The second tube of the Karavanke tunnel is in the full construction phase and represents an important step towards eliminating the road traffic bottleneck between Slovenia and Austria. The investor DARS d. d., with experts from AXIS and DRI, adopted close and constructive cooperation, information tools, communication, organisational skills and engineering knowledge. The Common Data Environment (CDE) for constructing the 2nd tube of the Karavanke tunnel has equipped DARS with a powerful information tool and digital knowledge and is now firmly entering Construction 4.0. 

The 2nd tube of the Karavanke tunnel will decisively contribute to developing the comprehensive road network in Slovenia and improve the direct connection of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) corridors. Completion of the tube is scheduled for June 2025. Upon opening, traffic will be diverted through the newly built pipe, and the existing tube will be renovated and modernised. The final renovation is planned to be completed by 2027 when two-way traffic in the Karavanke tunnel will be abolished, and the speed limit will be increased from 80 to 100 km/h.

Managing infrastructure projects is a demanding task in terms of engineering and construction work. In depth-knowledge of investment processes and procedures, monitoring of financial and timeline indicators, and understanding the potential risks and their financial consequences are crucial in the design, planning and implementation of infrastructure projects. Challenges most frequently arise in managing the organisation, quality professional supervision, transparent management of procedures and documentation, a large amount of information to be uniformly accessible to all stakeholders and the use of appropriate up-to-date information support.

Source: DARS

The critical investor’s goal is to ensure effective project and construction investment control, thus guaranteeing the projected progress following the timeline, financial plan and quality by introducing Common Data Environment (CDE). Introduction, maintenance and support of the Common Data Environment (CDE) is a fundamental support principle of any construction process and consists of two comprehensive sets of tasks.

The first set of tasks consists of introducing the XPERT information system for financial and scheduling monitoring and establishing the Web Project Portal for smooth digital communication and project documentation management. The basis for the successful introduction of the latter is the so-called Communication and Documentation Protocol, which prescribes the obligations and activities of all stakeholders in detail. The training period for all system users is successfully coming to an end. The use of the entire CDE system consequently goes into full production and continues with ongoing maintenance and customer support.

Common Data Environment and XPERT construction information software provide:

  • Financial and scheduling monitoring of project implementation by measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of all contracts -> the possibility of timely action,
  • effective participation of participants with assigned roles and implementation of the tasks according to the protocol, which prescribes the method of communication -> saving time in communication between participants,
  • structured and orderly management of project documentation -> quick search for the latest versions of the desired documents,
  • support for upgrading BIM models -> issue management.

The second set of tasks includes professional, technical and engineering services to support the client and users, directing a comprehensive set of engineering tasks, from the document preparation and organisation and project information management to the monitoring of the investment process in CDE Karavanke and participation in the preparation of relevant financial, scheduling and execution reports for the client and engineer.

Professional and technical support includes a broad group of engineering services, among which we highlighted key ones:

  • Supervision, coordination, professional and content assistance in the preparation and organisation of work with documents and project information management,
  • support to project participants in the implementation of protocol methodology, coordination, changes, validation and integration into the CDE project portal,
  • monthly operational monitoring of the scheduling and financial plan for the implementation of all works within the construction,
  • keeping information and records of deviations and any deficiencies in the work performed in the CDE information system,
  • maintenance and updating of the overall investment plan and the overall implementation plan,
  • updating the financial monitoring of the construction project, creating and setting up a control panel (Cost and Schedule Performance Indexes (CPI/SPI), S-curve analysis …),
  • participation and consultation in determining the content and form of the project reporting,
  • preparation and use of information, analysis of data and documentation from the information system in possible negotiations related to the contract or settlement of disputes related to the project,
  • monitoring the investment process in the CDE and preparing relevant financial, scheduling and execution reports for the client and the engineer.

The common data environment (CDE) and the comprehensive information solution XPERT for the electronic and financial management of individual or portfolio of construction projects in all construction phases have been entirely developed by experts from AXIS. CDE and XPERT are based on Slovenian research, development and engineering knowledge. Constructive cooperation with the investor DARS and the partner DRI represents the first major pilot project of establishing CDE on a specific project, i.e. construction of the 2nd tube of the Karavanke tunnel. With the successful introduction, training and maintenance, a standard will be set for all AC projects of DARS and simultaneously set an example of good practice. We hope our joint effort will motivate other public investors to take a bolder approach to digitalisation and Construction 4.0.

At AXIS, we are happy and proud to support sustainable planning, construction and management of infrastructure and facilities with our knowledge, experience and advanced software tools.

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