Bouygues/McAlpine JV tests HS2 sequencing with AI tool

An aerial view of work on the Colne Valley viaduct (courtesy of HS2)

The Align joint venture of Bouygues/Sir Robert McAlpine/Volker Fitzpatrick is using the AI construction sequencing platform from ALICE Technologies on its HS2 contract.

Align initially turned to the ALICE platform to “pressure test” its existing construction schedule for the Colne Valley viaduct. The Align team wanted to optimise the sequence and resources to minimise cost and environmental impact.

The Align team explored a variety of scenarios to ensure they had the most robust programme of work. For example, what if the piling teams worked on Saturdays? And what if they ran additional piling teams? Align also used ALICE to explore the optimal mix of teams required on the substructure to increase the utilisation of its crews and minimise downtime for labour and equipment. 

Align identified a number of ways to introduce leeway into its original production schedule. For example, it was determined that adding a second piling team part-way through the project would be particularly helpful.

The Align team also found that ALICE enabled “significantly faster decisions” about scheduling choices.

As a result of this successful test, Align is set to use ALICE elsewhere on the C1 section of HS2 it is delivering, including optimising work to reduce carbon emissions.

“This innovation has supported collaborative planning with our subcontractors and enabled the project team to rapidly run alternative build sequences,” said Align innovation manager Nick Podevyn. “ALICE has really opened people’s eyes to the way AI can be applied to construction project management.”

Furthermore, the Align team is using ALICE Manage in the construction phase. “With ALICE Manage, we will be able to re-sequence our schedule, helping us to deliver our portion of the HS2 project on time and on budget,” Podevyn said.

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