Iain - Timico's data centre
Demonstration of PPE worn by Army Reserves tied using Velcro fastenings
Iain - Timico's logistics room
Jon Legg, Senior Business Development Manager, of Timico welcomed us to their fantastic facility in Newark.
We had fewer delegates than usual partly due to being close to the IT conference in November, firms’ year end meetings, (dare I say, being North of Watford) and heavy winds that impacted on train delays and stoppages. 25 delegates attended the Community. We welcomed two new members (since our September Community Day):
Morgan Sindall www.morgansindall.com
Neither IFS nor Morgan Sindall could attend so we will welcome them officially at our next Community Day in March 2014. Stuart commented that Morgan Sindall had approached him to see how they could be more competitive (a better edge) and were invited to engage with COMIT. They have instigated a “Perfect Deliver Team”. They also joined COMIT within a few weeks. COMIT is looking to recruit more construction members.
We also welcomed three guests: AMT-Sybex, m-hance and V2C.
If you wish to be put in touch with any of the new members or guests, please contact Gerry on
From Stephen - we need to reflect on the year. The Government announced their new National Infrastructure Plan which sets out new ways in which the government will drive delivery of infrastructure projects including plans to spend £25bn over the next five years. In the past year we have seena decline in construction by circa 3.7% (following -10% the year before) so it looks as if we are turning the corner. Stephen recommended us all to read a SmartMarket Report “Information Mobility: Improving Team Collaboration through the Movement of Project Information” by McGraw Hill.
Iain focused on 3 main elements:
Technology: future for delivering objects around a construction site (with reference to Amazon’s announcement that they will use drones)
Process: question – “Who has read the COBie for all document?” The document names COMIT as an involved organisation in defining COBie for the UK (as well as the asset directory) – good publicity for us!
People: Back in the summer COMIT ran a Graduate’s Day (organised by our Eng Doc, Harrison). All those who attended came from construction even though the event was open to technology. Why didn’t technology people send their young technicians? How can we engage the younger technologists? Any ideas, please contact Iain on Iain.Miskimmin@bentley.com
Mobile enabled PPE
Protecting people - Did you know that on this day (5 Dec 1952) killer smog killed 4,000 people in London?
Some sites have a blanket ban on mobile devices which stems from the dinosaurs on construction site but this ban is often not a directive from head office. So, how can we enable use of mobile devices as part of PPE?
Iain took a lead from his experiences with the Army Reserves. When on operations they carry a significant weight of equipment on their body armor, held by Velcro (easy to access / undo) and enables hands free for working. Iain then demonstrated a potential construction site lightweight version. Why not have a Velcro panel - see picture below of “Mobile Enabled PPE”.
Crossrail are willing to trial this solution. The delegates were asked, “What do you think?”
One suggestion was that the Velcro panel or Jacket may need to be revised to allow wearing of a harness as well.
If the sticky part of the Velcro is on the device, will it stick to the hand? Need to be as “quickly” hands free as possible.
Manufacturers of equipment and clothing for scuba divers have been addressing these issues for years so may be beneficial to look at lessons leaned from this industry (ScubaPro, AquaLung and Custom Divers).
At the attachment point we must ensure that the “lanyard” does not drag a person into equipment / under water, (kayaking), etc.
Body armor is the same for males and females in the army (women wear sports bras). If construction wants to attract more females, we need to ensure that the mobile enabled PPE is also suitable for females.
Who will wear this? Answer, anyone who needs to use a mobile device on site. Potentially, the person issuing the commands.
Iain has created a form to collect your views on PPE. Please respond by clicking on this link to access the on-line form:
If any construction member wants to trial this, please contact Iain on
Wireless over power - Call for project Partners
Martin Wing of Shepherd put forward a new project to have site Wi-Fi connectivity through the temporary lighting infrastructure. The 110v system can be stripped out and used on other sites. Question to delegates: “is this feasible – would it work to utilize a current temporary infrastructure?”
There is no metal connection to the power going in and going out. There is an isolated transformer. Therefore, metal continuity might be needed.
A client has used the iMO solution but it can be problematic when using a generator on site.
Completely Wireless fire alarms are being used at present
Computerlinks has satellite coms and believes this can be utilised with Ruckus system wireless points to enable construction wireless communications.
