Market, Engineering Tech
Article | July 11, 2022
In amongst the chatter about how we can 'do' infrastructure better, there's now a growing consensus that we need to improve the way we design our interventions - 'design' in the broader sense of the word, rather than the narrow sense we tend to use as engineers.
My front-end principles for better infrastructure
Over the course of my career, the following front-end principles have served well to ensure we think through, before we rush in where angels fear to tread.
Be clear about the purpose and the expected outcomes, and engage communities in decision-making through an effective communication strategy.
Prioritise the user, aiming to offer services that are modern, effective and affordable.
Seek to improve people's quality of life and support the transition to a more sustainable future, while also facilitating the functioning of the economy, enhancing productivity and accommodating growth (to the extent possible, given other competing objectives).
Extract greatest value from existing infrastructure through timely maintenance, repurposing, renewal and upgrading. Seek to remove constraints and bottlenecks.
Aim to make best use of data, automation, innovation and technology (including for future asset management), recognising the complexity and risks this may introduce.
Recognise, analyse, mitigate and manage technical, environmental and climate risks, and complete any surveys necessary to support this.
Improve governance, with robust, timely and transparent decision-making, supported by strong evidence-based planning, clear prioritisation, and best practice technical design and delivery.
Seek an appropriate funding balance between 'user pays' and general taxation which incentivises behaviours in the best long-term social, economic and environmental interests.
Complete well-evidenced business cases and risk assessments of proposed initiatives before embarking on projects, including financing proposals. Aim to allocate the risks identified to those best able to carry them.
Facilitate collaboration between the government and business to promote delivery of the broader social, economic and environmental benefits.
Clearly, there are many other issues to consider as a project develops, and the above principles may seem obvious to some, and a counsel of perfection to others, but it's surprising how many are overlooked in the rush to build.
Article | August 24, 2021
As part of a Digipro project, ALLPLAN is working with three partners to research a system for automatic performance measurement using IoT and BIM. DigiPro focuses on the digitalisation of products, processes and business models in companies.
As part of the German-Dutch INTERREG program Digipro, a project is currently underway that aims to automate performance recording on the construction site using IoT (Internet of Things) and BIM (Building Information Modelling). A consortium of four companies - BuildersMind, mangineers, Nijhuis Bouw B.V. and ALLPLAN - is working on a solution for automated construction site monitoring that documents construction progress in near real time. Promising results have already been achieved in an alpha test phase on two construction sites of Nijhuis Bouw in Enschede 2020.
Article | July 13, 2022
Construction engineers are driven to look for ways to improve everything from construction methods, the materials used, to the systems used to develop new building designs with lower cost margins and thin financing costs. Under those circumstances, there is a lot of pressure on contractors and designers to find more effective ways to reduce construction costs. BIM is being used by a growing number of engineers, architects, and contractors to make the design and development of structures faster, better, and more cost-efficient. BIM has been proven to help reduce costs and increase efficiency throughout the project lifecycle ranging from design and construction to facility management.
Article | April 21, 2020
As nations the world over continue working through the uncertainty of COVID-19, personal protective equipment is more important than ever. Under these circumstances, however, PPE doesn’t relate to the hard hats, eye protection and steel toe boots our concrete blog typically covers. It’s the protective items healthcare professionals need to perform their work safely. Medical PPE has been in short supply, with consumers looking to protect themselves against the COVID-19 coronavirus snapping up face masks, gloves and the like. As medical facilities’ need for these important tools grows, however, many have turned to unlikely sources: Construction companies.