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Ashley Buckland is Managing Director of JB Associates a construction consultancy specialist based in the south of England.  In this latest feature, he writes about the implementation of sustainable digital initiatives within the construction industry.

Here at JB Associates we have seen consistent growth since being founded in 2002 and deploy a philosophy of working alongside our clients whilst integrating our staff seamlessly to deliver outstanding projects across the UK and Europe.

After 25 years in an industry renowned for being slow to accept or execute change, we are finally seeing massive strides towards a much-needed digital transformation. Prior to the pandemic, it was widely acknowledged that the prioritisation of an integrated digital culture was critical for the success of businesses and the reputation and growth of the industry.  I have no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated this process, and with the accuracy and speed that digitalisation offers, whatever stage of the digital roadmap companies were on, it will now sit as a priority for any business.

Global build environments and worldwide construction infrastructure now expect transparency, speed, and sustainability as standard so this digital uprising could not be better timed.

Innovative tools such as 3D scanning and asset management software are leading the way and the  development and implementation of these pioneering software’s are offering new levels of precision from the early development stage, through planning and the build process, as well as providing companies with immediate real-time access to their build for future operational and maintenance issues.

As efficiency has long been name of the game when it comes to architecture, engineering, and construction. Teams have needed to capture highly accurate data that can be manipulated to fill a variety of needs and utilised across the board. The answer to this previously has been found in Building Information Modelling (BIM), a technology widely available for facilities management, BIM allows for a more efficient transfer of knowledge and coordination across teams and project phases. Building on that process is the introduction of 3D scanning. When 3D scanning systems are used in place of traditional methods, projects see an immense increase in speed, efficiency, and accuracy. Here at JB Associates we recognised this early and invested in this area and have now released JBA–360, the latest format of our Interactive Operation and Maintenance Manuals.

A first for this industry, the new product offers 3D scanning and asset management software services designed to provide architects, facilities managers, and building proprietors easy access and total transparency to a build.

Historically, ongoing maintenance, repair work, renovations, or planned expansion programmes would have been a lengthy and costly exercise completed via an outdated 3D model using datasheets and manuals. This digital solution and other software like this will provide facilities management teams easy access to the build and building assets via a cutting-edge 4K resolution tool that includes a 9-lens camera system. The camera scans its surroundings and automatically stitches those scans together into an easy-to-digest walk-through format of the whole building that can be viewed and edited easily on iOS, MacOS, or via Web App.

This is just one example of some of the pioneering solutions and technologies we are starting to see emerge as we continue to recover from the effects of 2020.

As the industry embraces the digital revolution, it’s clear that technology will continue to play a major role across all areas of construction, including safety, communications and operations helping to establish a future of stability and growth.  A more efficient industry will surface having been transformed by technology.

In a nutshell the construction sector maybe considered slow out of the gate where digital technology is concerned but the one area this industry has always led in is resilience and we will see this continue moving forward.

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