News

360-degree site progress tool helps Ringway Jacobs deliver TfL fire project

5 October 2020

Ringway Jacobs’ on-time and under-budget delivery of a complex fire protection project for Transport for London at London’s Victoria coach station was aided by digital technology, its contract director Chris Goodacre told delegates at last week’s Digital Construction Summit.

On the project, Ringway Jacobs used Oculo’s site progress tracking tool that sees workers clip a 360-degree camera to their hard hats while they take a designated daily route through the site to build up a full digital record of progress (typical image capture above).

The technology allowed the Ringway Jacobs team to conduct site inspections remotely and point out hazards or problems, as well as building up a record of as-built information as the project progressed. The Oculo system also contains a ‘time machine’ function that allows employees associated with the project to revisit how work looked at a particular point in time.

Goodacre said: "Ringway Jacobs has positioned itself as a digital disruptor within the highways sector. While Covid has been a driver to change, we were moving to virtual ways of working and different technology prior to lockdown. In London, the need for a system like Oculo was more driven by considerations like efficiencies."

He said the system brought several benefits, including reducing the requirement to travel to site and the associated time and costs involved, as well as enhancing worker wellbeing.

Goodacre added: "Traditionally, you would visit site and take progress photos or take site audits. With this product, you have a platform where in any point in time you can take a look at the trajectory of a project. You can share this. I think as contractors we need to be visible in what we are doing and this platform provides that real transparency in what you do."

He also claimed that it made the production of site documentation ten times faster because only one person had to walk through a site with a camera before everyone then had access to the information.

Commenting on the importance of digital tools, particularly during the pandemic, Trevor Hardy, principal engineering lead at Transport for London (TfL), said: "It has not been a quick and easy journey [to adopt the golden thread]. Full BIM adoption is still a long way away and we are not really where I think we would all like to be.

"Some of this technology has been very useful for restarting sites [after the coronavirus lockdown]. We already have a wealth of data and it is about making that data accessible to people who need it."

Meanwhile, Wojtek Szymczak, co-founder and COO of Oculo, reassured delegates that the Oculo system blurs out any faces of individuals photographed during site walk-arounds with the 360-degree camera, thus ddressing privacy concerns.

He added: "It seems like many industries have moved into remote ways of working. Until a few months ago it was less clear what that could mean for construction, and we hope that with the benefit of 360-degree pictures and 5G coming to us that this will really enable a much faster and more streamlined collaboration with [construction project] stakeholders." 

Watch the webinar on demand: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sM49oolxS3eQLhOAQKPM0A