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Companies innovate for Best Use of Technology award

Technology is changing all the time and plays a major role in enhancing the services offered by many construction companies.

It can add value to what a firm offers to its clients, save money by making areas of the business more efficient, or help to improve health and safety.

The companies nominated for Best Use of Technology this year have all demonstrated this, with entries focusing either on a particular application or the use of technology across the business.

The category covers back-office technology and technology used in projects directly. However, it is about technology used in the processes of the company rather than the products it installs or includes in a project.

Manufacturers of technology were not eligible to enter by themselves; however, they could enter with a customer on the basis of a particular implementation of technology.

Judges were looking for evidence of the outcome of the use of technology and the application of R&D findings, as well as considering sustainability, value engineering and evidence of winning work on the back of the technology.

Finalists

Aggregate Industries: Bar-Tec Implementation (Aggregate Industries working with MOBA)
This system for asphalt pave processes generates and captures data through sensors on the paver, creating a precise and continuous source of information which is fed to Aggregate’s main server. Data can then be extracted within an hour of laying the material, eliminating the waste of resources, time and output.

Costain: MARIO (Mass Asset Recognition and Intelligent Optimisation)
MARIO works by capturing data via a laser scanner attached to a vehicle driving at carriageway speed on a highway. The system automatically recognises highway assets (lines, signs, columns, etc) and stores the information in a database. This can then be benchmarked, allowing assessments to be carried out in the office instead of on the highway.

Kier: Mercury 4GEE site connectivity solution
Mercury 4GEE gives sites immediate computer, video and phone connectivity back to the office. It avoids the problems of long lead times associated with traditional fixed-line communications by using a 4G router with connectivity to Kier’s core network. As a result, installation timescales have been reduced from 35 days to three days.

Laing O’Rourke: Royal Victoria Building, Edinburgh
This healthcare facility was one of the first UK buildings to have been wholly designed for manufacture and assembly. The process saved time as well as helping to resolve challenges presented by the site, with 55 per cent of the building made offsite under factory conditions. The schedule was reduced from 110 weeks to just 90 thanks to the strategy.

Reactec: HAVmeter
A significant number of occupational health conditions published by the HSE are hand arm vibration-related. The HAVmeter provides a way for companies to accurately monitor and record vibration exposure through hand contact with vibrating equipment. Accurate data can better support the implementation of HSE guidelines and has reduced incidences of HAV syndrome where implemented.

TC Harrison JCB: TaskMaster
TC Harrison sells new and used JCB machines and provides aftercare. TaskMaster has allowed the company to give individually tailored workflows to its engineers via mobile devices. This has removed paper-based systems, increased job capacity and reduced unnecessary mileage. In addition, a higher first-time fix rate has been delivered to customers.

VolkerWessels UK: Workspace Platform
A £1.5m investment in IT resulted in a customised version of Workspace, allowing VolkerWessels’ various business to all access the same system and share information and data across different locations, sites and project teams. It has provided £500,000 per year savings, as well as lowering the firm’s carbon footprint due to less paperwork.

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