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Skanska team develops AI estimation tool for HS2

14 September 2020

An AI-enabled carbon and cost estimating solution developed by a Skanska team is being trialled on HS2 sites managed by the Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture.

Using the AI tool, the BIM processes are automated so that different design options can be simulated using different types and quantities of construction materials. This means carbon emissions and environmental impacts of construction can be visualised, measured and compared, resulting in the design of a more environmentally friendly solution, according to HS2 Limited.

Further benefits include “shorter pre-construction phases, reduced project management costs”.

The new solution, which is being developed by Skanska as part of a project funded by Innovate UK, will replace the current method of manually measuring 3D drawings, and will assist the design process in reducing carbon emissions throughout the life of a built asset.

Skanska UK is leading the project, working with software developer Nomitech, design consultant Mott MacDonald, the Manufacturing Technology Centre and HS2.

Sonia Zahiroddiny, head of digital engineering on HS2, said: "HS2 is a project designed to support the UK’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy, so we’re extremely pleased that we can provide a live construction environment for the practical application of this new AI-enabled app.

"Innovation is at the heart of our drive to reduce carbon, and this ground-breaking solution will enable us to realise immediate efficiencies across phase one of the project, as well as building it into phase two. We will also play our role in disseminating the new app to the wider industry in order to achieve cultural change across the sector to help meet the UK’s carbon emission targets."

Vaibhav Tyagi, head of innovation at Skanska, said: "This is a fantastic example of how an innovative mind-set can lead to solutions that address climate change. Investing in innovation is essential to produce great ideas like this. Innovation and digital integration are critical to reduce carbon and work towards net-zero emissions."

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