The goals of digitalization in special foundation engineering
How will special foundation engineering projects be managed and documented in the future and what key role will data management play? A glimpse at the future.
Terms like "Construction site 4.0, "Digital Construction Site," and "BIM" are current buzzwords in the construction industry. But how far has digitalization already progressed in the field of special foundation engineering?
Digitalization in special foundation engineering – present status and vision for the future
Nowadays, many documents required in special foundation engineering still require a lot of manual work to create. And even on the construction site itself, information is distributed on paper in the conventional way. What is the reason for this? The problem is caused by format discontinuity. In other words, the information already available during the planning stage is not passed on digitally to the execution team, and data collected during execution cannot be used for documentation. These information silos are the main reason for the large amount of time and effort spent on preparing daily and weekly reports.
The overarching goal of digitalization in special foundation engineering is to establish a completely digital process in which all project data from planning to execution to project documentation can be managed in one location. At the moment, such processes are not yet in place, but some solutions are already emerging in the individual project phases.
For example, some projects are already being planned digitally, but the first format discontinuity appears at the latest during project execution, when printed copies of plans or pile lists are provided to contractors or equipment operators. The results of the execution phase, such as constructed bored piles, are usually documented manually at the construction site. This means that the site manager has to gather information for documentation and reporting from various places and then consolidate it, which takes a lot of time.
According to a survey conducted by fielddata.io with project managers in the field of special foundation engineering, the preparation of a daily report takes up to an hour on average. Interviewees estimate that the weekly time spent on documentation work is between five and ten hours on average. As a result, documentation alone accounts for 20 to 30% of the working hours of project managers. This does not include the subsequent distribution of the daily and weekly reports to the various project partners.
BIM in special foundation engineering – advancing continuously
It is undisputed that BIM will also continue to gain ground in the field of special foundation engineering in the future because 3D and one day even 4D models, including all the metadata of the foundation work completed, offer unimaginable advantages in this area. After all, most of the work is done underground, but subsoil results are not visible to the naked eye even after completion of the project. At the end of the project, as-built documentation automatically generated from planning documents and integrated machine and production data are all the more important to ensure that all planned work has been carried out properly.
First steps in the digitalization of special foundation engineering projects
Probably the most important step in the digitalization of construction projects in specialist foundation engineering is the use of a suitable Construction Data Management Platform (CDMP). The purpose of this platform is to collect, normalize and analyze all relevant project data in order to create corresponding reports for daily use. The platform serves as a central point for the storage, linking and evaluation of sensor data from specialist foundation engineering equipment. fielddata.io offers this type of file-storage platform as well as integrated solutions for creating automated production data reports and insightful consumption data analysis, as well as useful status reports on the efficiency of the construction site and equipment.