HoloSite

The world's first 'hard hat' that uses AR to improve build accuracy, eliminating the need for 2D plans.

Last updated: 18th August 2020

Date uploaded:

Approved for use

Innovation Lead: Christine Coonick
Project number: 105504
UKRI funding: £1,130,469

Website:
xyzreality.com/


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Summary

HoloSite is the world’s first Engineering Grade Augmented Reality Headset that enables construction teams to view Building Information Models (BIM) on-site to mm accuracy. This innovative 'hologram hard hat' means builders only have to look at a single 3D model positioned accurately and in context, removing the need for hundreds of old fashioned 'paper' 2D plans. So for the first time, HoloSite will enable site teams to build right first time and move forward with certainty that what has been completed is to plan. Based on a cloud platform, the innovation has already proved that it can eliminate rework in its entirety, reduce project material costs by as much as 33%, and improve accuracy by 95% - elevating UK construction to a new level of productivity.

Innovation type: Digital, Process
Organisation type: Innovative SME

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Project pioneers

XYZ Reality is a hardware startup company that is looking to revolutionise the construction industry by bringing the precision of Building Information Models (BIM) to the sector, and prevent repeated inaccuracies and poor levels of tolerance on traditional builds.

The problem

Time, resources and money are currently being wasted on inaccurate builds. A site must be set out accurately, to within +/- 5mm accuracy but delays and errors can occur as an architect's 3D model is translated into a builder's 2D drawings. Construction technologies are fundamentally flawed as they are only able to validate works after they have been installed, and sometimes it can take as much as 1-2 weeks before project teams are able to identify if works have been installed out of tolerance. This then leads to 7-11% of project capital being spent on rework, a cost which can increase exponentially as time passes. This all impacts on the quality of the builds and the overall productivity of the sector.

Vision

A commitment to using more accurate and efficient Building Information Models (BIM) will fundamentally change the UK construction industry. It will mean builds are more sustainable thanks to reduced waste. It will take less time to build, as checking and validating works can happen in real time, eliminating re-works and speeding up handovers. And the final building itself will be more affordable for the end user thanks to project efficiencies, reduction in labour costs and less waste. The increased productivity from BIM will also give UK construction a global competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design due to inaccuracy or working on out-of-date information, and re-work can add a further 7-11% to project costs. This all impacts on the quality of the builds and the overall productivity of the sector.

Key Insight

XYZ Reality research showed that up to 80% of construction works are installed out-of-tolerance despite the use of construction technologies such as laser scanning. Academic research also suggests that approximately 52% of project delays result directly from rework activities, and over 33% of material cost spent are as a result of rework. To address these common inaccuracies, XYZ Reality raised £1.4m through a combination of investment and seed funding from Innovate UK. This led to the first Augmented Reality (AR) hard hat, HoloSite, that presents a vision of the building using holograms. The prototype showed how builders could walk on site and see the building model in context, without the need for 2D plans. It gave the team the evidence they needed to prove HoloSite's mm accuracy, and found that up to 80% of construction work has been 'out of tolerance' by up to 200mm. It also suggested that HoloSite could reduce time to complete tasks on-site by 64% and prevent 95% less errors when compared to today's construction methods. Ultimately, it proved that HoloSite could reduce inefficiencies in the build process, enabling both main contractors and clients to build at greater volume, more quickly, at a lower cost and with improved quality.

First step

Further investment was needed for R&D to improve the access to 3D models and the user experience, as well as testing and certifying HoloSite to the correct safety standards. XYZ Reality used the prototype to launch their Early Partnership Programme and received purchase orders with some of the largest main contractors and clients in Europe, and more recently have closed a £5m Series-A funding round. It has been the springboard they needed to develop their prototype further.

Barrier

Until now, the construction industry has shown a reluctance to invest in Building Information Models (BIM) technology and so continues to literally 'build on its own mistakes'. This has been driven by a business-as-normal acceptance of inaccuracies, aggregated errors, and re-work time and cost that have become a standard part of a traditional build. There needs to be a more conscious adoption of new technology, skills and usage otherwise productivity will continue to stay flat or, at worst, decline and we won't meet important sustainability targets.

Process innovation

HoloSite significantly improves productivity on site and creates much more streamline processes. For the first time, HoloSite will allow construction management to ensure works are built correct first time with the most up-to-date information. The headset offers real time validation for building tasks, minimising delays to build by 64% and improving accuracy by 95%. This in turn reduces labour, waste and material costs, as handovers can happen more quickly and there is significantly less need for re-work - all of which improve project productivity. HoloSite has also shown it can reduce time taken to reflect 'as-built' conditions in the BIM model by 92% - improving the feedback loop between the field team and design team.

Digital Innovation

HoloSite uses augmented reality and virtual tools which can be synced to the HoloSite cloud platform. It means builders can walk on site with the latest Building Information Models (BIM) and identify any construction work that is not within 5mm accuracy to the model, removing the need for 2D 'paper' plans and eliminating rework in its entirety. Site information can also be fed back to the construction management team via the cloud. It enables construction workers to make real-time informed decisions and prevent errors from happening in the first place.