If you have any thoughts, or an application that you know about, or you are willing to trial this, please contact Martin Wing at Shepherd
Mobile Process Capture
Waterstons has worked closely with V2C to create some apps. Tim Waddington of V2C mentioned the dilemma “How can we pass on a lifetime’s knowledge and skill to train younger people?
Waterstons helped to develop an App that runs on Windows 8. This replicates what would normally have been on paper and transferring to manageable chunks (main steps) on a tablet. Videos can be built in to assist training. A snip from Jamie Oliver (showing how to safely chop food) was used to demonstrate how a short, clear video can be really effective to share knowledge (particularly if the person filmed has charisma)!
The tablet can also be used to analyse and solve a problem right at the heart of the problem.
The design was somewhat along a manufacturing route and Windows 8 based, so the question posed was “Is this appropriate for construction? Can the App be made better?” Potentially, if appropriate, Waterstons / v2c need partners to run with it and help develop this.
Question was raised as why Android devices weren’t used as can be a cheaper, roll out option.Although developed on Windows 8, admittedly take up of Windows 8 devices has been slow. Windows 8 works for some clients that are extremely security-conscious. There is a huge move to BYOD and looking further, requiring an adaptable hybrid system (Cloud).
Got some thoughts on this, please contact Tim on email@example.com
Information Mobility Conference 7 Nov 2013
The presentations and slide decks are all on the COMIT website. Incidentally, please note that if you use the old COMIT web address it will redirect to our new site which is at www.comit.org.uk.
We had 90 delegates at the IT conference with a wealth of very positive feedback. However, the people attending were the usual suspects, which poses the question, “how can we improve construction industry engagement?”
Three questions were posed - In the current climate:
What are the main priorities of a construction (and technology) company board?
Which of those priorities can COMIT help to address? Where are we most relevant?
How can we get our message across to the members of that board?
Delegates moved into three groups and the feedback included:
Improvement safety and quality = cost savings. Winning new work
Creating a unique selling point (differentiate from competition)
Image and brand
Being innovative (also to help with new business, etc)
Claims and counterclaims (accessing info promptly)
Small research and development budget
It was unanimous that COMIT should address all the issues above (but specifically safety, maybe CSCS cards, utilising one technology). We do not revisit projects to look at value.
How do we get our message across?
Case studies showing a return on investment
Demonstrating quality and safety improvement
Improving our internal search engine capability
COMIT awards (prestigious)
Promote COMIT as a promoter of information. COMIT white papers
Information management techniques
Promote our archive of best practice
Categorise our past white papers to target specific roles / type of people targeted typically IT managers. Should we target Health and Safety representatives?
Should we target industries outside construction, like large FM players?
Could we run black ties events (awards) that board members might be more inclined to attend?
Be more client-driven
Should we be more involved with CE, CIC, National Federation of Builders and /or sponsoring events, such as Smart Awards?
Should we be using members’ marketing teams, invite the press, writing articles for the trade journals?
Attend external conferences to raise our profile. Make more use of members’ marketing skills.
Where does COMIT stand in the “Google search engine?”
We are doing two large projects (MobiCloud and Enable my Team) – we should do more small projects / innovative projects.
Follow the example of the FIATECH technology Roadmap that outlines the areas we should focus on (an element could be rapid site set up for example) which should help identify projects. Each element should have a leader so this may help us get greater engagement.
Who would be the soft targets on the board (not FDs)?
Attend meetings where client speakers are already there.
There isn’t a paper or summary on ROI so producing a short paper or slide deck (short 2 minute video) that we can present to make an impact.
Construction news – breakfast meetings
Tier 2 (look further down chain).
Timico - showcase:
Jon Legg provided some background on Timico, founded in 2004 and currently expanded to a £40M turnover, profitable and highly agile organisation. Timico work closely with other major firms such as BT, Cisco and Juniper to provide interconnect solutions for its clients who are from both the public and private sectors.
Timico’s challenges in new site deployment include: time constraints, financial implications, location problems, legal requirements, data issues, voice connectivity and managing constant change.
We had a tour round the data centre and were incredibly impressed by the facility, the extent of infrastructure investment and the security measures and checks in place.
(Incidentally, I (Gerry) look very “small” here but only because everyone else was so tall!)
The logistics room was truly impressive with 24/7 monitoring. Timico’s clients can be assured that they have their data in a “safe pair of hands”.
