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5 Attributes of High Quality Construction Data

The quality of construction data matters. Here’s a look at five characteristics of good data, how to avoid some common pitfalls that lead to bad data, and how to tell the difference.

In the construction industry, we’re no longer dealing with the issue of not having access to data, but instead with a lack of information to drive decision-making. What’s the difference? While there’s no shortage of data, many firms are still learning to use that data in an insightful way. The benefits of mastering this skill are plenty; they include having a stronger competitive advantage and greater project outcomes. 

Good project outcomes stem from good decision-making, and nothing affects the decisions you make on a construction job like the quality of your data. The information gathered can have an impact on everything from timelines to budgets, bid performance, and even site safety. What’s more, using bad data over the course of a project has the potential to affect your current work and future jobs. Its predictive nature can create systemic inaccuracies down the line.

Why Quality Data Matters

All construction data is not created equal, and time spent gathering poor data is time lost. According to a new report from Autodesk and FMI, Harnessing the Data Advantage in Construction,  project data has grown exponentially — doubling in the last three years. Yet not all of that project data is created equally. Roughly half of the survey’s respondents shared that “bad” project data (e.g., inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent data) contributed to a poor outcome for one in three project decisions. What’s more, bad project data is costly. Avoiding rework triggered by bad project data could save the global construction industry over $88 billion annually.

How do you tell the difference between good and bad project data? Let’s take a look at five characteristics of good data, how to avoid some common pitfalls that lead to bad data, and how to tell the difference.

How to Spot Bad Construction Data: Siloed, Unreliable, Inaccessible

Bad project data doesn’t come down to a single reason. Research indicates that data management solutions and the challenges the industry faces vary and are unique to each organization’s way of working. In Harnessing the Data Advantage in Construction, the most common contributors to bad project data included:

  • Inaccurate/Incorrect data* (24%)
  • Missing data* (24%)
  • Wrong data* (21%)

*Please check out the report for definitions

While it’s not always easy to spot the difference between good and bad data, there are a number of key attributes of bad data that can help construction professionals avoid using it in the first place.

For one thing, bad data is siloed, meaning there’s a disconnect between the systems used to access the data, and the possibility that not everyone is on the same page regarding which data is most reliable and relevant to the project at hand. Unreliability is another characteristic of bad data, and professionals can spot it by ensuring that data is not outdated and doesn’t contain mistakes. Finally, poor quality data is difficult to access, making it hard to pull up relevant project information.

5 Qualities to Look for in Construction Data

Beyond identifying poor quality data, construction professionals must understand the characteristics of high quality data. Doing so not only helps to avoid wasted time but it also sets projects up for success by providing as many resources as possible. So what characteristics make for good construction data? Read on to learn more about the five attributes of quality construction data and a few resources to help you collect and use it.

1. Consistency

The nature of data captured by the construction industry is often what is considered “heterogeneous” data, or data that has multiple variable types, (e.g., comparing apples to oranges). This type of data is ambiguous and inconsistent in the ways it measures something and what it measures that something against. 

As industry data expert Jit Kee Chin shared, construction professionals must gather “a lot of information across contracts, across text documents, across drawings and across financial information. So the challenge in construction data is heterogeneity in terms of the data that we historically collect.”

With the variety of data formats available in construction, how is it possible to maintain consistency? It all starts with how data is collected. Consistent data requires collecting insights in a uniform way like adopting a common data environment, which helps create a standard platform to capture data. A common data environment typically takes the form of a digital hub, where all information comes together during a building project. Any information gathered for or about a project during any part of the process should be stored in the common data environment to ensure the consistency and accuracy of all project data. 

Organizations committed to quality data typically share these three most common efforts or investments made to ensure decision-makers have access to actionable, high-quality data:

  • Regularly reviewing data at set intervals for quality purposes (40%)
  • Having established data reporting and monitoring practices, both at the time of collection and use (38%)
  • Structuring data in a common data environment (38%)

2. Cleanliness

Just like clean job sites are integral to successful project outcomes, clean data is vital to ensuring the information you’re relying on is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. In fact, data cleansing — the process of reviewing all project data and eliminating data that is not currently relevant or accurate — often leaves construction professionals with only the best quality data to work with, thus elevating the likelihood of the successful completion of a job. In contrast, data that is not clean creates increased opportunities for mistakes and rework, as well as wastes professionals’ time when they must go back and search for correct information.

The first step toward achieving clean data is to fine-tune your information collection and management processes. Examining vital tasks like data entry, including how and where information is entered into a common data environment, and the controls around what information is considered clean data can go a long way to help ensure the timeliness and accuracy of the data used in a project.

