The construction industry is facing unprecedented challenges right now, with staff working from home and numerous project being delayed or cancelled. Despite significant ongoing challenges the industry will gradually return to work, but face a new norm. How can companies in the industry leverage technologies to tackle these challenges and stay ahead of the curve? Here we explore the digital technologies that can be utilised to create a resilient construction environment and to increase productivity both in the short and long-term.
1. IoT & sensor technologies to monitor workforce onsite and ensure social distancing
As projects that have been slowed down or shut down return to a more regular schedule, more and more field crews will be returning to job site. Protecting the well-being of their employees becomes the first priority for AEC companies.
To help with this, we offer the iTWO safe app, which connects with light-weighted Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices to monitor workforce onsite and ensure social distancing. With iTWO safe, onsite staff can focus on their work while receiving alerts when they are in close proximity to others. The iTWOsafe database can trace contact history in the event of someone testing positive and then create comprehensive reports to show who that person was in contact with. The data will be protected from being used for other purposes.
2. An all-in-one cloud solution connects all people, processes and data
Since the pandemic began, people have had to adapt to working remotely and it is set to continue for a long time. For the construction industry, where stakeholders from different areas are involved at different stages along complicated construction processes, an all-in-one solution that connects all people, processes and data to create a digital collaborative working environment is becoming crucial.
MTWO Complete Construction Cloud, developed by RIB Software and Microsoft, is the all-in-one solution that enables all project stakeholders to collaborate seamlessly along the project lifecycle on one cloud platform.
With the MTWO Cloud platform covering all processes of the project lifecycle, every stakeholder can collaborate anytime, anywhere on any device. The project management teams, including VDC managers, quantity surveyors, estimators, bidding teams, schedulers, procurement managers and project managers can log in to the system through multiple internet-connected devices to process their daily work. Job site head engineers can update in real-time the progress of a project, report incidences and even upload quality and safety checklists through the mobile app. Project owners can be connected to the platform to check project progress and quality reports to arrange payments. With this all teams are working on one single source of truth and sharing real-time data. This helps to increase productivity while keeping non-essential project workers off-site and reduce the amount of people on a site.
In its recent development in response to the social distancing requirements, MTWO is integrated with Microsoft Teams to make communication and information sharing easier and instantaneous.
3. 5D BIM technology for project lifecycle digitisation
This changing work environment gives construction companies a chance to rethink how they organise their work and adapt to new ways of working to increase productivity.
MTWO Complete Construction Cloud as a BIM-enabled platform offers a new way of managing projects through planning, bidding, construction, operation and maintenance. Its 5D BIM technology helps to develop time and cost optimised project plans, mitigate risk in the construction phase and transfer BIM data smoothly into the operation phase. When many construction firms are already implementing BIM design software in the planning phase, integrating BIM models with time planning and cost management information with 5D BIM technology can go further to simulate the construction processes before physical construction takes place, streamlining workflows and optimising cost and time planning. In the construction phase actual project progress, procurement schedules and quality information are updated in real-time from the field and connected to BIM models for visualised and efficient project monitoring. All data connected to the BIM models from the planning and building phases can be easily transferred to the operation phase.
4. Control Tower - manage projects with less presence in the workplace
Right now work teams are in different locations and business trips and face-to-face meetings are canceled to maintain social distancing. Real-time key metrics displayed in intuitive dashboards are critical for management teams to review project performance, make data-driven decisions and take quick actions to resolve timely issues.
With centralised and structured project data empowered by business intelligence, MTWO Control Tower serves executives and managers with visualised and interactive project dashboards and reports. Viewing the BI dashboard, decision makers can easily understand overall project performance in scope, cost, time, safety and quality so they can interact with the data to gain deeper insight and take the appropriate next steps.
5. Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality to automate processes and boost productivity
As on-site work has been stopped or severely reduced due to the pandemic, construction companies are under increased pressure to maximise productivity. Artificial intelligence and Mixed Reality are powerful tools to automate processes and boost onsite productivity.
iTWO lens is the Mixed Reality solution that enables project content visualisation on the jobsite, supporting field crews with enhanced BIM model views and project management processes. With iTWO lens onsite managers can align visualised BIM models with the physical construction environment, quickly understanding the actual project progress and updating the real-time schedule information.
iTWO lens can work together with McTWO, the artificial intelligent assistant, designed specifically to support construction professionals. It runs on machine learning algorithms and communicates through Voice Assistance and Chatbots. Directly speaking to McTWO through iTWO lens, onsite professionals are enabled to do hands-free quality and safety inspection, instant progress checking and reporting, with effortless communication between project teams.
In summary, Cloud A2K offers these solutions to supports AEC companies as they return to work:
All these solutions are built on one centralised structured database and all connected to the MTWO Cloud.