Ferrovial Construction has developed many landmark projects around the world, and digitalization is playing a key role in such emblematic infrastructure projects as the Silvertown tunnel and Sydney Metro. These are just a few examples of the “Connected Construction Site”, a trend that is transforming the industry and the business. New methodologies, technologies and tools are increasingly being adopted to improve productivity, efficiency and operational performance in building projects.
Connectedness is the new trend in construction, with widespread use of BIM (Building Information Modeling), advances in virtual reality and augmented reality, the widespread use of drones, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensorization, robotics and artificial intelligence.
In this context, how is Ferrovial Construction addressing the challenging cultural change brought about by the digital transformation? The answer lies in its human capital as its main asset, in addition to a solid strategy to lead this trend, reflected in the real-world application of digital solutions in projects under way and in development around the world, hand in hand with the Digital Hub.
INNOVATION ON THE GROUND
The Silvertown project and the Banco Santander headquarters are examples of projects in which digitalization and BIM were deployed to the utmost and proved indispensable for managing operations on site and interactions with all the players involved.
Mobility solutions for site teams make it possible to digitalize progress monitoring, resource and machinery oversight, documentation, and approval flows. These tools are widely used by Webber and are currently being implemented in other geographies and divisions of Ferrovial Construction.
Artificial intelligence is being used from the initial bidding phases and has been deployed in more than twenty projects, such as the I-35 in San Antonio and Sydney Metro. It serves to optimize the calculation of cost changes and minimize the risk associated with inflation in material prices and labor utilization. All this is made possible with the help of Cost Projections, a platform that uses more than 40 statistical and predictive models to predict indexes automatically.
That technology makes it possible to optimize the calculations and simulations performed when designing infrastructures, through the use of generative design solutions based on complex multivariable models, which have been deployed successfully in Energy Infrastructure projects.
Another advance is real-time monitoring of project execution and resources with IoT and machine vision solutions. This technology is being used increasingly by Ferrovial Construction, Budimex and Webber to automate manual tasks and improve safety. This is the case of Ferrovial Earthworks, which monitors and analyzes earthworks using plug & play IoT devices attached to machinery; this technology has already been deployed in Spain, the United States and Chile, and will be rolled out in new projects over the coming months. Webber also uses drones with artificial intelligence for image recognition to track progress in road infrastructure projects.
The Silvertown tunnel project is pioneering the use of 5G technology in partnership with Nokia. A high-performance private wireless network enables on-site data management and processing to support real-time applications. This improves wireless connectivity in the tunnel as well as on-site communications, perimeter access management, environmental monitoring and visualization of construction progress in real time.
These are just some of the many examples of the “Connected Construction Site” and the implementation of technical innovations by Ferrovial Construction around the world. These digital solutions with real-world applications improve and facilitate project execution and place Ferrovial at the forefront of innovation.