Embracing opportunities for innovation can bring rich rewards to construction clients

Craig Morley
Construction has previously been considered to be an industry that is slow to embrace innovative technology, but the new age of digital disruption and modern methods of construction marks the turning point for its evolution. By working with experts such as Faithful+Gould, clients can embrace new opportunities and reap the benefits long after construction is complete.

Faithful+Gould is embracing innovation with the adoption of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. With this fast emergence of new technologies transforming the construction industry, how can this provide benefits to clients?

A successful construction project will be made up of a combination of the following things:

  

Throughout history in the construction industry there have been barriers to achieving these successes such as poor collaboration, productivity and predictability. This led to the Government setting targets for its Vision for Construction in 2025 of improvements in cost (33%), time (50%), lower emissions (50%) and improvements in exports (50%).

In order to achieve these aims, the Government has announced a range of initiatives and funding opportunities to encourage opportunities such as the Construction Sector Deal and the Transforming Construction Fund.  

Investing time and money in innovation can sometimes seem fruitless in the short term, but the long-term benefits will provide a much better product to clients. The ongoing development of the following technologies will help to achieve the benefits which clients are looking for, with Faithful+Gould able to provide expertise to guide clients on their innovation journey:

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

The collection of existing and new data from a wide range of sources such as computers, sensors, people, etc, allows the use of Artificial Intelligence to interpret that data and provide smarter solutions faster. Spaces are able to be used and managed more efficiently, costs are able to be calculated faster, and timings predicted more accurately.

Faithful+Gould has invested in the development of digital project controls including 'Envision' and the ‘insight’ system, which provide a client with more accurate forecasts of costs. Envision is a capital investment planning tool to assist with the planning process at portfolio or project level. It supports the development of a digital brief that when combined with a BIM approach to design and delivery provides dynamic cost control of design resulting in reduced re work and budget pressures. It is a cloud-based application that harnesses the power of data from a number of sources to provide accurate, instant and predictive cost advice during client conversations at every stage.

'insight' is an in-house, web-based data management application that improves how we capture, share and utilise technical data across our worldwide business. It is intended to take advantage of the wealth of data handled during our service delivery and ensure fingertip intelligence is readily available.

Building Information Modelling

The implementation of technological advances in the industry such as BIM and mobile technology are paving the way for significant improvements for the full life cycle of projects, particularly during the client’s operation phase. By improving the collaboration of information, it makes the way we plan, design, construct and maintain buildings more efficient. As part of the SNC-Lavalin UK operations, Faithful+Gould is part of the first company in the UK to achieve Kitemark for BIM Level 2. A client can unlock the potential of BIM without great expense with the aid of Faithful+Gould and this will be more than repaid by the savings in construction and operations.

Prefabrication and modular buildings 

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) including ‘off site’ volumetric and panelised systems and the fast emerging standard platform and component approaches are helping to reduce the delivery and handover risk of projects. They also support a reduction in waste and the reliance of a large site based workforce. A well managed MMC approach to delivery provides and improved product quality also. Faithful+Gould have some of the industries leaders in this space. They are working with key infrastructure clients developing MMC deployment to an industry leading level.

Digital Scanning

Advances in digital scanning equipment, including the use of drones is allowing existing assets to be mapped faster, more safely and more accurately. This helps to provide cost and programme benefits to a client by reducing the risk of error. The models can also be used to develop an accurate visualisation of what the final product will look like, with VR technology providing the capability for end users to walk through the asset before it has been built.

Other exciting innovations which are transforming construction include 3D printing, augmented reality, cloud collaboration and advanced building materials.

How we can help you

Faithful+Gould helps clients to maximise the advantages of these innovations in the construction industry around the needs of their projects. We begin by working with the client to understand the key objectives and identify the appropriate innovative technologies which are able to achieve these. Using the tools we can work to maximise the clients budget value through our active management of the implementation of the technologies and guide our clients and their stakeholders throughout the project and beyond into operation. Some of our staff hold senior positions within the Government on the creation and deployment of the national digital agenda. We are therefore at the forefront of this innovation and deployment. 

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