It’s no secret that Laing O’Rourke leads the way when it comes to the use of digital engineering and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) on its projects and the Dumfries and Galloway hospital project in southwest Scotland is no exception.
A number of digital engineering processes were employed prior to on-site construction – even during early consultation and tendering periods. Project visualisations were created via virtual reality headsets which offered a 360o view of the proposals and plans. These techniques were also used to update the client throughout the building process.
The Dumfries and Galloway hospital project has also been a leader in the use of tracking system ‘Datalink’, which provides project staff with real-time information on the status of various building components built offsite at Explore Industrial Park. Each element is assigned a colour, which indicates what action is required and it’s also been used to successfully track the progress of subcontracted packages.
Digital engineer Paddy Corkery explains that: “There have been projects that have tracked installation of components, but using Datalink we were able to see the status of modules in the factory at a much earlier stage.” This process was also linked to tablet-based programme Fieldview, which enabled project leaders and engineers to monitor quality assurance and easily provides and real-time progress update.
And the project didn’t just lead the way in innovative digital tracking, either – digital engineering was used to overcome various challenges, in particular the relative lack of access to a traditional workforce. “The site is two hours from Edinburgh, an hour and a half from Glasgow, so it’s not really based near a traditional workforce,” Paddy explains. “Using DfMA techniques meant that we were able to do more with fewer people.” This is proven with the installation of the site’s 116 bathroom modules – each containing two bathrooms – a task that required fewer people while time saving was increased.
Overall, the application of DfMA, along side the use of digital tracking and progress reports, has benefited the project, allowing the team to bring reductions in timescale on the anticipated programme a step closer.