The economic recovery has caused a significant increase in sales in the German construction industry. This trend is expected to be continued in the next years. In a globalised market, however, German construction companies are facing international competitors who partly work with lower labour costs. With cost reductions alone, the construction industry will not be able to compete successfully in the long-term. It has rather to establish itself through technical and organizational innovations within the whole construction process.
A significant key success factor to strengthen the competitiveness of the construction industry is to adapt concepts and practices of modern industrial organizations, their production technologies and logistics systems to those of the construction process.
The consistent use of digital tools offers further room for improvement.
INNOVATION THROUGH AN INTEGRATED APPROACH
The research project aims at collecting data from different phases of a construction project: This leads to virtual landscapes, through which the construction site comes to life (4D-information system of the construction site). The thus emerging model shall be used and constantly developed over all phases of the project. In order to manage this, it is necessary to collect data in a central platform, which consists of data from planning, surveying, project planning, accounting and progress of construction work. Digital tools, such as Product-Data-Management-Systems (PDM-Systems) or process simulations are the basis for an integrated approach.
CAD-models involved in the progress and in the whole life-cycle of a construction project contribute to more transparency in the planning and execution processes to ensure a faster execution of the whole project. Already at an early stage of planning, critical processes can virtually be analyzed by dynamic process simulations and thus help to prevent delays on the real construction site.
Via surveying and automatic identification systems (e.g. RFID) data will be continuously collected during the execution of construction work, which keeps documenting the actual state of the project. By comparing data with the construction plan, variations can immediately be discovered and counteractive measures can be induced at an early-stage.
The verification of the results with a real construction project is an essential objective of this research project.
The central idea of ForBAU is the close collaboration between sciences and industry. Academic staff and employees of the participating companies work together in the sub-projects. The job design is geared to the basic ideas of the virtual building site:
- Continuous 3D- modelling of the entire building project, so that the model can be used as a central communication and information tool during the planning process.
- Continuous project planning with innovative planning approaches from different industries. For instance data management via PDM-Systems.
- Creation of standardized procedures for planning and the following execution of the construction work, which allow for a consistent controlling.