Utilizing Microsoft SWAY to Communicate Project Info

Monday April 8, 2024

Identifying the Issue

The University of Washington Interdisciplinary Engineering Building (UW IEB) project is located in the center of the Seattle campus. It sits on a high-profile site across from the student union building and adjacent to central campus facilities operations. To ensure project team and public safety and to build trust with campus operations, the project team needed an unrestricted information-sharing solution for both personnel on the jobsite and to meet neighbors’ demands.

To achieve this, the project team identified their main obstacle of getting project-specific safety documentation into the hands of the craft workforce while proactively informing the curious public.

The team needed a technology solution that didn’t require log-in permissions, could push real-time notifications whenever site conditions change all while maintaining compliance with Hensel Phelps’ cybersecurity requirements. They desired a solution that established the expectation for a supportive and safe jobsite environment while prioritizing client-customer service. Additionally, the solution needed to be highly efficient, requiring a minimal time commitment to create and maintain in consideration of the small project staff.

Piloting and Developing the Solution

In addition to testing other cutting-edge industry solutions, the team piloted webpage development using Microsoft SWAY. SWAY is a software program that is part of the Microsoft suite, which is available to all Hensel Phelps employees. The SWAY webpage can be easily created and modified by anyone on the Hensel Phelps project team. Additionally, the content can be customized to the project’s needs and can be shared widely via a common web link that is formatted for mobile devices.

Refining the Communication Process

To build consistent communication around jobsite safety expectations and emphasize the team’s commitment to information sharing and productivity, the UW IEB team added a QR code to their jobsite safety orientation sticker. The QR code brings viewers to the Jobsite Resources SWAY website that gives all craft and field personnel real-time access to the latest safety and project documentation, including:

  • Activity Hazard Analyses (AHAs)
  • Client-Specific Utility Access Protocols
  • Hensel Phelps and Trade Partner Competent Personnel Certifications
  • Site Utilization Plans
  • Campus Haul Routes
  • Shortcuts to the Project’s Virtual Delivery Boards and Daily Reporting Applications
  • Key Project and Emergency Contact Information
  • Project-Specific CARES Feedback Form

The content of the UW IEB Jobsite Resources website is discussed in all site orientations so new workers can reference campus parking instructions and addresses. The content is updated monthly (or as required) and discussed periodically at jobsite-wide safety meetings. In practice, the intent is that anyone looking for information and/or access to various aspects of the jobsite can utilize the QR code immediately.

Resulting in Project Success

The UW IEB’s project site is located among a constant flow of more than 40,000 students, neighboring research facilities and shared staging areas with campus facilities operations. Due to the complexity of the project and location, the UW IEB project needed a single location for the facilities group and the campus members to learn about potential campus impacts and have visibility into the project’s progress. The team’s Public Information web page was also created on the SWAY platform and supports their need to quickly update project details or changing conditions to address local concerns. It is an essential part of the project team’s voluntary, neighborhood outreach efforts. Posters with the public webpage’s QR code are distributed throughout campus and reside on the project’s site fence.

The University rewarded the project team for this outreach effort with contract bonuses and has referenced the weekly public impact bulletins as a communication standard for other construction projects on campus. The project’s Jobsite Resources web page has been acknowledged as being innovative and highly effective during Zurich audits. It has also been announced at Hensel Phelps’ corporate safety and superintendents’ meetings as a unique way to influence project and jobsite safety culture and promote real-time access to safety documentation. According to SWAY platform analytics, the IEB web pages have been accessed more than 1,400 times in the last year of use.