C+S September 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 9 (web)

Today, Bentley users are advancing infrastructure, driving the indus - try’s evolution from its origins of 2D drawings and reports, through 3D models, visualization, BIM processes and standards, to the point where digital twins, driven by data that improves business outcomes, will fast become common place. At Bentley we believe that digital twins are the next big digital disrup - tion in our industry, and through the examples shared, I hope you see that they aren’t the stuff of science fiction. Digital twins really do exist,

and are already helping to save Bentley users time, money, and effort. Helping to reduce risk, increase productivity, and improve the quality, resilience, and sustainability of the assets being designed, built, oper - ated, and maintained. Through infrastructure digital twins, the future of transportation is being reimagined by our users today, to deliver a better tomorrow for everyone.

Systems thinking must be at the heart of this rapid evolution of tech - nology, particularly for large scale infrastructure projects. The importance of systems thinking As Andrew McNaughton states in his report it is systems, which are often automated, interdependent, and reliant on technology, rather than structures, which provide the services such as mobility, sanitation, and energy we all rely on. Increasingly, major new or expanded infrastructure services, such as transport or clean energy, are delivered by complex projects bringing together physical assets, technology, and digital information such as a Building Information Model (BIM) or a digital twin. While these new technologies are enabling new possibilities to improve the delivery and operation of infrastructure, the leadership and delivery model lags behind the evolution, with traditionally trained engineers continuing to use established construction methods. This means that projects are often delivered beyond schedule and far exceeding the costs estimate. Instead, the industry should be putting high-quality, up to the minute data at the heart of projects, enabling a more agile leadership to control complex projects. Controlling costs According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), at the end of May, the number of construction firms reporting higher than normal cost increases hit a new high. More than two in five (44 percent) firms surveyed said they had seen their costs rise more than normal in the two weeks to May 30th. Imported materials, which make up a quarter of all materials used by the UK construction industry, have seen the biggest price increases, with imported timber and steel seeing double digit inflation. Material shortages are also compounding the problem and pushes prices even

The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) recently warned that the current approach to delivering complex infrastructure projects is at risk of becoming dangerously antiquated as the sector struggles to deal with increasingly complex systems. Here Carol Massay, head of construc - tion at The Access Group, explains how the ongoing digitisation of civil construction and a new approach to working practises can help to revolutionise large-scale infrastructure projects. The findings of phase one of an ICE-commissioned review, following a number of high-profile infrastructure projects suffering from severe delays and spiralling costs, made for grim reading for the industry. In the report, Andrew McNaughton, chair of the Review Steering Group, warned that “it is abundantly clear that continuing as we are is not an option.” The report amounts to a rallying cry for the sector which, according to the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) is one of the world’s least digitised sectors, particularly in Europe. The massive variety of requirements across different projects, limited budgets, and remote nature of projects present challenges around im - plementing digital technology at scale. However, the huge number of stakeholders, from estimators, to contractors, to designers, mean that the speed of digital transformation must increase for the industry to keep pace with demand. DIGITIZATION: BRINGING SYSTEMS THINKING TO INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS By Carol Massay


september 2021


Made with FlippingBook Annual report