At the time of the Community Day we had just completed the first year of this exciting two year EU-funded project. The project is moving from strength to strength. The latest information can best be relayed via the MobiCloud Newsletter which you can access via the link below:
Jason is our main representative on this EU funded project and has set up the website at www.mobicloudproject.eu. You are all encouraged to join the MobiCloud early adopter program. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please also follow our progress on twitter @MobiCloudproj and LinkedIn at http://tinyurl.com/crtf4lr.
TSB – Enable my Team
This is our monthly update of the project. For those that may have missed the earlier reports the following is for you. The Enable My Team project is a part funded collaborative partnership between our lead partner, MobiBiz, along with Costain and COMIT. This is an 18 Month project that commenced in May of this year. Enable my team is a cloud based collaboration platform. It’s a new approach to the integration and creation of big data into actionable intelligence. It will enable a much wider view of product information throughout the lifecycle of an asset and will help bridge the information gap to improve decision making for a less wasteful future.
A project plan has now been established that will work closely with the Crossrail Limited (CRL)
team to deliver a workable asset tag demonstration project. A number of meetings have already taken place and it is intended that a live CRL project will be used for the development of this opportunity.
Social media activities: Twitter @enablemyteam.
Virtual Reality Returns
There has been a bit of a pause while we have dabbled with augmented reality but this has not been accurate enough in a construction setting. Some new technologies are emerging:
Occulus Rift. It is a head mounted kit and the speed at which it follows where one is looking gives a 3d dual perspective.
Razer Hydra hardware. This is two wands (like a computer game following movement). You can be connected at your desk and start to bring people together to collaborately look at / identify things.
At the moment these are “a bit of fun” but how can we use this technology to our benefit?
Could it replace the mission room?
Enable multi-location collaboration
Ideas to make it useful
Where am I
Where are they (the others)
What are they looking at
Could we link to a camera on a site helmet
Interactive mark up?
When level 3 BIM materialises this is very focussed on collaboration and this emerging technology potentially could help us out.The question was raised as to what other layers of info behind this would be useful to know, such as what is the material made from?
The key need here is to investigate what the facility will look like in the future (it shouldn’t be a dead end). The possibility was raised that we could hold virtual COMIT meetings (but not so attractive when it comes to virtual beer)!
There are no physical limits if you need to include a large group.
The digital plan of works
dPoW (digital Plan of works). If you are involved in construction, you need to get up to speed on this (well) before 2016. This defines all the data drops by asking questions, classifying and transferring answers.
COBie for all. COBie is the chosen information exchange format for the Government’s BIM strategy. It currently doesn’t support infrastructure, such as linear assets. This is about to change.
IADD4UK. Uniclass classifies the answers currently but ADD provides the details (ie the asset details (dictionary) – what you record against the item).
Therefore when a contractor delivers an asset they will always deliver the same data - ditto the information received / purchased has the same consistency. This is all bringing COMIT higher up in the construction strategy agenda.
If you need to get up to speed on these or need clarification of the terminology, please contact Iain on Iain.Miskimmin@bentley.com
2014 Community Days (all Thursdays)
20 March 2014: host Computerlinks (London)
19 June 2014: host Milestone (London)
25 September 2014: host to be advised
4 December, 2014: host to be advised.
Some of you may not receive this before Christmas if you take extra leave, so have a great new year and every success (for all of us) in 2014!
See you all in London on 20 March!
COMIT PROJECTS Ltd
Registered Address: BSRIA, Old Bracknell Lane West
Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7AH
Registered in England No. 7475561
COMIT is a company limited by shares but currently run on a not for profit basis
for the benefit of its members
COMIT Financial Director: Mrs Gerry (Geraldine) Samuelsson-Brown
Mob: 07775 677 547
COMIT Acting Director of Professional Services: Jason Scott
Mob: 07710 634 676
COMIT Director, Chair for Technology: Iain Miskimmin
Mob: 07814 007 731
COMIT, Chair for Construction: Stephen Smith
Mob: 07774 017968
COMIT Director: Neill Pawsey
Mob: 07792 074 163
COMIT Director, Advisory service
Mob: 07786 110 669
Steve Slater: Shepherd Construction –
Glyn Matthews: Speedy Services –
Peter Daly: SmartBuilder –
Paul Wilkinson: pwcom 2.0 –