How BKwai’s data science and engineering expertise is helping contractors gain a competitive advantage.
Written by Marisa Figueiredo, Head of Data Science at BKwai
There has never been more data available to the construction and infrastructure industry for monitoring the built environment.
Satellites, sensors, environmental monitors and more are generating an abundance of high-quality data with the potential to be used to make smarter, safer, sustainable and efficient decisions across all aspects of the construction process.
But without the technology to harness this data, little of it is translated into value on site during procurement and construction.
Without a way to speedily extract salient insights from the overwhelming amount of data available, decisions are made using the same, often manual processes that they always have been.
Neither productivity nor profitability can be maximised when this is the case.
Potential savings from data analytics and related technologies may amount to as much as 10 to 15% of total construction costs, according to a report by Deloitte.
At a time when the construction and infrastructure industry’s margins are eroded (to just 3% in European companies), data science’s ability to minimise costs while meeting timelines and quality and security requirements can make a significant impact on profits.
BKwai’s proprietary technology uses machine learning and advanced analytics to empower engineers with intelligent insights and analysis from relevant and actionable data, be it from sensors, satellites, environmental monitors or elsewhere.
It uses thousands of sensor readings on site and collects satellite readings and images along with environmental and other high-volume data streams at high sampling rates.
Engineers can use these insights, presented on a single portal, to rapidly form a detailed and accurate understanding of how site activities are impacting the condition of monitored structures and spot on-site issues before they arise.
The benefits are numerous:
- It is easier for contractors to overcome safety concerns.
- Staff time is used more efficiently as engineers no longer need to delve through thousands or tens of thousands of lines of data looking for patterns.
- Fewer site inspections are needed.
- Issues are spotted before they become a problem, allowing project plans to stay on track.
- Projects are less likely to be delayed as a result of unexpected issues needing to be rectified.
- The costs of schedule overruns are reduced.
How BKwai is reducing costs for asset owners and construction companies
Predict risks and increase safety
Engineers working on the construction of a super sewer in an area prone to flooding are using the BKwai platform to help forecast flooding.
Real-time weather forecasts helped predict, with far more accuracy, events such as localised storms that cause the site to flood and avoid the costs and dangers of sudden evacuations.
It is now possible to predict weir levels and issue early warnings when a critical water level will be reached. As a result, site teams can make informed decisions about accessing the site, rather than having to react swiftly to flooding.
Previously, workers and equipment had to be rapidly evacuated from a 41m deep shaft whenever the site flooded – a huge inefficiency and a safety risk.
Spot issues before they become a problem
Engineers working on the construction of a major shopping centre within a four-storey Grade II-listed facade are using the BKwai platform to monitor movement of the protected assets.
Even the slightest movement is detected quickly, long before it would be spotted otherwise, helping protect the historic facade and surrounding buildings.
Disruption and delay to the normal operation of the construction site is avoided by reducing the need for unexpected surveys or urgent unplanned works.
The platform also visualises how the structures are changing over time, so engineers can predict how they will behave in the future.
As the BKwai platform brings in sensor data from many brands and types of sensors, engineers can use just one software platform to view and compare data from multiple sources.
The platform also aggregates the data, providing visualisations engineers use to rapidly home in on the specific data sets they need to look at, rather than delve into endless spreadsheets.
As a result, highly trained and expensive engineers spend more time making data-based decisions and less time searching for issues.
This leads to reduced costs, greater efficiencies and increased worker safety.
Save on procurement and reduce carbon emissions
When the largest environmental cost of a structure is replacing it, extending its lifespan maximises the value of the initial investment and the carbon impact of its construction.
InSAR satellite data and the BKwai platform are being used to show how a bridge and the surrounding landscape have been moving over the past 5 years.
Engineers are able to ascertain that the movement seen in the structure does not need to be addressed as the same movement occurs every year.
This insight meant remedial work to keep the bridge operational could be minimised.
The asset owners saved tonnes of additional concrete and steel, hundreds of thousands of pounds of site expenses, and reduced their carbon footprint.
To find out how BKwai can enable you to make smarter construction and asset monitoring decisions please contact us