eviFile to help develop ‘control room’ concept to transform construction project delivery
Innovate UK has just announced £1.6m funding [BIM+ article] for a new ‘demonstrator’ project that will deploy eviFile technology in a new ‘production control room’ concept supporting complex infrastructure delivery projects.
The demonstrator project – the ‘AEC Production Control Room’ – will be led and coordinated by contractor Mace, working alongside industry and academic partners. eviFile will be working with Mace, 3DRepo (already an eviFile technology partner) and Mission Room, with academic support from researchers at UCL and Imperial College London. We will be developing and deploying a project control room system, built on live data feeds from our technology, that will radically improve the management and delivery of complex projects and programmes.
The project was set to commence in April 2020 with a duration of 24 months, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn have heightened the need for innovations that can be rapidly applied to improve UK industry productivity.
Innovate UK has announced that the team have won £1.6m of funding to develop the concept. The demonstrator project is one of nine that have been announced as the next tranche of innovation funding delivered following the Government’s 2017 Construction Sector Deal.
The team will create a solution to help UK construction clients and contractors to be more efficient and proactive rather than reactive, with a scalable and repeatable ‘plug-and-play’ construction management and reporting platform known as the ‘AEC Production Control Room’.
Integrated project delivery
Backed by I3P (Infrastructure Industry Innovation Partnership), the project team are currently in discussions with several of the UK’s largest infrastructure clients to introduce the concept onto their projects to enhance visibility and oversight. The new concept fits closely with a full ‘Project 13’ approach to delivering projects and programmes, enabling ‘integrators’ to act more effectively.
Mark Reynolds, Mace Group chief executive, said:
“The Construction Sector Deal was designed to help the sector deliver transformative innovation, improving productivity and helping us deliver projects more effectively. This is a fantastic example of innovation funding doing exactly that.
“The project control room concept has the potential to improve decision-making through real-time visibility of data while delivering complex projects, something that could be transformative in the future. I look forward to working with our fantastic partners over the next two years to bring this concept to life.”
The eviFile view
At eviFile, we are naturally delighted to be working on this ground-breaking project. We have considerable experience of working with major infrastructure providers – on rail electrification projects, on water supply schemes and in maintaining power generation facilities, among others – and are hoping the ‘project control room’ will become a standard feature for teams delivering and operating major built assets.
eviFile’s mobile field data capture toolset will be a critical component of the ‘control room’ and will be augmented by our powerful cloud-based reporting platform. Our industry partners are, like us, well versed in secure information management. Our academic colleagues will be helping us incorporate the latest thinking in integrated project delivery. And we expect industry customers – infrastructure owner-operators – will be keen to deploy a data and technology combination that meets the ‘Digital Twin’ aspirations of the National Infrastructure Commission (see its December 2017 report Data for the Public Good, and the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s Gemini Principles).
“The Construction Sector Deal is all about strengthening the foundations of our economy and one of its ‘Grand Challenges’ is to “put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution”. I am delighted that eviFile is one of the industry technology innovators helping transform UK construction and infrastructure performance.”