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Drones and A.I. value in “Transforming Construction”

Drones and Artificial intelligence in the “Transforming Construction” Industrial Strategy Funding Challenge expected in July

Innovate UK and the KTN Knowledge Transfer Network recently hosted meetings on Artificial Intelligence in the Infrastructure and Construction sectors and the upcoming Industrial Strategy Funding Challenges ISCF.

The “Transforming Construction” budget of £170 million has been approved and the R&D competition is expected in July 2018.

The programme will focus on:

  • How we manufacture buildings

  • How we design them

  • How we power them

  • With a view to improve productivity

Construction is a very competitive industry. 80+% of its costs is procurement, operational and financial risks in case of project delays are significant. Modest financial capacity is dedicated to R&D.

Yet unlike other highly competitive industries such as the automotive sector, it has modestly strived to standardize construction projects into products that are repeatable, with standard designs, standard procurement requirements, standard bills of material. Surely, we do not want too much uniformity in the residential market and in our city centres. But when it comes to functional public buildings financed by the tax payers such as hospitals, schools, or prisons, there is great merit in a more productized approach.

In this context, the programme’s objectives are to:

In this context, the programme’s objectives are to:

  • Increase digital manufacturing

  • Increase productivity of construction projects with a target of + 15%

  • Develop scalable approach for faster delivery and greater certainty of construction projects

  • Develop active (energy) building components based on the product approach

  • Improve whole life value of built assets (user performance, reduction in carbon intensity) target 50%.

Drones and Artificial Intelligence can contribute to reaching these goals and become a catalyst to a culture change in the construction industry.

Drones can be used to:

  • Increase digital manufacturing by providing a digital twin of the site, the excavation, then the construction in progress through 3D modelling and Building Information Modelling

  • Possibly creating a digital (vs paper) library of designs of specific existing buildings such as prisons or schools

  • Increase productivity by monitoring construction progress, surveying, measuring on a routine basis, providing digital reports and documentation

  • Improve whole life value of built assets through standard asset monitoring inspection: inspection of rooftops and other difficult to reach areas, thermal imagery for isolation checks.

Anne-Lise Scaillierez


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