Integrated Mobile-BIM system for optimised construction process

This project aimed to develop a Mobile-BIM system for streamlining the design and deliverance of power transmission and distribution (PT&D) projects.

Project cost

£2 million

Funding body

Innovate UK

Duration

2016–2018

Industrial partner

Balfour Beatty Power Transmission & Distribution

Project details

Cost and time overruns are rife in the construction industry. They are the most critical factors causing stakeholders’ dissatisfaction.

To better meet project objectives, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is currently being used and has been mandated. However, contractors do not have a simulation platform that can be used to simulate and benchmark their construction planning and delivery processes, along with the ability to customise different construction techniques, materials and equipment logistics, and personnel to see their implications for project cost and time. This capability is vital to achieve an optimum construction planning and delivery model which is in addition to excessive paperwork, artisanal approach, low levels of collaboration, high levels of repetition of effort, waste and errors. Existing BIM authoring tools (i.e. ArchiCAD, Revit, etc) are not designed to understand and adjust design and delivery process to ensure better profitability performance and operational efficiency.

As a result, margin erosion occurs when projects progress and projects begin at certain margins eventually end up in entirely different margins. This leads to huge cost and time overruns. For these reasons, construction firms fail frequently and the industry has been ranked number 1 by the Bankruptcy Index in 2017.

The overall aim of this project is to develop a simulation platform that will integrate BIM, Big Data and Mobile technologies to deliver an innovation intervention comprising the following key modules: 

  • an optimised BIM simulation tool, and 
  • a mobile application that will be interact with Big Data Analytics to help stakeholders to plan and control project activities.

The tool will provide data-driven insights to facilitate project teams in undertaking critical decisions during the project lifecycle stages. Apart from helping to digitise the construction process and eliminating operational inefficiencies, this project will harness the data and AI for transforming construction industry as envisioned by the UK government.

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