Digital approach to housing challenge outlined by Wienerberger and PCSG at GEO Business event

The transformative benefits for the housing sector of combining geospatial and built-asset data were outlined by Paul Surin, of Wienerberger Group and PCSG’s Adrian Burgess in a presentation at the GeoBusiness Show.

The pair demonstrated how combining GEO information, point cloud data and multiple Building Information (BIM) models, in a Common Data Environment, could open up “a new world of possibilities” and help tackle the pressing challenge of the need for two million homes in the next decade.

Developers and asset owners, they explained, will be able to gain valuable context to inform their decisions and swiftly assess the viability of a proposal. They will take better, quicker and more cost-effective decisions during all the RIBA Digital Plan of Work Stages.

Their focus in the presentation – How a Digital Built Environment Can help Deliver Better Homes – was an innovative application, jointly developed by Wienerberger and PCSG – the Viability tool.

The tool centres around a “digital built environment approach” which looks much further than the commercial viability of a development, considering also social, resourcing and other factors. It enables the right homes to be built in the right place at an affordable price.

Adrian demonstrated a simple interface that will allow any authorised user to search any location in the UK by postcode, co-ordinates or by browsing and to quickly retrieve a collection of pertinent information related to social, resource and commercial viability of a development.

With the tool, the viability process and retrieval of information such as demographic data, planning information and flood risk data can be pulled together within minutes. Traditionally, this process would take six to eight weeks.

The platform supports manufacturing-led, digitally connected supply chains and the growth of local SME trades and suppliers by providing access to large projects, which may otherwise be inaccessible.

The supply chain can enrich each model with their own product information, ensuring that the information delivered can be trusted and providing a true and accurate representation of what has been constructed and installed – a true digital twin of the built asset. 

This ‘digital built’ approach also supports the reduction of the performance gap through manufacturing-led supply chains, and supports a circular construction economy by making measurable the impact of re-entering a product or system into the supply chain

The £110 billion construction industry is facing ever-more challenges – including the requirement for two million homes in the next decade. Effectively harnessing and connecting the vast volumes of data about our built-environment now available will be key to meeting those challenges, Adrian and Paul said.

Wienerberger and PCSG are at the forefront of digitalised construction and the development of solutions to enable the full realisation of a digitally built Britain.

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