Regular readers of our articles will be aware of our continued efforts in identifying site setting out and control as being one of the most ignored topics when it comes to waste and reworks in our industry.
BIM has been the scapegoat of choice on site for the past decade, however, with advanced technology solutions being introduced to the industry, it is becoming evidently clear poor setting out is the root cause to many problems that occur.
This week we look at a game changer. Something we have been keeping a very close eye on for the past few years, the Holosite by our friends in XYZ Reality.
These guys are taking the industry by storm over the past few years. Their vision is possibly the most exciting prospect to ever grace the industry, and we do not say this lightly. Proposing an augmented reality solution in an industry that is just coming to grips with BIM & Data is a testament to this organisation's belief and passion in making a better, more efficient environment for the future of construction.
The team believe in a world where construction workers will be able to visualise what they need to build in front of their eyes through Augmented Reality, something we believe to be the “Holy Grail” of this industry, unlocking savings to a level we do not think we can even begin quantify.
Never mind your Pokémon, and not to be confused with Virtual reality, XYZ Reality’s widely anticipated Holosite will combine the real world you work in and the design of what you are building. To make this extremely clear as some people get it confused with Virtual Reality – using the Holosite will be enable you to see what you always see, the real world, the bricks, the mortar, the concrete wagons backing up traffic on O’Connell street at 4pm on a wet Friday – but at the flick of a switch, you will be able to overlay in a Heads Up Display (HUD) type visual that you are probably familiar with seeing on military fighter pilots, all on your construction site
I mean, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy then maybe you should consider a career change, accountancy maybe.
Firm favourites of ours for the last few years are the team at XYZ Reality, with their passion that is bringing major disruption to this industry.
At GagaMuller, we like to break things down into its simplest form in order to give the readers some context and a feel for what technology can do for us. Like all technology, you must identify a gap in your workflow in order to apply it. Like we have said in the past, you don’t just buy it because everyone else is, you buy it because you can justify savings as a result. Applying the Holosite to a process is the key to unlocking its power.
Builders Works Process
A constant heart breaker, mainly due to scoping issues but generally an easy target for trades to make some coin on variations. The Builder Works Process is one which sends shivers down anyone's spine who has been tasked with managing them.
GagaMuller have made great progress in this space with correctly defined scopes and laser scan checks for out of tolerance services. We have introduced model freeze programs, lead times for drawing approval, geo-spatial focuses daily activity briefing meetings with the site team and digital signatures for wall closures which provides real time data back to a floor plan dashboard.
However, due to its nature, laser scanning means it is “after the fact”, it is fire fighting. Even when we do find the issue, it often results in rework (albeit, at least at their own expense, thanks to laser scanning). This results in a negative impact to schedule, in a world where it is currently estimated that over 30% of works on a construction project are rework.
All of these process steps are still required mind, meaning the process is critically important to ensuring the value of the Holosite. Laser scanning will still be required to support the Holosite at least in the short term future. The process of how you get to site also will remain the same with well planned BIM Coordination and Drawing Approval. For example, not freezing the model and briefing the team of spaces available to install could mean the design might change or be re-coordinated.
However, having the Holosite means there is no more “after the fact”. It is live, meaning instant decision making and control. Giving a team member on site a Holosite and have them follow the install of walls around the site would avoid many of these issues. Giving the Holosite to the user who is marking the openings in the wall would be the best bet to ensuring opes are correct. Then giving the Holosite other trade leads, such as the services installers on the MEWPs, would allow them to all connect the dots and collaborate in a live environment.
With a Holosite, how could a user ever get it wrong again? You should probably consider quantifying all the costs associated to your project on Builders Works and imagine they could all be avoided by simply having a Holosite - sign me up!