3. Transparency and accessibility

When working to improve your construction data, ask yourself, “Can your team see the data in real time? Can they access it across devices like mobile, and from remote locations?” These are two of the most common issues facing construction professionals when it comes to the transparency and accessibility of data. 

Quality information should be accessible and transparent to reflect what is currently happening. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a one-day lag in accuracy can lead to immense setbacks for a project. Survey respondents from the report Harnessing the Data Advantage in Construction, shared that having access to data was essential to accurate project decision-making. When asked what the greatest risk was to project decision-making, 43% said “time constraint/urgency of decision”.

The quality of project data needs to improve if project leaders are to make critical decisions in the field quickly and autonomously. Accessibility is also important for  distributed teams, especially those out in the field. The ability for a team to obtain quality data across devices and locations is essential to the success of a job.

To improve the transparency and accessibility of quality data on a project, industry professionals should consider adopting connected and cloud-based construction technologies that ensure project information is always up-to-date, accurate, and accessible across devices, locations, and project phases.

4. Usability

Let’s say you have consistent, clean data that can be accessed universally across team members’ devices and locations. Oh, and that data transparently provides up-to-date information about a project. What more could you want? 

Usability. Usability is a major factor in whether this data can actually be put to work to solve real problems you might face on the job. Good data can be used to inform work decisions as well as to solve both present and future issues that may arise on the job.

To help support your project staff over data management and analysis, make sure you have a formal data strategy in place. This framework will help to alleviate burdens on busy supervisory staff, and improve data consistency moving forward. Formal data strategies combined with data-rich environments could reduce the number of delayed or poor decisions, saving the industry $50 billion annually. 

Furthermore, adopting solutions with advanced analytics and machine learning can provide insights for both today and the future that can improve project outcomes. According to McKinsey & Company, quality data “increases in usefulness and generates a competitive advantage as it increases in analytical richness” or, put another way, data that does the work of enhancing the quality of available information in the most efficient way possible—on its own. Moreover, companies that use machine learning and other advanced tools like predictive analytics and simulation modeling are best positioned to make the most effective data-driven decisions throughout the entirety of a project.

5. Connectivity

The final attribute of good construction data is connectivity — ensuring that information does not live in silos and shares a common access point among team members. Most projects involve a constant flow of information that originates from multiple stakeholders and takes a variety of formats. Back in the days of paper documentation, data connectivity was nearly impossible, and miscommunication was common. Even now, when more projects than ever are digitized, construction professionals are facing connectivity issues regarding the data they gather and use during a project.

To avoid the risk of siloed data, which can lead to communication issues, all project information systems must interoperate, with common access to critical information and documentation across the entire workstream. One way to achieve this is through integrated construction technology, which helps different data systems communicate and work together. This integrated approach to data is vital to connecting and automating workflows to improve project efficiency.


Download the Data Strategy checklist

Don’t settle for less than high-quality data. High quality construction data can save time, improve teamwork, and greatly contribute to a project’s overall success. Spotting the difference between good and poor quality data, and ensuring that the information you’re using for a project is consistent, clean, transparent, accessible, usable, and connected might sound like a heavy lift.

Nevertheless, adopting a formal data strategy can make a huge difference when it comes to promoting a good project outcome, a happy team, and an efficient work process. What’s more, putting quality data standards in place through advanced analytics and other innovative construction technologies can set you up for success not just now but also in the future.

Start building managing your data more profitably with the 4-step process revealed in our latest report, Harnessing the Data Advantage in Construction, made in partnership with FMI. Download the data strategy checklist here.

The post 5 Attributes of High Quality Construction Data appeared first on Digital Builder.

Faster Resolution of Design Issues with New Feature in Autodesk BIM Collaborate

At the core of successful construction projects, you’ll find clear communication and continuous collaboration. Yet from 2012 to 2015, just 25% of projects came within 10% of their original deadlines. It isn’t uncommon to encounter bottlenecks as a BIM manager, especially during the preconstruction phase. This is especially true when issue identification, assignment, and tracking are managed by a single person. 

In order to accelerate the design and coordination phases, architects, engineers, BIM managers, and trades must have the ability to identify and track issue resolution. Best case, this is all in the same solution when they review designs or create packages. 

Likewise, upfront issue detection is essential to construction project success. Issues that occur during the design and preconstruction phase may only cost a few thousand dollars to resolve, while those discovered in the field can cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to mitigate.  

With that in mind, Autodesk Construction Cloud now has Design Issues in Autodesk BIM Collaborate’s Design Collaboration Module. Issues in design collaboration can be tailored to suit your team during the WIP phase or when sharing packages with other disciplines. These issues are accessible across teams, phases, and desktop applications through a common data environment (CDE) to extend the lifecycle of an issue beyond just WIP. 


