the construction process.

Through freely available mobile and tablet apps, models are provided to end-users to ensure all stakeholders are involved in and can interact with the programme. In particular, basement and waterproofing teams are able to access virtual reality models of what they are constructing at all times via the app.

The firm’s end-users are able to view the virtual reality models with inexpensive virtual reality headsets, helping guarantee greater client satisfaction.

M J Rooney’s commitment to training was also evident throughout. Using the VR headsets and via mobile phone, staff are able to undertake self-administered training updates at any time.

“M J Rooney has shown sincere commitment and a holistic approach to digital excellence, as well as a stand-out commitment to safety”

Judges’ comment

The company’s efforts to ensure exceptional standards were not confined to digital innovation and included several new basement construction systems of underpinning support, including 8 m-deep underpin shaft systems and unique bracketing to secure overhead brickwork.

M J Rooney says the Virtual Basements Initiative has reduced build costs and helped it record a 100 per cent safety record in 2017.

The company adds that the connection between clients, design teams, suppliers, onsite workers and all other stakeholders has resulted in a streamlined building process without delays.

The judges were unanimous in their praise of M J Rooney’s holistic approach to digital excellence and its commitment to safety, noting that this area appeared to be the foremost consideration in everything it did.

The panel also commended M J Rooney for offering clear leadership to the industry as a whole, and for demonstrating genuinely innovative and progressive thinking.


  • Elecosoft – Powerproject BIM
  • Hill Construction in collaboration with Topcon – Anstey Hall Barns
  • Mabey – BIM and Digital Engineering
  • Metek – The Pavilions, Caledonian Road, London
  • Oakwood Engineering Solutions – Celtic Manor, Wales ICC
  • Willmott Dixon Interiors – 39 Victoria Street

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