Pop Ups Process
Another contender for a painful process is pop ups. Mainly because the interface in scopes. Typically, one contractor is managing the concrete, another managing the underground services and a third is managing the connection of MEP above ground. This leaves a big gap in coordination. To make matters worse, if truth be told, the design for civils and above ground often (we are being polite – always) are not coordinated resulting in many early stage RFIs and queries which add to the confusion as the revisions begin to stack up. The result is the same every time. Pop ups missed, pop ups in between walls, pop ups in the wrong rooms. These can amount to considerable costs that typically get fixed 'on the go' on site.
Enter the Holosite, this could all be avoided by the blink of an eye, and the shout of an instruction. Putting a validation step for a manager to walk pre-pours, and visually check the tolerance of pop ups would no doubt save countless arguments, meetings, RFI’s, design changes and variations and, thus, win back time on the schedule.
Other than the obvious go to choices, such as Builders Works and Pop up examples, it has to be considered the sheer magnitude of administration and senior level management waste this removes. Those of you whom read our article on the Politics of Construction Sites will know all too well the claims and variations that come day to day through site instructions.
The common “BIM was wrong” approach by our on site incumbents. Now, imagine simply having your Site Managers being able to see in real time the install by the Contractor and the design model in front of their eyes. Acting as the first line of defence on site who can now call bulls*** on claims and disputes raised immediately. Management can now view and position design models on site to 5mm accuracy and make real-time decisions in the field leaving no room for error or interpretation.
Imagine the administration works avoided, the recording of issues, the meetings on how to resolve issues, the RFI trackers reduction, the commercial meetings between senior QS teams, clients defining narratives to root causes and to which funding category the costs come from, the meetings about meetings, the delays on lead time while waiting for decisions and the impacts to the schedule that is being crashed daily – all avoided by a swift on site decision because it is in front of their eyes!
Depending on the use case or strategy in implementing the solution, giving this power to the site team members could unlock productivity gains that are currently unimaginable. The ground-breaking technology could significantly eliminate errors out of tolerance and reduces the time taken, from set-out to build, making the lives of all construction workers easier by democratising the skill-set, boosting productivity and closing a skills-gap.
Where Are You Now?
You cannot but be impressed and excited as to what this could mean for our industry. Like always, it is you who knows best. Our goal is to simply broaden your mind, however, it is usually the readers who bring this to the next level with ideas of their own in terms of how this could be applied – it is endless.
What is important however, is the basics. You must ensure your environment is set up correctly and you have the correct processes in place to maximise the output. Otherwise, the Holosite is an F1 Ferrari on ice. Ask yourself, has your site adequate control? We see a lot of tier 1 contractors 'packaging out' the setting out and control on site. What is seen a lot is the lack of understanding towards the importance of it where many of the setting out packages are skimmed on price. We are left with basic control, applied to site with huge risk on errors, giving the risk to the subsequent trades to look after their own work, promoting a “first in best dressed” approach.
Tier 2 contractors and below are most likely to have their own engineers. But they too are not out of the woods either, educating the site workers to what grid lines are, disciplining your teams to install correctly to control points, even if sometimes it mean having to slow down in order to get the accuracy right.
Be it your role as a QS pricing the works where you need to better consider the scope of services for setting out with a clear understanding of the impacts in costs of poor control, on site, to the project budget, or be it your role as an Engineer, on site, where you need to consider the application of your control and its uptake from the site team members. It is clear that the introduction of a technology as advanced as XYZ Reality’s Holosite has a real potential to change your project site workflows forever.
At GagaMuller we offer BIM Model Management, coupled with site surveying, control and laser scanning on sites to ensure validation of installation and provide narratives to all variations on site for dispute resolution. We have perfected the workflow that connects all the dots from design, install, through to validation and even dispute resolution through change management. Because we are agile, we are quickly able to adapt as new technology hits the market. It is abundantly clear that the application of the Holosite into the workflow is of enormous benefit, mainly in order to empower the site teams of the future. We see an inevitable partnership approaching where we integrate the Holosite into our services, and we would imagine you seeing this too. Very excited for what the future holds, not only for the team in XYZ Reality, who might we add are another Irish Technology Start Up, but for the industry as a whole once this beast is unleashed.