Live Automated Materials Plan (LAMP)

Technology to optimise how construction materials are tracked, delivered and used onsite.

Last updated: 27th May 2021

Date uploaded:

Approved for use

Innovation Lead: Mat Colmer
Project number: 104791 [23968]
UKRI funding: £312,831

Website:
www.thecartogroup.com


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Summary

Scheduling material deliveries to construction sites can be complicated because it's, on the whole, a manual process. To help manage this, site teams may arrange for materials to be delivered before they are needed. Those materials end up being shifted around the site to accommodate work and are double or triple-handled, or materials are unintentionally over-ordered. As a result, they get damaged, wasted or stolen. Skanska is leading a team to improve supply chain analytics so project leads can better coordinate when materials are arriving, are used and leave the site. It saves time and waste, and means every piece of land on site is used to most productively. Simply put, it helps the delivery of the right materials at the right time.

Innovation type: Digital
Organisation type: Construction tier 1 contractors, Innovative SME, Research centre

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Project pioneers

Skanska is a world-leading construction and project development company that saw an opportunity to optimise the flow of materials in and out of site. It partnered with The Carto Group and BRE to bring new analytical intelligence to the supply chain.

The problem

Despite the increasing adoption of digital process in construction, the majority of data handling around supply chain deliveries is still paper-based. This manual process can cause unintended errors and inaccuracies in scheduling materials onsite, which leads to timing issues, inefficient use of teams, over-handling, wasteful use of space, and damaged materials that end up not being fit for use.

Vision

Live Automated Materials Plan (LAMP) uses AI and geospacial data to optimise existing tag and track technology around material supply levels, waste requirements, and traffic conditions - and can create almost pinpoint accuracy around the delivery of materials to site. It removes inefficiencies that slow down a project. The technology is estimated to improve efficiency by 18% and has the potential to reduce emissions from the decreased numbers of vehicles arriving and leaving a site, and reduced wasted materials. With the increase in Modern Methods of Construction, less and less raw materials will actually be needed onsite so this kind of precision scheduling for material deliveries will help sites be even more efficient, streamlined and productive.

Key Insight

Manufacturing and, more recently, online retail use data tagging to run incredibly efficient tracking services for goods coming in and out of warehouses and sites, so that every inch of space is optimised. Learning from these digital manufacturing processes, Skansa and The Carto Group saw an opportunity to broaden its project development offer into supply chain management onsite, as well as offsite.

First step

The project was kickstarted by investment from the Transforming Construction Challenge which co-funded The Carto Group developing Skansa's offsite project development tools and integrating BRE's existing SmartSite software to create a solution to these onsite supply chain inefficiencies.

Barrier

Manual and paper-based processes are inadvertently creating huge inefficiencies and waste - in time, money and materials. More progressive data-driven processes will support better decision making about the flow of materials onsite and helps teams deliver the right tasks with the right resources at the right time. Projects can then be more productive and sustainable.

Digital Innovation

Live Automated Materials Plan (or LAMP) applies BIM technology, machine learning, digital tagging and geospatial data to integrate onsite activities with the movement of materials and equipment. The cloud-based app draws on logistics plans, travel routes, quantities of materials and base data from the construction programme to improve plant and material logistics. Sensors gather real-time location data from vehicles and other large plant machinery. The system then integrates all of this and use a geographical information system (GIS) mapping data and artificial intelligence to find the most effective logistics plan and to help predict and control environmental impact.

Collaborators

Skanska's expertise in construction process management were key to this project, and how it applies user-centred design to create solutions for the construction sector. The Carto Group provided the predictive analytics so that the project could not only monitor results, but predict what changes could make the system more efficient. BRE brought its skills in project management and redeployed its SmartSite software.

  • BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials
  • Skanska
  • The Carto Group

Lead support

The Transforming Construction Challenge supported the development of the digital tool. Skanska, BRE and Vinci have worked together on another TCC investment, PLASMA, where tag and track has been further utilised.

Long Term Vision

Technology can play a huge part in reducing waste in construction. Maximising onsite space is a critical factor for the industry and smart tag and track technology can optimise space onsite, reduce wasted materials, time and cost. This can support a more productive and more sustainable project.

Human Stories

More effective tracking of supply chain materials coming to site will ensure a team's time is used most effectively, and that precious hours aren't wasted managing delivery traffic or shifting materials around the site unnecessarily to accommodate work.

Powerful Processes

LAMP applies BIM technology, machine learning, digital tagging and geospatial data to integrate onsite activities with the movement of materials and equipment. It draws on logistics plans, travel routes, quantities of materials and base data from the construction programme to improve plant and material logistics and help predict and control the impact on time, cost and the environment.

Fascinating Facts

  • Skanska estimates that improved materials management could reduce logistics costs onto and from construction sites, reaching savings of around 18% of total costs. Across Skanska's UK operations this is the equivalent to efficiency savings of £0.32bn per year. And across the UK construction sector, it would save £10.8bn per year as Skanska operates around 3% of UK construction. 
  • LAMP has the potential to reduce embodied carbon by 11% from 875 kg.CO2/m2 to 780 kg.CO2/m2, and the waste generated is reduced by 18% from 10.2 to 8.4 m3 waste per £100k project value 
  • LAMP will increase the efficiency of vehicle usage. Vehicles coming onsite full can also leave full, reducing the flow of traffic and number of vehicles needed. An optimised delivery system, where the right materials are delivered at the right time, could increase speed of construction by 10% from 0.17 days/sqm to 0.15. 
  • Current estimates suggest LAMP could improve efficiency by 18% growing to 30%+ over five years through development and refinement. It is estimated that these efficiency improvements could be worth £1.2bn per year over the next five years.

Benefits

Cost
Skanska estimates that improved materials management could reduce logistics costs onto and from construction sites, reaching savings of around 18% of total costs. Across Skanska's UK operations this is the equivalent to efficiency savings of £0.32bn per year. And across the UK construction sector, it would save £10.8bn per year as Skanska operates around 3% of UK construction. 

Emissions
LAMP has the potential to reduce embodied carbon by 11% from 875 kg.CO2/m2 to 780 kg.CO2/m2, and the waste generated is reduced by 18% from 10.2 to 8.4 m3 waste per £100k project value 

Productivity
Current estimates suggest LAMP could improve efficiency by 18% growing to 30%+ over five years through development and refinement. It is estimated that these efficiency improvements could be worth £1.2bn per year over the next five years.

Time
LAMP will increase the efficiency of vehicle usage. Vehicles coming onsite full can also leave full, reducing the flow of traffic and number of vehicles needed. An optimised delivery system, where the right materials are delivered at the right time, could increase speed of construction by 10% from 0.17 days/sqm to 0.15.