Resolve design discrepancies faster with new Design Issues feature 

  • Find and assign issues in the design collaboration phase 
  • Accelerate content creation 
  • Understand an issue and its history in full context 
  • Identify an issue, assign who is responsible for its resolution, mark its location, and note the deadline for resolution 
  • Resolve issues in a common data environment 
  • Access, review, and resolve issues in other connected applications 


Key benefits: Design Issues feature 


Save time with up-front issue identification 

Instead of having to wait for a coordination meeting, or for a BIM manager to identify issues, project teams can identify and resolve issues as they design. Doing so will save time, as WSP Canada found. The engineering consulting firm used a check-as-you-go method in Revit Cloud Worksharing, which is a part of BIM Collaborate Pro. This saved the BIM manager 20-30% (conservatively) of the time it took to find and assign issues. They have since moved to using this method on over 15 projects. 

In the context of an aggregated model, as you evaluate your team’s designs in a WIP folder, cloud-based issue resolution accelerates the design phase and provides better visibility into the constructability of a model across disciplines. Here’s what you can expect from Design Issues: 

  • The ability to clearly detail what the issue is, who needs to resolve it, where the issue is, and when it needs to be completed
  • Comment capabilities on issues to gain clarity and see the history of that issue for greater context
  • 2D Markup tools to pin issues to a model in 3D or 2D sheet
  • Discipline colorization to more easily identify the responsible teams
  • Discovery of new issues through first-person interaction with the aggregated model
  • Quick resolution in the authoring tool with the free Revit Add-in, connected to the CDE

Avoid time wasting file transfers with a common data environment 

Conducting file transfers from authoring tools to collaboration or coordination tools and back takes up plenty of time and slows down productivity. Some firms use third-party applications to deal with this non-optimal task. However, these applications don’t natively resolve issues and add more cost while the data gets stuck without the use of a CDE.  

That’s why it’s key to be able to resolve issues with a common data environment inherent to the whole eco-system. When issues arise, firms can address them in the tools they already know—like Navisworks and Revit. They also have a running record of issue occurrences and resolution status across disciplines. When an issue gets resolved, the decision details are stored to better predict future builds or provide greater context for field teams. 

By resolving issues in a common data environment, Morgan Sindall Construction found a 78% reduction in synchronization of uploading and downloading models. The firm also generated a 67% reduction in design team meetings by addressing issues in the 3D model. 

With Design Issues in Autodesk BIM Collaborate, you can recapture time spent chasing documents and drafting follow-up emails.  

Speed up resolution with Revit, Navisworks, and Model Coordination 

Consider that 66% of general contractors carry added costs from overtime or second shifts on at least 75% of their projects due to schedule slippage. 50% of these contractors need to extend the project end date as a result.  

When multiple teams can create, assign, review, and resolve issues all in the same place, work is completed faster. With Design Issues, the same issue created in the design phase can be accessed, contextualized, and resolved in other connected applications.  

You can resolve issues in Revit, take a closer look with Navisworks, or use simple automations in Model Coordination to check changes to the model. By surfacing the very same issues in Autodesk Build, a multi-directional link is created between design, coordination and field issues. This makes RFI creation easier and more detail rich.  

Here’s an example of how this plays out:  

An architect creates an issue in design collaboration. While performing a visual inspection of their design against a structural model, they’re unsure whether the issue will have an actual effect on the constructability of a design, so they assign it to the BIM manager.  

The BIM manager then runs a sophisticated clash test in Navisworks and provides a solution.  

The architect then jumps back into Revit to make the adjustment and double check their work using an easy-to-use, automatic clash detection tool in Model Coordination. They resolve the issue.  

Now, the general contracting firm and its manager can review the closed-out issues using a dashboard and better predict schedule improvements.  

The project manager can now look up the history of the issue and see why certain changes were made to the design and follow the thread of communications.  


Want to see the Design Issues feature in action? 

No two projects are ever the same. Some adhere to traditional ways of working while others look to different delivery models. According to FMI, 58% of owners have used or plan to use design-build, moving away from traditional design-bid-build. As the design-build trend continues, the importance of strengthening your relationships with project partners will continue to grow.  

Communication, accountability, and trust are essential to building upon those relationships. These three qualities are made easier with end-to-end collaboration tools. Case in point: 43% of high trust construction companies make collaboration central to how they work. The new Design Issues feature will help to clearly define problems and provide for better communication to achieve timely resolution. These issues may be as simple as identifying an unintended design element between teammates, or address recurring issues across the organization. In either case, up-front communication has a cascading effect on downstream workflows to prevent risk and consistently deliver quality models. 

