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Tue May 17 2022

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BIM-ready McAlpine arms troops with hand-held AR

26 Mar 19 All workers at Sir Robert McAlpine can now access 3D construction models from their smartphone and tablet while working on-site.

The Dalux BIM mobile technology
The Dalux BIM mobile technology

The ability to use augmented reality as well as see live drawings leads managers to expect the building information modelling (BIM) technology to be widely and enthusiastically exploited on site.

After testing on approximately 20 construction sites, Sir Robert McAlpine is now fully implementing Dalux BIM across all projects to enable access to linked construction drawings with combined models through use on mobile devices.

The purpose of Dalux BIM is to help construction workers understand and view architects and engineers intended design when on-site, minimising the risk of errors and improving clarity compared to the traditional approach of paper drawings.

Dalus says that eight of the 20 largest contractors in the UK now use its rechnology.

Nick Leach, McAlpine’s strategic BIM manager, said: “It fulfils a need required in our business for easily accessing construction models outside on site through handheld devices. It’s ability to be agile and simple to use has already seen champions across multiple roles see the added value and we feel most of our teams will be using it regularly as business as usual, within the next six months – especially with our business mandate of BIM-use across all projects.

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“The next steps in our evolution of its use will be when our project teams get to see how well the integration of the 3D model with the Augmented Reality functionality performs, and I predict we will see high levels of uptake and enthusiasm in its increased importance and adoption.

“It will enable understanding and communication of the design in relation to the real-world state on site and provide an excellent visual means in supporting validation of the build process – both what is to be built and what has been installed in comparison to the intended design.”

Senior design manager Tony Huntrod was working on the construction of Newcastle University’s new £21m Learning & Teaching Centre when he was introduced to Dalux. “I remember how easy and intuitive it was to use the first time,” he said. “It is one of the programs I now load up every morning and use throughout the day. It has already helped me to discover several items on-site that were not installed as modelled.”

Trainee engineer Matthew Hartley said that the new tool leads to a better build. “It allows me to use the 3D model on my tablet while I am on site,” he said. “This makes it easier to understand the build-up of different elements and components. On-site I can show the subcontractors the exact location and build-up in 3D, without having to go back to the site office to use my laptop. It saves time and leads to a better and safer build.”

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