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Strata finding success in scheduling and streamlining major Nordic construction projects

Founder Enda Grimes got his first taste of the Swedish construction industry about a decade ago on a major project in Lund in the south of the country, with his involvement in the European Spallation Source (ESS) project, a state-of-the-art scientific research facility. It was during that time that the seeds of Strata were sown as he identified several ways in which the building process could be both sped up and managed more effectively. 


Strata focuses on the core services of scheduling, visualization and animation, for the construction industry. Central to their approach is the adoption of emerging digital technologies and innovative practices, driving more efficient project planning, streamlined execution, and improved overall project outcomes.


Already active in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, Strata has a particular strength s on the scheduling side of construction projects, and the company works with both Irish and Swedish firms to ensure that they are planned and delivered in a timely and efficient manner. With its cooler climate and access to reliable renewable energy, Sweden has quickly become home to a number of large data centres with new projects breaking ground on a regular basis, and scheduling how they are built is a key part of the process. 


“Data centres aren’t all that complex in terms of their shell and structure – the big difference is the pace at which they are built,” Enda explains. 


“Companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are in a rush to expand their cloud base and get storage, so keeping up with that rapid pace is a challenge for those involved in the construction of data centres.


“To do this effectively and keep the clients informed of progress requires a lot of real-time reporting, and there is little or no margin for error. There’s also a very strong focus on energy efficiency, which can lead to changes in the design, and all of this has to be taken into account.”


Enda also notes the harsh winter weather, Sweden’s work culture and local regulations as factors that all have an influence on projects being delivered on time, and he says that Strata and other Irish firms active in the market have done a great job of adapting to both the climate and the culture. 


“Irish companies have done particularly well in Sweden because of our culture of building things to a high standard very quickly – being fast, being agile, adapting supply chains to suit the tempo, adjusting to labor rules, and so on,” he says. 


Strata’s sphere is not only limited to data centres, and it is currently involved in a number of other high-profile projects, such as the expansion of the Stockholm metro system as well as energy sector projects. With plenty of big jobs already under their belt, Enda says he is very pleased about how Strata’s methods have developed over time to fit together seamlessly with those of some of the biggest Scandinavian construction companies. 


“We spend quite a long time planning projects in the pre-construction stage and assessing the risk, and then they bring the supply chain with them. There might have a slower approach to get to the starting point, but once they start, they have quite robust and strong plan in place, and they have it well refined,” he says.


“The starting point is a traditional Gantt chart or plan, and then we develop it from there, adding either costs or resources and feeding into a real-time dashboard with other metrics. 


“Once you update the schedule and the plan, it updates the dashboard and the metrics and the KPIs for the project, and then you're essentially benchmarking and working against them. We don't position ourselves just as a digital company, giving output and data – we have strong engineering principles at our core , in terms of how we approach planning and projects. Our team are all either engineers or construction professionals and this makes a big difference in how we approach and understand projects” Enda says. 


It’s an approach that has proved very popular in Scandinavia, but Strata is also involved in projects further afield in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, and Enda finds the differing cultures and ways of working both fascinating and occasionally challenging. 


“In some places, there is a completely different mindset to the one we might be used to, so you have to consider the journey along the way with them - you can't dictate how things are going to be done, you have to try and reach a point of commonality and work together from there,” he says. 


Having begun as an idea Enda had in Lund over a decade ago, Strata has now grown to a point where the company is planning to establish a local presence in Sweden in the near future, with employees on the ground there on a full-time basis. 


Enda has also gone through Enterprise Ireland’s “Leadership For Growth” program, which he feels has prepared him well for the next steps.


“I was able to develop a really well-defined strategic growth plan for the organization with targets for how we grow our workforce and our revenue and formalize our presence in mainland Europe, the Nordics and the UK as well,” Enda says.


“We’re trying to keep the show on the road today, but also looking into the future taking things like sustainability and artificial intelligence into account, so these are very exciting times.”


For more about Strata, access their website at

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