You can explore our newest feature and Autodesk BIM Collaborate with a free trial.

Reach out for a demo today

The post Faster Resolution of Design Issues with New Feature in Autodesk BIM Collaborate appeared first on Digital Builder.

How Permasteelisa Deploys Hands-free Construction Management

Today, construction companies have more choice than ever before when it comes to technology. Not only are software solutions proliferating construction businesses, but innovative hardware is becoming prevalent on the jobsite.  

Twenty years ago, technology-forward companies were setting up infrastructure to have laptops and internet at jobsites. Ten years later, we saw smart phones and tablets becoming an industry standard. Now, wearables and extended reality (XR) devices are becoming increasingly common on jobsites.   

One company providing these wearables is RealWear, delivering ruggedized wearable, hands-free assisted reality devices (on the XR spectrum, but closer to physical world) to improve safety and efficiency. And Permasteelisa Group, is one of those innovative companies driving technology forward. Permasteelisa Group is a global leader in the engineering, project management, manufacturing, installation and after-sales service of advanced building facades, architectural envelopes, and interiors.  

Part of Permasteelisa’s promise to its clients is to leverage integrated and digitized processes that help ensure high quality and safety while improving management of the large amount of information that characterizes modern curtain wall projects. Permasteelisa has used Autodesk Construction Cloud products for many years to connect design and field teams to solve challenges posed by “free-form” projects such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao or the Olympic Fish in Barcelona.  

Permasteelisa Group specializes in curtain wall projects, where there are multiple control activities that must be carried out on exposed areas, or in some cases, on the floor edge at considerable heights and in confined spaces, where handling a tablet can be dangerous. The need to access information and capture notes is still present on projects like this, but it is also crucial to maximize the safety of workers on site.  

In a recent press release, RealWear announced a new and exciting integration with Autodesk® BIM 360™, built in collaboration with Permasteelisa, to solve exactly that challenge. The result was a connected, multimedia device that allows repetitive control operations to be carried out onsite using voice commands, keeping the operator’s hands free for the work. The integration with BIM 360 has helped them optimize time spent in high-risk spaces on the jobsite, reduce the risk of errors, and improve collaboration between all different stakeholders.  

“Running BIM 360 on a RealWear device will be a gamechanger, keeping us on the cutting edge of technology and innovation,” said Gordon Earle, Group Operations Executive, Permasteelisa Group. “We are excited to deploy the devices to empower and retain our best workers by outfitting them with a full solution that will make them safer and more productive, delivered by two of the leading technology players in the field.” 

The primary reason Permasteelesa approached RealWear to develop the integration was to enable the execution of hands-free checklists. With this seamless integration, the team can inspect the quality of a curtain wall project while at great heights and maintain employee safety, helping to ensure safe quality deliveries for their clients.  

With this integration, teams can now also hands-free videoconferencing and live sharing of high-resolution images or videos. The project’s field team can bring their colleagues from the other side of the world with them to the construction site for a virtual general inspection or to observe a specific detail. 

“Delivering BIM 360 on the RealWear HMT-1 hands-free assisted reality device means that worker safety is enhanced,” says Gordon Earle. “During the pandemic, this has also helped us limit travel as much as possible, which has been crucial to mitigate the virus and keeping our teams safe.”  

Looking to the future, leaders at Permasteelisa also see this as a great way to avoid international travels for simple, half-day meetings on site that can now be executed virtually with a wearable.  

The advantages, in terms of collaboration and efficiency gains from an integration like this, are evident. For example, the Senior Designer of a project can check the construction site as soon as a potential issue emerges, in real time—resolving field issues remotely from the office. Travel times have been significantly reduced, keeping projects moving forward more efficiently. The video conferencing also allows a seasoned manager to scale across multiple projects and teams, by avoiding in-person meetings. Teams located in different countries can work in real time, favouring collaboration across the different time zones. Thanks to the integration of BIM 360, RealWear HMT-1 and Permasteelisa’s internal systems, the information captured by the field team is immediately available to colleagues, regardless of location. 

If you’d like to learn more about the RealWear and Autodesk BIM 360 integration, you can check out their RealWear’s press release here.

The post How Permasteelisa Deploys Hands-free Construction Management appeared first on Digital Builder.

Plan to build two major prisons at RAF base in Essex

The Ministry of Justice has unveiled plans to build two new prisons on land around an RAF air base in Essex.

New Category B and C prisons, each containing 1,715 inmates, are being proposed to be built at Wethersfield air base in Braintree.

They will each follow the new standardised designs, consisting of seven separate house blocks each rising to four floors with 240 inmates in each block.

