Sustainability based on economic motives - Autodesk report
Embracing sustainability is as much a commercial imperative as an environmental strategy for AEC firms with 86 percent saying it helps keep customers and 76 percent believing it provides an important competitive advantage, according to an Autodesk and Frost & Sullivan report.
Digital Sustainability: The Path to Net Zero for Design & Manufacturing and Architecture, Engineering, & Construction (AEC) Industries drew on 24 in-depth qualitative interviews involving 600 decision makers in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) and manufacturing industries.
Half of AEC respondents also believe sustainable practices improve project quality, and the use of renewable energy, better material choices and circularity approaches could lower the environmental impact of projects or products.
Over two thirds (64 percent) cited sustainability as part of the leadership's strategic vision and company goals and 83 percent of firms now have a dedicated sustainability team.
Leading the way are the Nordic countries where 91 percent have a dedicated sustainability team, falling to 81 percent in Benelux and 78 percent in the UK and Ireland.
The benefits of adopting sustainable practices include a better use of resources (less waste) for the AEC sector (70 percent) and 73 percent in manufacturing, followed by reduced energy consumption (64 percent) for AEC and 74 percent for manufacturing.
Another area of investment is in technology and software, with almost three quarters (74%) investing today, and 53% expect this to increase.
Mike Pettinella, EMEA Director, Autodesk said the findings indicate widespread acknowledgement of the need to enhance sustainability across the AEC and manufacturing sectors, and it’s clear that companies in the region are on the right path to sustainability.
"In the UK, empowering people to design, collaborate, build, and fabricate in ways that improve productivity – while also reducing waste, saving money, and staying competitive will play a huge role in achieving the objectives set out under the Government’s national policies, such as the National Infrastructure Strategy and the National Adaptation Programme," he said.
Fredrick Royan, Vice President, Sustainability and Circular Economy at Frost and Sullivan, lead author of this report, added the built environment in Europe has a crucial role to play for the realisation of the objectives of the Green Deal as it accounts for about 40 percent of the energy consumption and about one-third of CO2 emissions.
"Added to this about a third of the building stock is older than 50 years and more than three-quarters of the overall building stock is energy inefficient. The current disjointed nature of the AEC industry in Europe is witnessing a B2B partnership driven by the common strategic interest towards carbon reduction and net zero," he said.
“Evolving from the dynamic BIM process to digital twins - digital reflections of physical entities - will help designers, manufacturers and builders to predict, and support with informed decisions based on real-world conditions through sensor data and intelligent models. The operational and behavioural awareness of digital twins will help businesses achieve better outcomes for people throughout the lifecycles of products, buildings, and infrastructure."
XCMG launches crane simulator for wind turbine training
Leading Chinese manufacturer of construction machinery, XCMG, has launched a virtual crane simulator to help train operatives in the installation of wind turbines. The new simulator, based on the company’s XC A1600 all-terrain crane, aims to help prepare 500 drivers for the role.
Wang Min, Chairman and CEO of XCMG, said: "In the actual scale 3D scene, the system enables operators to easily master essential skills, quickly and accurately through truly simulated visual, auditory and tactile senses. The fully immersive experience makes operator training more professional, precise, convenient, and efficient by integrating video presentations, VR helmets, digital gloves, and more.”
How does the simulator help train crane operators and what features enable it to achieve this?
As the first large crane simulator of its kind, XCMG’s XC A1600 trainer features realistic representations of the crane’s cabin, control unit, display, and control panel. The system also realises the virtual integration and operation of six major working conditions, breaking several technical barriers of super lift and luffing jib simulators.
Updating the simulator for 2020, XCMG’s crane trainer now also features computer programs for the telescopic system, dual cylinder head display, and controls. The upgrade also includes switching off different products and programs to allow training on lifting weights between 800 and 1,600 tonnes.
The construction of onshore and offshore wind turbines in China
According to national power industry statistics issued by China’s National Energy Administration last year, construction of both onshore and offshore wind power projects nearly tripped over the 12-month period.
Figures hit a new record of 71.67GW with China’s wind power expected to increase by a further 30-50mn kilowatts over the next three years., according to the China Energy Development report 2020 published by China Electric Power Planning & Engineering Institute. The findings of the report highlighted the demand for labour in the installation of wind turbines.
A total of 1,520 classes of large and super-tonnage crane operators have been trained by XCMG, as they look to take the lead in major construction projects across China.