At the end of last month COMIT held a Construction Members workshop day which was kindly hosted by Bentley at their offices in London. The aim of the day was to better understand the issues facing COMIT Construction members and to prioritise topic areas that can be put to the Technology members.
The workshop was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by the 14 members that attended. Iain Miskimmin opened the session and welcomed everyone to the Bentley-Crossrail BIM academy. A number of presentations were given during the day to prompt debate:
The State of Innovation in Construction - Steve Slater
Trending in Construction - Stuart Young
Setting Innovation Requirements - Iain Miskimmin
The workshop included the opportunity for each of the members to describe their own priority issues and a number of themes emerged with Collaboration and Communication generally being seen as the greatest challenges.
Interoperability also continues to be a barrier to information transfer and more collection of data in the field at the point of work is needed to improve efficiency. Interestingly it seems there is still a lot to be done on the adoption of mobile forms, even though it is one of the earliest mobile technologies to be have been used in construction,
Unsurprisingly site connectivity came up, but specifically connectivity and hardware performance were seen to be limiting the use of BIM on site. We need to explore how we can improve this, perhaps by exploiting cloud technology.
In summary, the main issues raised and some of the comments are:
Both internal and external. Too much reliance on email, problems with silo'd information. Some alternatives suggested were Trello, Slack and Google drive. Gamification might help, as might restricting the number of systems available and the use of a common data environment.
Alternatives to email needed. Additional fields within Outlook may help to prioritise and manage emails. Restrict the use of attachments.
Rapid Site Set-up
It is still taking too long to get connectivity on site. 3 to 6 months plus for a BT line on site, which is not always fit for purpose. 3G/4G coverage improving but still insufficient.
Safety / Issue reporting
Need requirement to report safety issues as soon as possible - and this can be by the public. Waze sat nav reporting was discussed as an example of where this works well.
Plant asset/incident reporting & recording
More use of in-vehicle camera's and suggestions for a a plant "blackbox".
BIM on site
Being constrained by limitations in current hardware and connectivity. Could cloud computing help to resolve this? Ability to view 4D model's with feedback required.
Forms - Electronic v Paper
Adoption still an issue. Mandating use may improve this and keeping the form as the original may help.
Dispatch / Deliver notes
Interesting developments but little progress. Speedy's E-POD implements this and scans the delivery vehicle registration number. Take-up not great.
Orders of Materials
Changes to the programme to reschedule deliveries of concrete e.t.c. would be good if possible.
Field / Site Plan updates
Real-time updates to the programme would improve the quality of planning information.
Internet of things
Interoperability was considered as key to exploiting this
Fundamentally seen as poor but no suggestions for how it can be imporved
Of increasing importance. Capture of CO2 from site plant and products used in construction was discussed.
Remote Asset Sensing
There is an ongoing and widespread need to improve the maintenance of assets.
As usual at COMIT events there was also a lot of informal discussion and networking, especially around the lunchtime refreshments. Many thanks again to Bentley our host and to my colleagues from COMIT for facilitating the event.