Each prison will also have support buildings. These will include a reception area, kitchens, workshops, a visits hall and offices.

Wethersfield air base double prison plan

In local community consultation papers, newly-appointed prisons minister Victoria Atkins said: “We believe that, following detailed feasibility work, land next to Wethersfield air base would be a good location for two new prisons as part of the prison estates strategy.

“Our plans, if successful, would bring many benefits to the local community, such as hundreds of jobs during construction, careers within the prison sector and an increased spend in local businesses.”

If a decision is taken to proceed, planning permission will be sought next year.

The Government has committed to creating 18,000 additional prison places by the mid-2020s’, through a combination of building new prisons, as well as extending, refurbishing and maintaining existing prisons.

Four are planned as part of the Ministry of Justice’s £1bn New Prisons Programme.

These will be delivered by a framework of preselected contractors: ISG, Kier, Laing O’Rourke and Wates.

Earlier this month, MoJ submitted plans for a major new prison in Lancashire adjacent to HMP Garth and HMP Wymott near the town of Leyland.

Other prisons in the pipeline include Full Sutton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, another new category c prison planned on land adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill in Buckinghamshire.


Did you miss our previous article…

Trafficking gang arrested and 55 builders safeguarded

Met Police and officers in Romania arrested 13 men on Tuesday morning in a series of raids as part of a major investigation into human trafficking.
Following the raids 54 men and one male juvenile have been safeguarded.

The investigation was launched by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command in August 2019 after intelligence highlighted a Romanian organised crime group (OCG) operating between Romania and the UK.

Romanian adult nationals have been recruited and trafficked to the Kingsbury area of north London to work on building sites as unskilled labourers.

Four warrants were executed in Harrow and Brent. Cash and a firearm were also seized.

The males were found housed in multi-occupancy addresses with mattresses covering the whole floor space. Occupants were found sleeping in extremely cramped conditions. They are now receiving support from specialist officers.

Eight men have been arrested in London for human trafficking. They have been taken to a north London police station.

A further five men were arrested in Romania where gold and around 250,000 Euros were seized from the OCG.

Those arrested are aged between 22 and 49 years old. They have been arrested for a variety of offences, including causing another to complete forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking contrary to the modern slavery act 2015.

Detective Constable Dec Wilson, from Central Specialist Crime, said: “These arrests in the UK and abroad are the result of working closely with our partners in Romania for the past 18 months, to identify those involved in the human trafficking and labour exploitation.

“This Eurojust Joint Investigation Team should serve as a warning to other organised crime networks that the Met is committed to working with international law enforcement to target those committing modern day slavery offences in London.

“We need the public’s help as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously, and protection and support is available.

“Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of labour exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network.

“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising.

“As well as being exploited for labour, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.”

Police said their enquiries are continuing.

Did you miss our previous article…

Where Accounting Meets the Field: Sage 300 CRE and Autodesk Build

Accounting is a critical aspect of any business. But when it comes to the complex nature of construction, accounting is a whole different beast. Along with processing payroll and managing standard accounts payable and accounts receivable, the accounting team is also tasked with a number of other tasks including tracking and processing commitment changes. Because of this, accounting and the project team rely on each other to ensure information is accurate, so the project budget stays on track.

But with both parties working from different locations and typically using disconnected software to manage cost activities, they’re faced with the time-consuming task of duplicate data entry, tedious processes, and communication bottlenecks. Information silos between these essential collaborators need to dissolve, and luckily, it can by connecting the field-facing construction management software with the back-office accounting programs. 

hh2 Cloud Services seamlessly connects accounting and the field 

Integrations between disparate systems can be complex and rife with issues that make it expensive to maintain and support. This is especially true if an integration is proprietary and not built on a robust, scalable, and proven platform. Thankfully, hh2 Cloud Services stands apart from proprietary point-to-point integrations by bringing seamless integrations between construction ERP systems and independent software developers using their Universal Construction Model (UCM). And with this, they are bringing together Sage 300 CRE and Autodesk Build

Dennis Stejskal, Director at Sage Construction & Real Estate Division NA shares, “We are excited to come together with hh2 and Autodesk to deliver an industry-leading integration between accounting and operations. We believe we can help construction teams be more successful through this partnership by increasing collaboration and data visibility between field-facing teams and accounting.”


