How can technology enable Building Services performance?
Monday 17th January 2022
The benefits of technology are clear to see; not only is it increasing collaboration and productivity, digital solutions are improving visibility and transparency across construction projects. Carl Brunger from leading creator of sustainable commercial buildings, Polypipe Building Services lists the benefits of technology and highlights the positive difference technology is making to its sector.
Digital is king
The difference digital solutions can make to the construction industry are numerous. According to an article published in BIM+, technology can have a hugely positive impact on the industry’s productivity and efficiency levels, safety, and profitability. In non-residential construction, 10 years of full-scale digitalisation could save up to $1.2trn in the design, engineering and construction phases, and $0.5 trn in the operations phase.
For manufacturers in particular the benefits are significant, especially in terms of project delivery and speed, and the quality and accuracy of products produced. Here at Polypipe Building Services, technology is ensuring that the products we make are of the highest quality, a key area of focus in the industry.
Quality is only going to get more crucial as the likes of the Building Safety Bill gains momentum. One of the main elements of the bill is the Building Safety Regulator, which is designed to implement and oversee a stringent regime for higher-risk buildings and drive improvements in building safety and performance standards in all buildings.
The Golden Thread of Information will be a pillar of this bill, with the regulator seeking a clear trail of accurate, up-to-date building data to check its safety. This in turn is set to increase transparency and accountability in the sector.
With this in mind, the importance of information cannot be overstated. The advantage of the digital world is that companies can pull information all into one BIM model so it is there from the get-go. In the next few years, clear concise and easy data management will be fundamental for manufacturers, including Polypipe Building Services.
What is Polypipe Building Services doing?
At Polypipe Building Services we have implemented approaches that ensures information can be made more visible. As stated, from a manufacturing point of view this is key.
We have a group initiative that enables us to agree what our BIM standpoint is to make sure we are aligned with the rest of the industry and ensure we innovate. We also have a manual which guides the group as to the things we want to achieve and what we should be following with regards to the standards. These approaches essentially make sure we are the best we can be.
To further assure quality, Polypipe Building Services does as much as we can in-house. One of the key problems in the BIM world is outsourcing, as the guarantee and quality are compromised both in terms of process and product. This in-house control means we know exactly what the customer and project is. It also gives us clear visibility of our products within that model. This feeds back into assuring that all-important Golden Thread of Information.
Furthermore, our MecFlow system has been produced under the BIM Kitemark, an accreditation which ensures that our digital content meets regulations. We also utilise digital laser scanning onsite for our components to ensure we can scan products and compare it to digital models. This allows us to take that physical information and put it back into the digital world for customers to use. The scans ensure that we are producing the right products that were specified.
Digital solutions are having a significant impact on quality control in the construction industry. For manufacturers, the visibility that the likes of BIM enable, means that our products can be traced throughout a building’s lifecycle to assure traceability and in-turn, safety. These are crucial assurances if we are going to make construction and the built environment better for all.
By Carl Brunger, Building Services BIM Manager at Polypipe Building Services