Going Towards Sustainable Construction
Author: Fabio Ponzio
Sustainability is one of the most discussed terms, but many don’t realise its full potential. A practical definition could be any action or process we perform that causes little or no harm to the natural world. It’s all about finding ways to meet the demands of present generations without compromising the needs of future ones. For example, businesses should create wealth to fight poverty without harming the environment. In this way, businesses help our world today and ensure that future generations can also prosper.
Getting on the path to sustainability
Our world is rapidly changing, and our customers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their choices. As a result, the construction industry is looking to adopt technologies that increase productivity while mitigating the impact of growing housing needs on the climate crisis.
At Hexagon, we move step by step towards sustainability, progressively increasing and expanding our activities. Sustainability involves innovative procedures of collaboration and new thinking about the economy. As an organisation, we believe that our sustainability journey is determined both by the role products and solutions play in the market, as well as our processes and actions.
Hexagon’s wide-ranging solutions are built with sustainability as a priority. We deliver scalable innovations across a vast array of industries, including construction. Our solutions help our customers to optimise the use of raw materials and components, to improve energy efficiency and productivity, to extend product life, and to predict and prevent harm.
Efficient buildings — sustainable future of construction
Traditional building construction and building operations belong to the past. Architects, engineers and building owners are searching for ways to expand a building’s lifecycle, contributing to green building goals as well as providing better solutions for energy efficient operations and occupant well-being.
During this journey, it is crucial to use renewable and recyclable resources, reduce energy consumption and waste, utilise sustainable materials, employ energy efficiency principles, create a healthy environment, utilise green technology, and protect surrounding ecosystems. Having the right tools and solutions can help architects, engineers, contractors and other industry experts to achieve all of the above.
Technology providers talk a lot about offering smart building technology that can make buildings more energy-efficient and sustainable during operations, contributing to a better housing experience for occupants and positive outcomes for building owners.
Besides the above-mentioned, customers can achieve sustainability during the design and construction phases. The correct design and construction solutions reduce rework, meaning less wastage, cost savings, less effort and less time. For instance, Hexagon Geosystems has designed inclusive hardware and software solutions such as the RTC360, Leica BLK360, or Leica BLK2GO laser scanners to capture existing conditions quickly, enabling users to make informed decisions during the design phase, and keep their site moving efficiently during construction. When renovating existing buildings or designing new ones, architects and engineers can use these captured, existing conditions in their Building Information Modelling (BIM) design process and accurately plan and visualise their designs before the construction phase. BIM, like BricsCAD BIM, reduces design errors and rework. It allows teams to collaborate more efficiently, update designs in real time and execute those plans accordingly, reducing surprises later on in the process.
When it comes to constructing a building, contractors need to invest in technology that saves time and materials, leading to higher profitability and less waste. The Leica iCON build workflow responds to today’s digital construction industry demands for efficiency and quick decision making. It enables field crews to stay on track and it reduces the need for rework. Layout, as-built and verification tasks on projects are completed faster, with higher accuracy.
The iCB50 and iCB70 manual total stations simplify the transition from tapes and strings to digital construction, enabling all relevant layout and as-built tasks to be carried out easily and efficiently, even for complex designs. The iCR70 and iCR80 robotic total stations tie neatly into established building construction workflows and rapidly speed up installation preparation and other construction tasks.
Fast and accurate verification in building construction is a top concern for our customers. Our iCON field verification app allows contractors to extend their possibilities, using multiple integrated sensors, allowing for easier, more complete, and real-time verification on site.
High performing buildings — sustainable facility management
Undoubtedly, the AEC industry is embracing sustainable processes and techniques for the construction of new buildings, but we shouldn’t forget existing facilities. Facility and property managers face several challenges when trying to operate buildings efficiently since most of these properties weren’t built with sustainability in mind.
It is vital to implement the right tools to monitor and improve day-to-day operations in energy consumption, utilities, and asset management. Our technology helps building owners and property managers to create digital twins of their existing building portfolio and integrate those with leading CAFM/IWMS software. Having a digital twin combined with a CAFM/IWMS software enables stakeholders to manage day-to-day operations with more transparency, efficiency, and insights into a building’s performance, resulting in reduced asset and building-system breakdowns. Furthermore, using an accurate 3D digital twin for managing the operations enables new ways of collaborating more intuitively thanks to functionalities like indoor navigation or geolocation-based asset tracking; allowing different stakeholders to manage their tasks remotely.
In summary, our technology helps building owners to create digital twins of their building portfolio, enabling indoor navigation, remote location-based services, prolonging the life of mission-critical assets, and giving management cockpits more meaning through accurate and reliable geolocation information. These capabilities lead to more effective and efficient building performance, reduce waste, lower the need for traveling, and thus have a positive impact towards sustainability.