Live Automated Materials Plan (LAMP)

Lead Participant: Cartoconsult Limited

Abstract

"Traditional construction is a low-tech but flexible manufacturing process. It is carried out 'on- site' using pre-manufactured components (windows, doors, bricks, blocks etc) and the manufacture of basic elements such as concrete, plaster etc. Whilst their flexibility has much to commend them (given the bespoke nature of buildings and their geographic distribution) traditional construction methods are inefficient in time and costs; construction has not benefitted from the significant efficiency improvements that have been seen in other manufacturing sectors over the last 20 years.

The industry is seeking to address these inefficiencies via initiatives such as off-site manufacture and greater use of automation, and improved communication/component tracking through complex supply chains. However, work is needed to improve the efficiency of the necessarily site-based stages of the construction process.

Skanska and Vinci have been working to digitise and integrate data from across their organisation and operations (e.g. business/process data, asset management, construction supply chain etc). However, on-site data across the whole of the construction sector remains predominantly paper-based, with only very basic data analysis carried out to support process planning and management.

State-of-the-art data capture and analysis techniques have huge potential in improving on-site process planning and scheduling, for example, a system which uses real-time sensor and historical performance data to enable project planners to optimise bulk materials movements to and from site (e.g. correct numbers/timing of vehicles for the removal of excavation material, timely delivery of construction materials) could lead to efficiency savings of about 18%. Such planning could also be integrated with off-site traffic management solutions in order to minimise the impact of construction on the wider urban environment. However, challenges remain in effectively collating and integrating data from across large construction sites, with internal systems and relevant 3rd party data, developing predictive algorithms and providing outputs in a format that is beneficial to users.

LAMP will address this issue. Led by CartoConsult, a UK SME with expertise in data capture and analysis in the context of construction and the built environment, it will develop a POC tool that enables project planners to better predict on-site materials and logistics parameters. It will utilise innovative enabling digital technologies (LoRa, data analytics) to capture, collate and analyse data from real construction programmes, with proactive involvement of project planners working on Vinci and Skanska-led construction programmes, enabling the solution to be tailored to meet the needs of users across the wider construction industry."

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