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Improving Building Information Modelling by Realtime Tracing of Construction Processes

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIMprove (Improving Building Information Modelling by Realtime Tracing of Construction Processes)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

The building construction market has experienced considerable growth during the last decade and is estimated to achieve revenues of EUR 7955 billion in 2022. However, sector productivity has failed to improve during this time, hindered by increased labour costs, inefficient working conditions and a declining interest in the sector shown by the younger generation. Moreover, jobs in the construction industry represent some of most dangerous in modern Europe. As the global population continues to increase, it is imperative that zero-energy buildings replace existing constructions. Improvements in the sector that promote safety and efficiency are crucial to Europe’s future.

The aim of the BIMprove project is to invest effort in the development of a system that promotes fast-track productivity by cutting costs and improving working conditions. This will be achieved by employing 3D model-based BIM systems in combination with a digital twin technology to the construction sector, constituting a dynamic and multi-functional system based on real-time data. This new technology will consolidate the future development of the European construction industry and allow enterprises in the sector to optimize their performance. The technology will enable a real-time overview of current status on all construction sites, facilitating the early identification of errors and their remediation at the lowest possible cost. It will also be possible to control resource scheduling and transactions in real time, thus ensuring high levels of construction site security and efficient adherence to, and adaptation of, work schedules, according to need.

The overall objective of the BIMprove project is to go beyond the static BIM approach and create a digital thread that acts as a dynamic metrical building model, or digital twin. This will promote the easy monitoring of construction site status, effective resource scheduling and improved work planning. The new technology will offer greater levels of flexibility and safety, and enhanced productivity. The BIMprove project focuses on the building process on construction sites, once the erection or installation of a framework has been completed.

The technology is actualised using ground-based robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor site status and detect deviations that can be used to update the digital twin and the underlying BIM model. It will facilitate the anonymous tracking of site personnel, thus enabling both the system and personnel supervisors to optimize resource allocation, personnel flow and worker safety. The BIMprove system will be easily accessible to all stakeholders in the form of various user interfaces, including the provision of notifications to site workers via wearable devices, and to supervisors via virtual reality (VR) visualizations. The system will be a cloud-based service with a layered structure, enabling the addition of future extensions, as required.
The main functionality of BIMprove is an extensive semi-automated data acquisition of various sizes and its processing. Mainly geometry data, but also photos, thermal image data, data of people and devices are captured or recorded.
In general, data acquisition is not the goal itself, but is very closely linked to the needs and processes of the construction process.
For this reason, the Proof of Concept cases, developed so far, always have a close link between the measurement process and its evaluation.
The pilot construction sites play a very central role in the entire BIMprove project.

The pilot use cases (PUC) that will take place in the second half of the project are listed here:
• PUC Safety, at VIAS construction site in Madrid/Spain
• PUC Fire prevention, at HRS construction site in Lausanne/Switzerland
• PUC Scheduling at AFG construction site in Oslo/Norway

In the following 12 test cases are addressed so far:
1. Spatial Data Capture with Ground Robots
2. Evacuation Route Check
3. Spatial Data Capture with Drones
4. Data capture for detecting safety nets, VIAS-site, Spain
5. IR - Image data capture
6. Indoor Positioning System
7. Detecting Safety Nets
8. Scan versus plan
9. BIMprove and the web application
10. Scheduling linked with BIM
11. Daily Decisions
12. Virtual Reality
The BIMprove system will be developed in a series of six-monthly iterative cycles, which will ensure adequate time for the fine-tuning of system functionalities in order to meet the requirements of the consortium’s industry partners.
A proof-of-concept installation will first be implemented in an industry-oriented lab (TRL 5) environment before installation on industrial premises.
At a later date, the BIMprove system will be demonstrated in realistic environments (TRL 6) and showcased as part of three real-world pilot use cases.
The aims of these pilots will be to achieve:
• 20% improvements in schedule forecasting
• Improved resource allocation and optimisation of equipment usage
• Reductions in the number of construction site incidents
• 20% reductions in construction project costs
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