AI solution trialled on HS2 project

Press release 14/12/2020 12:00 CET

An artificial intelligence (AI) solution which will cut carbon emissions trialled on HS2 Main Works contract.

An artificial intelligence (AI) solution which will cut carbon emissions trialled on HS2 Main Works contract

A new carbon and cost estimating solution, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), is being trialled on a number of HS2 sites managed by our Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture.

Using the AI tool, the building information modelling (BIM) processes are automated so that a range of design options can be simulated using different types and quantities of construction materials - replacing the current method of manually measuring 3D drawings. This means carbon emissions and environmental impacts of construction can be visualised, more precisely measured and compared, resulting in the design of a more environmentally friendly solution.

The results will deliver carbon and cost savings across the whole construction sector as the tool will enable projects to leverage the full benefits of BIM and empower teams to design for cost and carbon efficiency. It will lead to shorter pre-construction phases, reduced project management costs, greater visibility of carbon emissions and overall improved cost and carbon control. These are all key considerations for our customer HS2. The project will also develop industry best practice for estimation and cost management.

We’re working on the project with software developer Nomitech, design consultant Mott MacDonald, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC Data and AI Research), The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and HS2.

Vaibhav Tyagi, Skanska’s Head of Innovation, 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.”

HS2’s Head of Digital Engineering Sonia Zahiroddiny added: “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.”