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Customer Spotlight

Nature Positive and Net-Zero Construction, Part 2

By Matthew Desmond, President of AGTEK

Working together, Heavy Construction companies can dramatically cut industry waste. To do this we need to better leverage the technology and data we have at our disposal. The world is creating more and more data. But this data cannot live in a silo and most of the data captured goes unused today.

Data needs to empower workflows, enable people, and take care of tasks that are dangerous and dusty and deserve to be automated. In construction, there are a lot of these tasks.

Hexagon’s unique capability consists in locating anything, anywhere, and provides the foundation for endless optimization and feedback loops. Where is something today? Where should it be tomorrow? What workflow will get this there? Has it been moved as planned, budgeted, on time, and on spec?

We call this leveraging of data, a smart digital reality with a feedback loop between the real world and the digital world. To achieve this, we must implement tools like:

Reality Capture technologies that enable the digital capture of the physical world (distance, objects, sites, 3D environments)

Positioning technologies that enable the location, tracking, navigation, and/or control of anything, anywhere

Design and simulation technologies that enable the design and replication of real-world scenarios in virtual environments

Location Intelligence technologies that enable active, geo-referenced intelligence of real-world situations

Autonomous technologies that enable automation of any task, workflow, machine, or decision – which enables action without human intervention

Spotlight Nature Positive

Automation does not replace people-it reimagines roles and functions. It promotes empowerment and opportunity and helps to see the unseen earlier.

For these technologies to become commonplace on-site they need to be easy to use, adopt, and deploy, and have the goal of minimizing waste throughout construction. In leveraging technology, we aim to avoid mistakes, rework, and waste and strive to complete projects as efficiently as possible. And within construction, optimization and waste reduction can come before construction starts in planning and estimating; during construction; and after construction.

Spotlight Nature Positive

The starting point is often when the bidding sets up the baseline for a project to measure its performance against; but it also creates an opportunity for differentiation in value engineering to win more work and have it completed more sustainably via the quantification and optimization of all lengths, areas, counts, and volumes required pre-bid to help understand costs and risks before a project is awarded. Once the job is won, the same tools can be used to build machine and grade control models before breaking ground to make sure the equipment works efficiently.

During construction, production is monitored using survey data from drones, scanners, machine control as-builts, or via traditional survey techniques and equipment can be monitored to ensure efficiencies. Some examples of where we can minimize waste through value engineering:

• Utilizing simulation and haul planning to assess the most efficient way to move the material ONCE

• Minimizing haul distance and rehandle

• Assessing different equipment scenarios (scraper vs. excavators)

• Reducing equipment hours, man hours, and CO2 burn

While balancing site earthworks:

• Minimizing import /export and any stockpiling

• Understanding drainage requirements

• Understanding shrink/swell

• Monitoring projects as they unfold

In underground work:

• Optimizing when to cut trenches- subgrade or stripped

• Understanding trench detail, benching and strata-stepped, slopped, boxes; optimizing backfill

• Uncovering conflicts before getting to the field- 80% of plans have design conflicts

Spotlight Nature Positive

There’s no end to the processes that can be made more efficient, effective, and greener using the latest construction technology. AGTEK and Hexagon will continue to work to bring you dirt simple solutions to make our industry, and our earth, a little greener.


Want to learn more? Contact us and we will be happy to help.