Collaborators

Hardware technology expert, Dragon Innovation, has been engaged to ensure that the product can be commercialised and manufactured efficiently after this R&D phase. The team has also worked closely with the British Standard Institute and TUV SUD to perform the necessary tests for product certification. A leading UK prototyping supplier, Malcolm Nicholls Ltd, has also been involved, rapidly delivering production grade prototypes for testing.

  • British Standards Institute (BSI)
  • Dragon Innovation
  • Malcolm Nicholls Ltd
  • TUV SUD
  • XYZ Reality

Lead support

Initially, Innovate UK was key in helping XYZ Reality overcome the initial 'chicken and egg' problem faced by many hardware start-ups in Europe. Since the prototype, Transforming Construction (delivered by UKRI) has connected XYZ Reality with other experts working in similar areas of technology development, who can support greater functionality in future versions.

Long Term Vision

HoloSite is fundamentally changing the way we approach builds. It is carving out a new era of Building Information Models (BIM) that use augmented and virtual reality to deliver better quality constructions that are quicker to build, more accurate and so last longer, more sustainable and more affordable for the end user. This increased productivity sets a new standard for UK construction and will give it a global competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design.

Human Stories

Previously construction workers would have to analyse and decipher hundreds of 2D drawings daily to understand the works that are taking place out in the field, and then position it out on-site to mm accuracy. HoloSite now means construction teams only have to look at a single 3D model positioned accurately, in context. The technological advantage that HoloSite provides enables builders to crack on with the job they have to do, ensure that the work they are carrying out is built correctly first time and not have to wait for engineers to come on site or endure delays to validate the works that have taken place. Job satisfaction will quickly follow as builds will be accurate first time round, removing the need for reworks. HoloSite also offers the chance for the current workforce to up-skill or paves the way for new skills and talent to enter the construction sector. And for the end user, they can rely on a more reliable quality building at a more affordable price.

Powerful Processes

HoloSite significantly improves productivity on site and creates much more streamline processes. Construction management teams can be proactive and check the quality of works taking place on-site at the lowest value stage – which is before or during the installation of works. HoloSite's real time validation minimises delays and improves accuracy, which in turn reduces labour, rework, waste and material costs. Handovers can happen faster and there is significantly less need for re-work - which all improve project productivity and reduces lifecycle cost of the building.

Fascinating Facts

As much as 11% of project costs are spent on construction rework, with the CITB citing that it costs the UK industry £20bn a year. Construction companies globally are spending £4.5bn on Laser Scanning which is often unable to prevent errors occurring in the first place, and only communicates these errors as much as 3 weeks after works have been completed. HoloSite has demonstrated that it can eliminate rework in its entirety, thereby reducing project cost by 7-11%, reducing material spend by as much as 33%, and improving accuracy by 95%. HoloSite also reduces the time taken to reflect 'as-built' conditions by 92% (compared to scanning) and so ensuring the design team and the field team are working from the latest information.

Benefits

Assurance
HoloSite provides the assurance contractors need, to know builds have been constructed to plans within a +/-5mm accuracy. This ensures that works are built correctly first time and provides the necessary quality assurance required during handover to the project owner.

Collaboration
By virtue of positioning the latest BIM model on-site to mm accuracy, HoloSite has demonstrated a 92% reduction in time taken to reflect 'as-built' conditions to the design team. This improves the communication between the design team and the field team ensuring that they are working off a single source of truth – the BIM model.

Cost
XYZ Reality estimates that up to 20% of construction costs are wasted due to inaccuracy, delays or working on out-of-date information, and re-work can add a further 7-11% to project costs. HoloSite mitigates the delays and need for rework therefore reducing delays, overhead resources, labour and waste costs. Current data also suggest as much as 33% of material spend on a project is due to rework and, with HoloSite, this can be saved.

Investment
XYZ Reality used the prototype to launch their Early Partnership Programme and received purchase orders with some of the largest main contractors and clients in Europe, and more recently have also closed a £5m Series-A funding round.

Productivity
Academic research suggests that approximately 52% of project delays result directly from rework activities, and over 33% of material cost spent are as a result of rework. HoloSite has already proved that it can eliminate rework in its entirety, reduce project material costs by as much as 33%, and improve accuracy by 95% - elevating UK construction to a new level of productivity.

Time
Checking and validating completed work takes time, typically 1-3 weeks with the current technology of a laser scanner. HoloSite has shown it can reduce the time to complete tasks on-site by 64%. HoloSite has also demonstrated a 92% reduction in time taken to reflect 'as built' conditions ensuring that the construction management team have the latest information of site conditions. Furthermore, with over 52% of project delays attributable to rework, it is estimated that this will be eliminated entirely as construction workers will now be able to build to plan.