May 16, 2020

Portakabin buildings for easyJet’s flagship modular hangar facility

Portakabin buildings
Portakabin Group
Shepherd Group
Gatwick Airport
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Portakabin easyJet
Portakabin, the UKs leading modular building specialist, has provided multiple buildings for a new flagship aircraft maintenance hangar at Gatwick Airpo...

Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has provided multiple buildings for a new flagship aircraft maintenance hangar at Gatwick Airport for Europe’s leading airline, easyJet.

Portakabin worked in partnership with easyJet and alongside Rubb Buildings who designed and installed the 5,490m2 twin span hangar, which has a modular steel frame fitted with 8,700m2 of insulated PVC membrane. The facility can accommodate up to two aircraft for light-base overnight maintenance.

Around 1,000m2 of accommodation were provided by Portakabin for 30 on-site staff to facilitate the maintenance of easyJet’s fleet of aircraft, which is carried out overnight, seven days a week.

Six Portakabin buildings were installed inside the hangar structure for two maintenance control stations, an additional office area, a locker room, toilets, showers and changing facilities, and a workshop. A larger modular building is located externally, immediately adjacent to the hangar, for the storage of parts and tooling on the ground floor with offices, a canteen and a meeting room above. It features large picture windows overlooking the airfield and a vinyl wrap with easyJet and Lufthansa corporate branding.

Both the hangar and the Portakabin buildings were designed and constructed to give easyJet a fast, flexible and cost-effective solution for at least five years. All the buildings can then easily be dismantled and re-purposed if required. This approach will allow easyJet to respond to potential future developments and uses for the site at Gatwick Airport.

Commenting on the project, Tim Coles, Project Manager at easyJet said, “Our experience with Portakabin has been excellent. This latest project at Gatwick Airport was managed really well, which is critical when working on an airport with very limited timescales.”

“The Portakabin team was professional and highly organised. We are very impressed with their buildings, which have created an excellent base for our maintenance team. The approach of using Portakabin buildings also gives us the flexibility to relocate the facilities, as and when required.”

Portakabin reduced work on site to around four weeks and installed the buildings in a challenging working environment on a highly secure and constrained site. The team collaborated with multiple contractors and the whole maintenance facility had to be erected and ready for use as quickly as possible.

The Portakabin buildings will be on hire for at least five years and were supplied complete with staircases, air conditioning, fire alarm system, emergency lighting, and entrance canopy.

Portakabin has undertaken more than 10 interim modular building projects for easyJet including at its head office in Luton, at Gatwick Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

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Jun 14, 2021

XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality

AugmentedReality
construction
DigitalTransformation
Technology
Dominic Ellis
3 min
XYZ Reality to use funding led by Octopus Ventures to springboard into USA and automatically report issues through Assisted Reality

XYZ Reality has announced a £20m investment round led by Octopus Ventures.

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."

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