Benefits of hh2’s Sage 300 CRE + Autodesk Build integration

Bringing the field and accounting department together at last

  • Leverage a single source of truth by removing data silos
  • Guaranteed data accuracy as the integration continually syncs information between Sage 300 CRE and Autodesk Build
  • Reduce the risk of liability issues stemming from manual processes, human error, and inaccurate data
  • Gain clear visibility into the status of items with easy access to real-time data as entered by both accounting and field teams
  • Keep processes running smoothly with increased data transparency
  • Reduce decision making time with efficient and accurate data exchange between departments
  • Enable field teams to accurately forecast with actual cost data flowing in from accounting

Learn more on October 7 at Autodesk University

Want to learn more about this integration? Register at no cost for Autodesk University 2021 to join the virtual industry talk, ERP Integration for Autodesk Construction Cloud, on October 7, 2021.

Register Now

The post Where Accounting Meets the Field: Sage 300 CRE and Autodesk Build appeared first on Digital Builder.

Did you miss our previous article…

The Dangers Associated With Electrical Repair

Electrical Repair and Maintenance is a growing industry. There are many ways to repair electrical wiring and connections. You will need to know some tools and safety precautions when handling these tools. Here is an overview of some of the most common electrician tools.electrical

An all-in-one tool for all electrical repairs and maintenance is an Electrician’s Bench. This bench consists of a head and a foot that is designed to hold light switches, outlet trays and switches. The head has a long metal pole with several bendable wires that are the electrical services. The bench top is easy to clean; it is designed with two removable legs and a bench-top veneer. It can hold up to three light switch assemblies.

Another useful tool for electrical repairs is an Electrician’s wrench. It is similar to a socket wrench but instead of the wrenches having a bolt handle and a socket, they have a locking mechanism to secure the nut or screw. It has one or more adjustable wrenches with metal handles. This wrench is commonly used in and around plumbing. Electricians often use this tool for installing wires and water lines.

Another handy tool is a Circuit breaker panel. The panel is designed to protect against electricity overloads. It contains a circuit breaker, an input and output reset switch, a load protector and an automatic break off function. These breakers must be properly installed by trained electrical engineers.

The third most important electrical repair tool is an outlet interrupter. It prevents damage to electrical wiring by interrupting a circuit when there is a fault. It works by placing a dome on the open side of an electric connection, thus preventing the flow of current when a fault occurs. This dome stops the connection from further damage, allowing the connection to be used again.

One more useful electrical repair tool is a mister. A mister is used mainly in small electrical appliances that are difficult to access. For example, in a toaster, there is a special kind of mister that can safely loosen bolts without causing damage. Electrical mister sizes depend on the size and weight of the electrical equipment. They can either be static, which protects against electrical shock, or arc, which produces a discharge when it comes into contact with any surface. Some misters have a chemical insulation to prevent electrical shock when coming into contact with metal.

To make any electrical repair, you will need some equipment such as pliers, wire strippers, an electrician’s tape, soldering iron and an electronic multimeter. You will also need some tools such as a wrench, awl, pipe bender and drill. In some cases, you may need additional tools depending on the type of repair you want to carry out. For example, an electrician’s tape is helpful to repair electrical appliances. It is mostly used to repair broken or damaged wires.

It is a good idea to carry out small electrical repairs yourself, as you can do it in your spare time. However, if you carry out larger jobs for electrical systems, you should consider hiring a professional electrician. While you can learn basic plumbing and electrician skills from books and online tutorials, you will need to have more advanced skills in order to fix electrical systems. You can also take courses from electrical schools, or attend electrical related workshops.

The best way to find a reliable service provider is to ask your friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbors for recommendations. If none of these people can provide you with reliable service providers, you can try contacting a local electrical repair company. Most reputable electrical repair companies have their own websites which provide details about their services. You can easily find out whether the company you are contacting is a reputable one by checking their references and testimonials.

When it comes to electrical repairs, it is important to hire only a professional electrician. There are many persons who mistakenly believe that they can perform the repairs at home. Unfortunately, many persons do not have the knowledge and experience to identify the risks involved. Therefore, in order to avoid problems in the future, you should always make sure that the person who will be performing the repair is fully qualified and licensed. You should also ensure that the service provider you are considering has safety standards.

An example of a service provider that has poor safety standards is the person who performs sub panel voltage changes. While inexperienced persons may accidentally short the main panel or the sub panel’s wires, a professional electrician is qualified to handle this situation. After the sub panel’s wires are shorted, the main panel can experience damage as a result of excessive heat. You can prevent this by having a licensed electrician perform the sub panel voltage changes.

Ardmore starts £70m Mayfair mixed-use scheme

Ardmore has started a landmark mixed-use luxury redevelopment of a former NCP car park in Mayfair, west London. 

The builder has mobilised on the Carrington Street site to build 30 super-prime homes, gym and restaurant, a 2,400 sq m art gallery and 5,000 sq m of office and commercial space.

Ardmore has started main works following the completion of a demolition and enabling works package by specialist McGee.

