BIM in 2021: ISG’s Yoanna Ruseva

Yoanna Ruseva, BIM manager at ISG, predicts the use of helmet-mounted camera technology will be around in the industry long after the pandemic has been defeated, but warns of the need for a rigorous approach towards data capture.

What in your view changed in terms of use of digital in construction and design in 2020?

The global pandemic has proved the catalyst for the widespread adoption of digital technology across the construction sector, and I believe we have finally broken through many of the barriers preventing widespread implementation of technology that holds back our industry. As a result of the necessity of using digital collaboration tools to enable continuity of operations, I think we have reduced the gap between trailblazing Tier 1s and the multiple tiers of the supply chain.

In fact, our direct experience has suggested that many smaller and newer suppliers have risen to the challenge of digitalisation in a more agile and dynamic manner than larger and more established counterparts. This suggests that 2020 might help level up the knowledge and capability gap that was starting to widen pre-pandemic.

For ISG, 2020 has definitely been the year to push the envelope on the capabilities of laser scanning. We’re all very familiar with the concept of using lasers to accurately record 3D point cloud information, but we are now well underway with trialling systems across our business to laser project model data live on our sites to enhance accuracy and validation. Our ability to accurately map projects is essential as we work towards increasing modularisation and offsite construction methodologies to deliver more efficiently and eliminate waste

What technologies do you see coming into their own in 2021 – and why?

The increasing use of helmet-mounted camera technology is something we recognise has longevity within our industry – long after the pandemic has been defeated. Our ability to take our clients and consultants on a virtual tour of projects from the comfort of their own homes/offices has profound implications for transparency, trust and confidence – as well as providing operational efficiencies and sustainability benefits by eliminating frequent site visits. We can also take this technology further by importing daily/weekly visual records into our 3D models to validate progress and delivery quality standards.

What are you looking forward to trialling/ bringing on board in the coming 12 months?

Looking forward, as an industry we need to be investing more time and resource into training and upskilling so we can effectively model and design for manufacture to support the growing drive towards modularisation and offsite production.

There is a core focus within ISG on project controls and predictive modelling to mitigate programme delays. By integrating programme and commissioning data into our BIM models, we unleash the potential for real-time programme validation through augmented reality at site operative level, or at a more automated level through drone technology.

One of the most important elements that we must not lose sight of is a rigorous approach towards data capture and project controls to ensure that we maintain a golden thread of information. Whether through blockchain, or proprietary software solutions, we need to ensure that we have those robust mechanisms in place for accurately documenting project and programme changes that now propagate instantly through our interconnected project universe.

Must-have app:

Revizto cloud-based viewer tool: a brilliant way of tracking project progress in a simple and easy to navigate platform

One to watch:

OpenSpace/HoloBuilder: I’m excited to see how these image capture technologies evolve and integrate with other platforms to further push the boundaries of democratising the construction process to non-specialists.

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