Innovation workshop explores project delivery advancements

Picture3Envision is set for new features and improvements off the back of our team’s participation in EIC Activities’ Innovation and Collaboration workshop last week.

The two-day ‘hackathon’ involved client-side organisations including EIC Activities, CPB Contractors, CIMIC Group, Sedgman and Amec Foster Wheeler alongside technology leaders JESIi, ArcGIS, iConstruct and the Envision team – focused on areas such as design and BIM, GIS, equipment tracking and progress management.

The event was designed to showcase and create innovative technical solutions to improve the delivery of large scale construction projects.

Based around a hypothetical project scenario, we were all able to use rapid prototyping to test ideas for potential future deployment.

Key focus areas included:

  • Better connecting participating systems to avoid data duplication (such as people and equipment)
  • Identifying ways to share real-time information with other systems to provide clearer visibility of performance during construction, and visibility with 3D CAD and GIS mapping systems
  • Driving collaboration within the supply chain by breaking down system boundaries

For Envision’s role in the initiative, we established a dummy project setup with a schedule, blank tag registers representing rules of credit, people (including resources, supervision and staff) and sample template reports.

Working with complementary technology providers was a great opportunity to explore ideas that will better connect all of our systems and make them work together more seamlessly to solve problems.

Envision’s clients will gain the benefit of improved data richness, with key potential developments including:

  • Achieving tighter integration with GIS and BIM systems
  • Integrating with people logistics and journey management systems
  • Tracking equipment locations using low cost tracking sensors
  • Using GIS spatial location data to filter Activities and Events.

Hackathon kick-starts integration innovations

In April 2015, Ennova hosted a Hackathon with Leighton ContractorsQGCiConstructTracBase and iCURO to explore new innovations that would enable seamless integration between applications and a much better experience for projects through automation. As a group, by improving integration and information flow between applications, we can give project teams the benefit of far greater simplicity, speed and accessibility on a day-to-day basis.

During the Hackathon, we looked at a number of proof-of-concept projects. Some of these have already been developed and released while others are planned for future release through our ongoing roadmap.

Key projects

  • Integration across the iConstruct BIM engineering model, TracBase materials management system and Envision to keep tagged items in sync and reduce the time and effort required to transfer data between these systems using automated links, including:
    • Populating tagged item registers in Envision directly from the model using iConstruct
    • Updating tagged item progress in Envision using iConstruct and TracBase
    • Updating progress in iConstruct and TracBase using the progress stored in Envision
  • Enhancements to progress recording in Envision to support linear projects
  • GIS integration
  • People management

“The Hackathon allowed us to quickly identify where our two systems needed to integrate and to get a demo-ready system working within two days, as opposed to what might have otherwise taken two weeks. The end users’ reactions when they saw the advantage of the integration, compared with their existing systems, was well worth the effort from our team and should be a real benefit for iCURO and Envision in the future.”

Daniel Bradley, iCURO

“We all provide different and unique services. However, gone are the days when we can work in silos. Clients are now expecting us, as contractors, to work together to solve their problems – and in the end it benefits all of us. Thank you Ennova for taking the initiative to collaborate this way, and to Eng Co for their strong input. I enjoyed spending a few days with your team and the result will, no doubt, provide more robust and user-friendly solutions. We are looking forward to cementing these relationships further.”

Johnny Gervoe, GP Systems (TracBase)

“iConstruct is always striving to be at the forefront of innovation in BIM. The opportunity to integrate with Envision ties directly to our strategy of making BIM more accessible. The two systems are a perfect match. Most of our users link their models to their own databases or spreadsheets, but the ability to leverage a system as comprehensive and powerful as Envision takes things to the next level. The Hackathon was just the beginning. Having key stakeholders and technical experts in the various fields there meant we achieved a lot in two days. It certainly broadened my horizons and I look forward to the next Hackathon. I see some real opportunities for groundbreaking innovations in the near future and look forward to working closer with the team at Ennova.”

Rob Lawson, PDC (iConstruct)