Royal BAM Group nv (BAM) is one of Europe’s most successful construction businesses, with over 20,000 employees working on projects around the globe. BAM has a long history of evolving to deliver services for new clients, industries, and project types—using new technologies.
“We’ve developed greatly in the building sphere and accelerated our use of technology in a big way,” says Michael Murphy, Digital Construction Operations Manager at BAM Ireland. “We’re all about doing things better, doing better things, and doing new things. That’s our mantra.”
Digitization and better ways of working are an integral part of BAM’s strategy. The company is committed to better project outcomes using advanced technology and processes to drive efficiency and increase performance.
Leveraging their partnership with Autodesk Construction Solutions, BAM reimagined and digitized their workflow with data and machine learning. Using data, BAM optimized their processes to grow their culture and de-risk projects leading to better safety, quality, and cost management across projects.
BAM was already using construction technology across their projects, but the question was – were they using technology to its fullest potential and harnessing the power of what it could do for the success of their business and projects.
With business increasing and the amount of information being gathered from their Level 2 process on active projects, BAM concluded that data needed to be managed more accurately.
“We needed to ensure that all people and projects were enabled with the right technology and processes,” says Simon Tritschler, Technical Deployment Specialist at BAM Ireland. “It’s one thing to have a technology strategy and have tablets on jobsites, but what’s far more important is to have a strategy around harnessing and utilizing the massive amounts of data that the technology is generating.”
To ensure that project data was being captured on a consistent basis and routed into the cloud, BAM needed a unified platform to interpret and predict project risk.
Recognizing the need for better data management, BAM turned to Autodesk Construction Solutions to analyze project data through the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the help of Autodesk, BAM created a machine learning environment to manage and help interpret project data – enabling them to manage increasing amounts of project information within an automated system. The system in turn could adapt to new data sets providing relevant and immediate feedback.
With new projects kicking off across the entire BAM Ireland portfolio, the team had plenty of data to feed the model. “Through the collection of data, we could assess where we were, and what gaps existed in our current workflow,” says Murphy. By understanding gaps in processes, BAM was able to review and improve its workflows to prevent projects being derailed leading to successful project delivery.
For example, in one of BAM’s projects several of the issues identified during quality inspections were observations of window joints that were missing waterproofing sealant. By consistent data capture, the team was able to classify these observations as water-penetration risk and highlighted them as high risk.
With a better understanding of data, BAM can identify the problems and constraints that act as leading Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to identify hotspots, rather than relying on traditional construction intuition. These types of automated insights are making it easier for team members to spend more time proactively addressing potential risks, rather than having reactive conversations and spending time shuffling information.
“Data was being fed to our dashboards, in real-time, so that we could have visibility across all our projects,” says Tritschler. “With better access to data, we could react to potential issues and take action to mitigate the risks before it took place.”
Through the combination of AI and machine learning, BAM is driving tangible benefits for clients, workers, the environment, and—ultimately—their bottom line by being able to predict potential areas of risk before they became issues.
With a “30,000-foot view” of projects, BAM can flag the issues with the potential to cause the greatest pain. The improved visibility into their project data has given BAM more structured data that accurately reflects current project status and allows for greater analysis and scalability across all projects.
With a better understanding of the risk profile on each project as well as across the world, BAM has been able to model data, and provide teams with easy to access dashboards with truly relevant information that:
BAM is embracing the power of data to improve the future of construction by providing better outcomes. The more information machine-learning algorithms process, the more sophisticated they’ll become, ultimately unlocking more insights and even better decisions for the company.
“Ultimately, we want to use Construction IQ to assist us as we standardize our processes across BAM so that someone going from Ireland to England to Dubai to Antarctica uses the same processes, and we want to monitor how efficient those processes are,” Tritschler explains. “We’re going to use machine learning to understand what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and how we can do it better. That’s the goal.”