The redevelopment designed by AHMM includes two blocks of up to eight storeys, formed in both concrete and steel frames, linked by a three-storey basement, that required 30,000 cubic metres of bulk excavation.

The blocks will be clad in a variety of traditional materials including masonry, pre-cast stone and metal.

Patrick Byrne, Ardmore Managing Director, said: “We are excited to finally start works at the Carrington Street project that will set a new quality benchmark for Mayfair. 

“Planning our delivery approach on such a challenging site has required us to bring all of our experience delivering major projects on logistically constrained sites in Westminster to develop an efficient approach to delivery that minimises disruption to local residents.”

Did you miss our previous article…

Quarterly U.S. Put-in-Place Forecast Report, Fall 2021

Two of the major themes that will be governing U.S. construction activity as the coronavirus-caused downturn recedes into legend will be electrification and decarbonization. In most ways, they are two sides of the same coin, with the former seen by many in public governance, with environmental think tanks, and even among the general populace, as the best way to achieve the latter.   

Did you miss our previous article…

Digital Builder Ep. 19: 3 Takeaways on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Construction

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) aren’t just buzzwords, and these tools are no longer reserved  for construction technologists like BIM and VDC managers. These technologies have come a long way in just a few short years and these days, they have practical use cases that owners and builders alike can benefit from at every stage of the project lifecycle. 

Angel Say, CEO and Co-Founder of Resolve, and Dr. Mani Golparvar-Fard, CTO and Co-Founder of Reconstruct Inc., join the podcast to explain what’s possible with AR and VR in construction. They also bust some myths and share practical tips on implementing AR and VR. 

Specifically, we covered:

  • How AR and VR have evolved over the last few years
  • Where these tools fit in the project lifecycle 
  • Getting started with AR and VR yourself 
  • Potential advances in the technology we may see in the near future

“It’s actually some of the less technical end users who stand to benefit the most from VR and AR.” —Angel Say

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The difference between AR and VR

Before diving into the episodes’ key takeaways, it’s worth exploring how Angel and Mani view AR and VR, particularly when used in construction. 

“When I think about these two technologies and what they represent, it really boils down to bits and atoms. Bits meaning those ones and zeros in computers, and then atoms being the building blocks of the physical world,” says Angel.

According to him, virtual reality (VR) is “all about full immersion.” You wear a device on your head, which then uses sensors and a computer to hijack your senses and make you believe you’re somewhere else. “It gives you these superpowers,” adds Angel. “I could put on a headset and teleport from my home office to an unbuilt building.”

On the other hand, augmented reality (AR) is all about “augmenting the world around you, meaning you’re taking bits and you’re overlaying them on the atoms in front of you,” says Angel. 

“And so that could be metadata about pipes that you’re looking at or it could be, ‘Hey, I want to bring a piece of equipment into my home office so that when I get to the site I know what I’m dealing with.’”

Mani weighs in, saying that AR in particular has evolved quite a bit over the past five years. 

“In the earlier days, it was all about augmenting someone’s view live. But for all kinds of practical reasons, we realized that you can also augment any form of reality capture data. If you have access to a static image from a cell phone device or if you have access to videos that are being provided from job sites and you’re augmenting that with planning information, that’s a form factor of AR.”

3 Takeaways on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Construction

After discussing the fundamentals of AR and VR, Angel and Mani shared their thoughts on the myths surrounding the two technologies, as well as how they can be applied in construction. They also discussed the steps an organization can take to implement AR and VR. 

Here are the key takeaways from the conversation.

1. AR and VR are more affordable and accessible than you think

Angel and Mani had a lot to say when asked about the common myths and misconceptions about augmented and virtual reality. 

For starters, they dispelled the Hollywood depiction of AR, which usually involves people swiping virtual elements in the air. 

“There’s a misconception that you would be able to visualize all kinds of information at the right point in time,” shares Mani. But this isn’t the case, as AR involves processing a lot of details, hosting information on the device, and filtering data. 

Angel adds, “People always talk about Minority Report as the quintessential example of augmented reality. It’s like swiping through things in the air. We’re quite a ways away from that. It looks a little different today.”

There’s also the view that AR and VR are tools that would only benefit folks working in virtual design and construction. However, this is far from the truth. 

“One common misconception that’s more industry-specific is that VR and AR are going to help BIM and VDC teams the most, and I think it’s quite the opposite. Because BIM and VDC teams spend so much time in 3D tools like Revit or Navisworks, they’re pretty good at what they do. They’re really good with 3D controls, and it’s actually some of the less technical end users who stand to benefit the most from VR and AR,” remarks Angel. 

Another myth worth busting? AR and VR are expensive. That may have been the case several years ago, but these technologies have become more accessible and far less expensive over time. 

