The three TIES Living Lab digital projects are:
- an Intelligent Infrastructure Control Centre (IICC), which will provide the most cost-effective way to design, deliver or operate transport infrastructure projects,
- Advanced Logistics, assisting the smart planning of advanced offsite logistics, and
- the Social Value Transport Infrastructure Calculator, measuring the social value derived from transport infrastructure projects.
Charlie Davies, Strategic Growth Manager at Costain, the lead partner in the International Industrial Contracting Corporation (IICC) says ‘our goal is to digitalise the infrastructure sector. TIES Living Lab has provided a platform to help drive innovation that optimises existing infrastructure, development, and the UK’s net-zero carbon journey.’
The IICC will deliver a secure cloud enterprise technology platform to assist the demonstration of major infrastructure projects in proving their business case for the adoption of Modern Methods of Construction. This includes logistics and conversational AI, with the use of key data sets outlined by the Department for Transport and TIES Living Lab partners. It offers live operational data and benchmarks which capture efficiencies in a very user-centric platform, reducing the need for data literacy. This is proving so successful that the Ministry of Defence, Shell and Innios are already interested.
Arguably, the construction industry is one of the least productive; dogged by infrastructure or buildings not being delivered on time and over-budget, costing the industry and the taxpayer billions. A major cultural shift is required to understand and put in place best practice. The Advanced Logistics Cloud-based Digital Platform enables the construction industry to track an asset from design, to manufacture, to installation and is pivotal to ‘just in time’ delivery. This method has already been used by the retail sector and car manufacture assembly for years. As an example of the challenges faced, after the fire at Grenfell Tower the Government approached the British Research Establishment (BRE) to ask where similar insulation had been installed-and discovered this was not readily available.
The Advanced Logistics Platform not only enables better planning of projects as well as potential massive cost savings, nearing 50%, but archives all information regarding a particular construction. Two mobile apps have been created from scratch for Iphone and Android. As Professor Lamine Mahdjoubi, the project lead, says ‘this is a massive step to creating something far better, as it will be delivering buildings and built assets in a controlled environment’.
The last of the digital projects is currently being delivered by partners Loop, Kier Construction and Akerlof. The Social Value Transport Infrastructure Calculator aims to establish social value metrics that inform the generic framework for creating benchmarks for infrastructure and construction. The project team is developing a model and digital toolset to measure social value and capture the impact of Modern Methods of Construction for transport infrastructure. This will empower clients such as National Rail and Highways England to advocate and promote the importance of social value assessment in delivering better social, economic and environmental outcomes across transport infrastructure schemes.
There will be a series of TIES Living Lab technical papers published on the TIES Living Lab website and TIES LinkedIn.
Find out more at www.tieslivinglab.co.uk