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Five construction firms using technology right

Aidan Mercer, industry marketing director, Project Delivery, Bentley Systems explains how construction is 'going digital" and highlights five companies who are helping to shape the sector in a big way

Aidan Mercer, industry marketing director, Project Delivery, Bentley Systems
Aidan Mercer, industry marketing director, Project Delivery, Bentley Systems

In 2016, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company suggested that construction productivity has declined in some markets since the 1990s.

As a result, according to McKinsey, “the world will need to spend $57tn on infrastructure by 2030 to keep up with global GDP growth.” This amount of capital is staggering and shows that it is time for considerable change.

READ: Technology is critical for construction site security

The construction industry has been slow to adopt innovations – lagging far behind other industries like ICT – or advanced manufacturing, faring only slightly better than agriculture and farming.

One of the major challenges facing project delivery firms is the geographically dispersed nature of project teams.

Poor productivity and inefficient processes are unsurprising consequences that impact project performance. Access to consistent information can be a challenge, contributing to errors, costly overruns, and late delivery of projects.

READ: Tech and digitisation not optional for Middle East rail projects

Progress has been made in some areas, however. New methods of sharing project responsibility look set to accelerate the “going digital” journey to combat late delivery, budget excesses, and poor performance visibility.

Users can implement a BIM process, regardless of their specific discipline or the project’s phase. To maximize the benefits of a professional’s contribution, a connected data environment (CDE) offers not only digital workflows to share valuable project data, but also automation and insight by improving mobility of information.

Users can also enable industrial-strength cloud services to look to best practice approaches and better information mobility. 

McKinsey’s five prescriptions are realistic for construction firms to adopt today and include:

  1. Higher-definition surveying and geolocation
    • Rapid digital mapping and estimating
  2. Next-generation 5D building information modeling
    • Design platform for the future
  3. Digital collaboration and mobility
    • Moving to paperless projects, from the office to the worksite
  4. The Internet of Things and advanced analytics
    • Intelligent asset management and decision making
  5. Future-proof design and construction
    • Designing materials and methods for the future

The following five firms show their adoption of these prescriptions and represent their “going digital” journey. 

Continue on next page to see the top five companies....

5. Higher-definition surveying and geolocation

The Leighton-Chun Wo Joint Venture was responsible for the USD 1.08 billion, 90,000-square-meter passenger bridge connecting Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macao. With BIM methodology, more than 3,000 clashes were solved before, and during, construction.

Reality modeling technology continuously monitored and surveyed progress.

To avoid discrepancies, the team continuously compared 3D design models with point cloud models, creating accurate as-built models.

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4. Next-generation 5D building information modeling

In 2013, Consollidated Contractors Company (CCC) designed and constructed the Midfield Terminal Building for the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Using a BIM process facilitated project delivery, minimized risk, and ensured success.

The construction team accurately forecasted construction schedules, performed logistics studies, and validated resource requirements.

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3. Digital collaboration and mobility

Imarati Engineers & Consultants (IEC) provides building information management and project management services.

It wanted to develop a structured approach to satisfy all client requirements and overcome time zone barriers that hindered collaboration of geographically dispersed teams.

Using iModels, IEC easily shares project progress with all participants.

Users can also extract embedded data, allowing IEC to achieve a level of precision not possible using normal quantification systems.

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2. The Internet of Things and advanced analytics

Danish-based Danfoss introduced its Smart Store Solution for customers to remotely monitor and control operations at over 5,000 locations.

The solution ensures a 24/7 system, without asset failure, unplanned downtime, or escalating energy costs.

The operational analytics platform provided real-time data for proactive operations and maintenance, including temperature reporting to ensure refrigeration units operate within set parameters, saving energy without compromising food safety.

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1. Future-proof design and construction

Zayed University Abu Dhabi’s USD 817 million campus covers 80 hectares to serve 6,000 students.

The project required Bothe Richter Teherani (BRT) to design the campus featuring a free-form, undulating roof, and a façade of triangular inclined planes.

To meet these complex design challenges on a tight timeline, BRT used modeling tools to develop a cost-efficient cladding system for a sustainable, state-of- the-art facility that reduces costs of air-conditioning in the desert environment.

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Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 729
Feb 14, 2019