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Digital Construction, BIM and Disputes18 Sep 2019

Recently our old friends, Arcadis published their annual report into construction disputes. The report examines where Arcadis see disputes arising. It also looks at the costs and implications of those disputes. The report gives us an idea of what is going on in the world of dispute resolution. Though it’s very much from the perspective of one business it gives a good indication of the current state of construction disputes. It also alludes to the increasing importance of digital construction.

A stand-out fact this year is that UK disputes have almost halved in value.

The current senior man at Arcadis, Gary Kitt, puts this down to BIM. The region with arguably the strongest reliance on traditional labour-intensive techniques is the Middle-East. It also has the most expensive and lengthiest disputes. Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. However, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that technology is driving improvement in the UK.

BIM Keeps on Growing

BIM and digital technology are certainly not going away anytime soon. The number of emerging technologies and applications available for construction seem to increase weekly, if not daily. From providers of common data environments to augmented reality and 4D modelling.

This is why we will be at Digital Construction Week. It’s actually only a two-day event, not a full week. However, DCW looks at all the latest developments in construction tech. Whether your interest is in saving costs with drones or augmented reality, or CPD at the seminars and lectures, the event has everything you’ll need.

We’ll be speaking on the possibilities of automated record keeping using OpenSpace. OpenSpace is a US product and new to the UK. It allows the automated digital recording of site activity and progress using hard hat-mounted cameras and GPS data, similar to google maps. During daily site walks or inspection, it passively records a 360-degree record of progress on site.  The information is uploaded into the cloud and can then be accessed at any given point in time.  It also allows a split-screen to compare different dates at the same location.  The records can be accessed from anywhere and shared with the team.

But How is this Possible?

What has enabled this to happen? Could it be the ongoing reduction of technology costs? In 1971, 1Gb of data would have cost around £250m to store (and would probably have required a large warehouse to house it). Now, a 1Gb memory stick costs around £1.50 and fits in your pocket.

It’s this ongoing march of cost reduction which is both a blessing and a curse. We now see Terrabytes of data on even the smallest project. Information overload can be a huge threat to success. As a result, well organised and recorded data is essential.

Join us next month in London, at the Excel and find out exactly how affordable these changes now are. Learn how well structured and properly managed records can help rather than hinder your project. And if you can’t make it to DCW, join us later in the year when we’ll be holding a breakfast seminar on the subject in London.

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