The ACCEPT project is a research & innovation initiative funded by the EU’S Horizon 2020 programme, comprising 11 organisations which have been working towards the development of a suite of 3 Apps aimed at reducing the ‘performance gap’ while improving the overall quality and knowledge transfer on construction sites.
Its findings and developments will be presented for the first time at DCW in October as part of a fully interactive exhibit where visitors will be able to try out the pioneering tech for themselves. Here the project is explained in more detail to DCN…
Innovation: ACCEPT the future is coming
The ACCEPT project is nearing the end of its research and innovation programme which has the aim of bridging the gap between what we design and what we build by addressing construction related issues. Industry will now be able to hear more about this ambitious target and the innovative technologies being developed to achieve it, at Digital Construction Week this October at London’s ExCeL.
The ACCEPT system has been built from the ground up with industry challenges in the fore evaluated with the assistance of various stakeholders in the construction industry across 4 European countries. This approach means that the innovation is targeted and appropriate for use on construction sites to address performance gap evaluating and using a number of technologies within its research programme, including smart glasses, tablets, and sensors.
The performance gap is the well documented variation between the design and as-built energy performance of buildings. This is a wide ranging and complex issue covering the way that buildings are designed, modeled, built, commissioned and occupied with most of the focus of research and innovation going to the design and occupation ends of the scale. ACCEPT, however, seeks to focus on what can be done during the construction and commissioning phases of a project. There are a number of issues present that have been identified:
- Poor product substitution without consideration of energy performance
- Poor installation of fabric
- Poor installation or commissioning of services
- Lack of site team energy performance knowledge and skills
- Lack of adequate energy performance related QA on site
ACCEPT aims to tackle these issues on the ground on a construction site by providing a suite of applications that aim to improve knowledge transfer, project coordination, and quality assurance during the construction process.
Knowledge is Power
In a modern construction site, trades are usually segregated and highly specialized knowing only what they think they need to know to do their job. But do they need to know more, does an electrician need to know where the ventilation duct runs are designed to be installed?
Often times, when presented with a blank space, the first trade will fill it with their trade (wires, ventilation etc) in the easiest fit for them, but what happens when the second trade comes along and duct runs have to be altered to account for space left after the wiring. This simple change could have an impact on the energy use through inefficient layouts and have a lasting impact on the efficiency of the ventilation and heating systems. What is worse is that if this occurs, this may quickly become covered up and the error lost forever.
Using ACCEPT with BIM Explorer, powered by the innovative technology, google Tango on the first consumer Tango device, the BIM model can be accessed in the real world overlaid 1:1 with reality
The solution to this is to increase knowledge available to workers, this isn’t about teaching construction worker to suck proverbial eggs, but to enable workers to access relevance information at the right time in the right place. ACCEPT provides a couple of mechanisms to enable this transference of knowledge. Using ACCEPT with BIM Explorer, powered by the innovative technology, google Tango on the first consumer Tango device, the BIM model can be accessed in the real world overlaid 1:1 with reality. This means that construction workers get the benefit of the fully clash detected and federated model on site where they need it. Also because it is a live system, the model will be up to date given workers the correct information at the right time. No more out of date prints on site and the electrician can see where the wires are intended to go without any guess work. But ACCEPT does more than bringing 3D models to the construction site, it links the project information inherently into BIM objects. This means that location data, drawings, installation instructions, and much more can be accessed by the worker in situ. The use of smart glasses through the ACCEPT Construction Operative App (CoOpApp) can mean that this information can not only be accessed on site but also hands free meaning information can be accessed whilst the operative is completing their task.
Does the Left Hand know what the Right is Doing?
ACCEPT has conducted research into the ways in which construction sites are managed and attitudes towards site management. Generally it was found that site management are highly competent but processes are managed in the head rather than through programmers or paper based systems. On smaller sites this may work ok, but with a large and increasing number of variables on a modern construction site, it does potentially lead to a number of issues, including succession planning, human error and inappropriate resourcing.
The ACCEPT system can also bring in data from connected sensors to automatically augment workflows, for example a concrete curing algorithm being developed for ACCEPT has the potential to allow work to progress earlier then currently allowed improving the efficiency of the worksite
ACCEPT is looking to digitalize the site management workstreams. It does this through the Site Managers App (SiMaApp), which has been developed to be used on mobile platforms including tablets and mobile phones. The SiMaApp allows site managers to generate scheduling data from the BIM model integrating the construction process with the design. This has several advantages as it allows distribution of tasks through the ACCEPT system, meaning the construction workers using the BIM explorer or CoOpApp can actively feed data into the system. By logging their active tasks as completed, the SiMaApp is updated, meaning that successive tasks are automatically opened and KPIs for tasks including productivity can be assessed. The ACCEPT system can also bring in data from connected sensors to automatically augment workflows, for example a concrete curing algorithm being developed for ACCEPT has the potential to allow work to progress earlier then currently allowed improving the efficiency of the worksite.
Doing it right… first time!
Short term fixes, botches, lack of designer input at site stage and the lack of the sense of responsibility on the construction site are all factors which may contribute to buildings not being built to the standards expected.
To ensure that buildings are built in the way intended, ACCEPT introduces a Quality Assurance protocol which ensures that things that can be hidden through the process, are not. Through integration into the workflow process, QA checklists including project or client specific checklists, or legal/statutory checklists are incorporated at critical components and at key points in the construction process ensuring that elements are completed to the required standards. In addition, tick box cultures are tackled by requiring the use of photographic or point cloud scans as a permanent record giving a lasting record of the build. What is more the ACCEPT Dashboard, allows all stakeholder in the project including designers and the client, to keep track of progress including the QA Checklists giving them confidence that the building is completed as designed.
ACCEPT will be at Digital Construction week showcasing an interactive stand which will demonstrate how these ideas and technology bear out in reality. Visitors are invited to try out the tech and see if they are ready to ACCEPT the future. Register for a free ticket at www.digitalconstructionweek.com
- The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 636895