As Angel points out, “Now you have VR headsets that are under $500, which is the cost of a tablet. Anybody can unbox it and jump into a virtual environment on their own with minimal help. And that starts to really democratize the use of the technology.”

2. Why AR and VR are a big deal in construction

AR and VR have practical applications that would benefit every stage of a project, from preconstruction all the way to handover and even building operations. 

“All of these technologies — AR, VR, AI — are really augmenting people’s workflows. This is especially true in construction because the industry has already moved towards having so much rich data in BIM, which they’re using to coordinate and produce drawings. It’s so much rich data that we can feed into these technologies to help people be more productive,” explains Angel. 

On the owner’s side, a key benefit of using AR and VR is they help mitigate the loss of information when a project is being brought to life. 

AR and VR “provide the opportunity for the owner to see the end product with a level of detail that matters to them,” explains Mani.

He states, “if we can provide the owner with an opportunity to verify the work by contrasting the scope of the work that was promised from that VR model versus the reality that they’re looking at, we have yet another opportunity to make sure owners are benefiting from it.”

These technologies can also play an important role in helping owners maintain and operate their buildings.

According to Angel, “We hear from a lot of owners that BIM assets end up on hard drives and they don’t get touched until maybe you need to hand them off to a new engineer contractor working on a retrofit. But there’s so much value that you can be tapping into [with AR and VR] even after construction.”

Angel adds that most of the teams running buildings and facilities won’t get a lot of value from BIM assets since these folks don’t specialize in Revit and Navisworks. This is where VR comes into play, as it allows users to view the information in a way that they can understand and engage with.

“With VR, you put on a headset and you can walk through a BIM file. Operators can then start to leverage that asset for procedure simulations, onboarding of the employees — and in the world of remote work — making sure people know what a site looks like before they visit. And so you really start to multiply the ROI of BIM beyond the construction lifecycle,” says Angel. 

3. How to getting started with AR and VR

Mani and Angel offered some of their top advice from organizations that want to get started with AR and VR. If you’re looking to implement these technologies in your projects, keep the following steps in mind.

1 – Determine the exact problem you’re trying to solve

Before investing in AR and VR, make sure you know your objectives and understand your end users. By getting clear on what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to figure out the role of technologies in your projects. 

2 – Assess whether you have the right type of data to tackle the problem you’re trying to solve

In order for AR and VR to work, your data needs to be able to support these technologies. 

That’s why Mani recommends conducting a self-assessment “in terms of how mature your data is” to be able to support AR and VR capabilities. “Depending on what problem you want to solve, you need to make sure your files are at a certain rate of maturity per model discipline, which is really hard to see even these days,” he adds.

3 – Set your KPIs

You need to measure the success of your AR and VR initiatives, so think about the KPIs you need to hit.

Aside from metrics that tell you whether a project is completed on time and within budget, Mani says you also need to design KPIs that measure the impact that AR and VR have on the personas using the technologies. 

“Make sure you understand how many personas are being touched by that product and data,” he says. 

4 – Acquire the right technology

The next step is to get the devices needed to power AR and VR. 

Virtual reality, in particular, requires an investment in headsets, and Angel recommends providing a headset to every stakeholder who needs it, instead of having everyone share just one or two devices.

“It’s a lot more empowering if you can buy a headset and assign it to someone even if it’s just for the length of the project. That way, when they have 20 or 30 minutes to review the model, they can jump in and do it as opposed to having to go and check it out from the IT or the BIM or VDC team,” says Angel.

In addition to headsets, you should also ensure that you have tools that will enable you to leverage your BIM assets and other project data. A common data environment (CDE) like BIM 360 or Autodesk Build can make this process easier.

5 – Run a test pilot

When you have the plans, KPIs, and tools in place, it’s time to put them to the test. Mani recommends going through an experimentation phase that involves using AR and VR in a given project and measuring the results. 

You could even work with the AR/VR vendors in designing a pilot. “Engage your team so they would help you measure performance against those KPIs,” says Mani.

6 – Develop a case study

Be sure to document everything that transpired during the testing phase and take note of the results. Use the information you’ve collected to create a case study for your company. 

“Once you have that case of study formulated, you can start sharing that and use that as an internal sales tool in your organization, to bring everyone up to speed,” says Mani

When implemented correctly, this case study can increase trust in the new technology and drive adoption. 

Listen to the Full Podcast Episode

Hopefully, the takeaways above help you better understand AR and VR and inspire you to utilize them in your projects. And if you need more info on augmented and virtual reality, listen to the full episode of Digital Builder on the following platforms:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • Google Podcasts
  • or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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