BIM and its Effects on the Construction Industry
Building Information Modelling allows virtual 3D models of building to be created by designers and contractors which can then be shared with the entire project team which will then aid in the understanding and delivery of the project.
This information consists of everything that goes into constructing and maintaining a building through its life cycle and will include construction programming, cost and facilities management data.
There are four levels of BIM (0-3), and the UK Government is targeting Level 2 BIM by 2016 on public procured projects over £5m in value. BIM Level 2 aims to allow the project teams to produce their own models to common standards, so that they can be exchanged and brought together using a proprietary IT system.
Both 4D and 5D (construction programming and cost modelling respectively) are key areas of BIM; and the aim is that the project team can fully understand the interface between construction, programme, and cost prior to any works commencing, with the aim of eliminating clashes and problems once the works have commenced.
The construction industry is looking at employers, contractors and the professional team to embrace BIM technology and to up-skill their staff and to take up the mantra for delivering projects using BIM. The National Building Specification (NBS) undertakes an annual survey of the sectors attitudes to BIM; currently we have no results for 2013; but based on the 2012 survey, the people using BIM tripled since 2010 to 39 percent.
There are some clients and contractors who are using BIM as the standard; it could be said that 15-20 years ago companies were asking “why make the investment in email?” now that it is a basic business tool. Whilst BIM is more complex than email, it will evolve and become the common tool for undertaking construction projects.
One of the most serious areas of concern over BIM is the implementation of the legal framework and its use on projects. One concern is that BIM has the potential of putting collaboration over project design, which will lead to project design liability being passed down the supply chain: the impact being that these suppliers might not have the design qualifications to be carrying out design in the first place.
NBS say that forcing project teams to complete full designs upfront prior to construction taking place, and creating a virtual environment where design clashes can be easily detected, will have the effect of reducing the overall risk to the project.
Some experts say that BIM is just a process that results in a digital model; it does not change the responsibilities of the various professionals working on the scheme. However as soon as BIM is being used collaboratively on real projects, it has to interface with the commercial reality of modern construction, thus inevitably, pinpointing someone to blame, when things do go wrong.
The BIM protocol is meant to alleviate these proposed challenges.
BIM’s future is dependent on the entire construction industry changing the way in which it procures and delivers projects; there are many obstacles which need to be overcome to ensure that BIM is the chosen model for delivering future public and private projects and open discussions across the entire project team are a prerequisite to ensuring that this happens.
Decipher CM is a construction management company based in Macclesfield, UK
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."