Posted Monday 18 December 2023
Kingston University's School of Built Environment and Geography and UK construction company Galliford Try's Innovation team have come together to launch a new research project utilising artificial intelligence (AI) to improve quality and risk management, and minimise waste within construction.
The £261,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, co-funded through a grant from Innovate UK, will see Kingston University's academic team, led by Head of Department of Civil Engineering, Surveying and Construction Management Dr Hasan Haroglu, with input from technical experts within Galliford Try, develop a tool that supports construction quality, informs decision-making and improves right first-time delivery.
The tool will be piloted in field trials on Galliford Try schemes, with a Kingston research associate embedded within Galliford Try's Innovation team for the 30-month project, allowing frictionless access to data and the optimisation of the tool in a live environment.
Savings resulting from technology developed during the research period could be re-invested into further research and development, creating a cycle of continuous improvement.
Dr Haroglu explained machine learning uses data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy. "The integrated AI model we will build will take into account a range of factors – productivity, waste management, lean construction, sustainability, health and safety and emerging technologies. We hope this will lead to improved processes, increase productivity levels and ensure everyone is engaging in the process.
"Efficiency leads to a more sustainable product as waste is managed effectively, and if you manage your quality well, you will improve efficiency and increase profit margins."
Galliford Try, said the company was delighted the joint project had received funding from Innovate UK to continue their programme of university collaborations."We believe this Knowledge Transfer Partnership could be truly transformational for the industry, helping to eliminate waste, improve productivity and reduce carbon emissions through the avoidance of error", he said. "This project demonstrates Galliford Try's commitment to embracing innovation and will put us at the forefront of the built environment sector for the application of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning."Jon de Souza, Innovation and Research Lead for
Dr Haroglu and his team will be drawing on his research into construction projects that have used emerging technologies to improve quality management. "We are in a fast moving business environment, with technologies updated frequently. A constant review of the existing knowledge within an industry ensures business continues to thrive – integrating academic knowledge and processes into business lead to great benefits."