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Why connected construction system matters: Co-ordination between office and on site


In the region, home to magnificent engineering feats such as Museum of the Future, The Dubai Frame and Ain Dubai, large-scale projects require faster coordination and cooperation at all times.

Construction projects are complex undertakings that require the constant collaboration of a group of experts. Each relevant and independent professional, including general and MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) contractors, architects, structural engineers, fabricators, interior designers, supervisors, managers, and many more, has a contribution to make for a successful construction project completion.

The dependency on and an interplay of various expertise make the construction industry highly unique. Various companies and experts come together for a project and are awarded different tasks of the project at its different stages. Once completed the teams disband and proceed. Under such a scenario where designing, engineering, and construction services are provided by multiple companies, seamless teamwork and coordination among project stakeholders in every construction stage are fundamental. From planning and designing to engineering and construction to occupancy and maintenance, uninterrupted collaboration and real-time data access should be achieved.

To support the stakeholder collaboration process specifically, numerous construction firms turn to digital solution providers to assist them in deploying modern software programs necessary to establish a connected construction system. A connected system made possible through digital construction technology assures stronger team and stakeholder coordination by ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Added to that, access to data is also easier for a better decision-making process and improved team efficiency. Users can easily share, review, coordinate, and comment on model data, schedules, and critical project information in real-time. The result is a reduction of costly miscommunication and improved coordination to keep projects on budget and schedule.

The lingering question goes: what could go wrong without connected construction? Inadequate risk management, lack of structure, performance management, poor communication or miscommunication, lack of team coordination, unrealistic expectations, and high costs are some of the most common errors likely to occur.

Why run the risk when digitalization has made modern technologies more accessible?

In the region, Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) is one of these leading solution providers that has been involved in many iconic and high-profile construction projects. The company eminently supports digital transformation in the region and continually educates the industry on the importance of collaboration and transparency in projects.

An example of technologies that enhance the connected construction trend is Trimble Connect. Numerous companies have already deployed this cloud-based common data environment (CDE) and collaboration platform, for more robust project stakeholder communication and teamwork. Users can share design data from the office solutions uploaded to Trimble Connect with surveyors in the field who are utilizing the Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform, Trimble Siteworks Positioning Systems, and Trimble Access survey software.

Experts believe that communication and collaboration determine the timely completion of any construction project, which should be accomplished within budget and according to the set specifications or quality standards.

Paul Wallett, Regional Director of Trimble Solutions, Middle East and India, said: “If we successfully put in place a connected construction system, there will be up to 50 percent less rework and efficiency gain, up to 30 percent in cost savings, and about 20 percent less construction waste generation. Through a connected construction technique, the right data is available to the right people at the right time, thus improving communication between team members and enhancing further the processes, wherever they are needed.” He further added “Connected construction technology could enhance how Engineering & Construction companies deliver construction and infrastructure projects, drive down costs, and improve overall project execution and timeliness.”

Apart from improved communication, linking office and field teams is a necessity. Solutions such as Mixed Reality allows engineers and designers to convey the intent of the design to their crew while identifying and addressing discrepancies between the model and actual site conditions. These capabilities can deepen project understanding among concerned people, thereby bridging gaps between the field and office teams. Likewise, as a means of ensuring accurate data exchange, field teams are also able to use devices such as Trimble’s Robotic Total Stations (RTS), which can download layout points directly from the BIM to ensure automated and precise installation on sites.

While these are merely a few of all the many technologies that can boost coordination and data exchange from the field to the office and vice versa, the market is still developing more innovative solutions to support the cause.

The demand for faster coordination and cooperation as well quick project deliveries is at rise today. Advanced construction technologies such as Trimble’s connected construction solutions can help make this possible by providing a well-nurtured and connected environment. Without this support, finishing ambitious construction ventures will undoubtedly be challenging.

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