We encourage our people to think outside the box and empower them to develop their ideas. In 2018 we launched Eureka! – a research and development fund which provides the resources, financial backing and support to help turn our peoples’ great ideas into reality.
One of the first successful applications was for the purchase of a robotic exoskeleton from the United States, designed to support workers’ arms during lifting. Deployed on the Cardiff West Community High School Project and the first to be used in the construction industry in the UK, the EksoVest is now helping to improve productivity and prevent injuries and fatigue.
An Eksovest trial was one of the first successful applications to our new Eureka! fund
Our new office in Snow Hill, Birmingham, came complete with a ‘BIM Cave’ – a dedicated space where our teams, partners and customers can view their project design to get a deeper understanding of their building.
Our BIM cave, where project designs are brought to life, has sparked a lot of interest among customers and consultants.
We have been trialling new software that allows us to use a smartphone to merge the real and virtual worlds. Through the use of augmented reality, the ‘Dalux Field’ app allows our people to visualise our construction intent and check for and address any issues as work proceeds.
The Yellow Book design manual
We launched our Yellow Book online. The Yellow Book is our manual for efficient design, developed to enable our people, supply chain partners, customers and designers to access proven design choices, products and components for their projects. The Yellow Book is constantly updated to capture lessons learned from every project we work on, helping to secure a right-first-time culture and deliver the perfect product.
Since 2010 we have launched a number of pre-designed solutions to help meet our customers’ need for more time and cost certainty on their projects.
Our most recent solution, Sunesis Mosaic, is a pre-designed kit of parts for primary schools, utilising 77 standardised factory-built modular components, to provide complete flexibility over design.
Monksmoor Park Primary School in Daventry was built using the Sunesis model – and took just 38 weeks to complete from start of work.
Our team constructing the Nexus Training and Production facility for the aviation industry, near Gatwick airport, was the first to power a large proportion of the site using on-site generated renewable solar PV energy. To minimise energy requirements, the team improved the positioning and air tightness of the cabins, installed efficient heating and lighting systems, timing units and an innovative drying room alternative, complete with timer-controlled heater, dehumidifier and fan.
The team realised early on that to go off-grid, it is essential to reduce both energy losses from our cabins and energy usage to the minimum before attempting to use renewables. This meant changing the behaviour of people using the cabins. Through preparation, the cabins energy demand reduced by 50% in comparison to a standard site cabin.
While cost constraints meant that it was not possible to go all the way to zero carbon, the team went above and beyond by not accepting the normal site set up, and by challenging their supply chain partners with a high-level aim. The data from this project will inform our future approach to site set-up with our supply chain.
In 2018 we started re-building our IT services to provide a more sustainable infrastructure, use the data we collect more efficiently and enable our people to work flexibly.
We have integrated our existing systems for gathering data to make the most of the intelligence we collect. We invested in data analytics with a single cloud-based toolset Microsoft PowerBI, which will be fully adopted in 2019.
We launched a number of initiatives to streamline our processes, easing administrative burden on our people. These included a new supply chain database, online payslips and electronic expenses. In 2018 we continued to develop MyLearning, our digital learning system, which enables our people to take ownership of their development and access the training they need.
We’ve invested in technology and hardware to ensure that our people can collaborate without unnecessary travel, and create an inclusive and flexible business environment. Our communication technology is also enabling us to widen our talent pool, providing more opportunities to build diversity into our workforce.
To underpin all this, we’ve moved from in-house data centres to cloud-based computing. Our aim is to move all of our business systems to cloud-based technology over the coming 2-3 years.
|Our early adopters are delighted with their new kit!|