Advanced Work Packaging podcasts

Applying Augmented Reality in Construction

Welcome to the future of Construction.

This video demonstrates how a combination of industry software can be used to facilitate the construction, testing, turnover, operations, and maintenance of facilities using Augmented Reality in construction based on the wireframe of Advanced Work Packaging. While the video shows the result of combining readily available software to achieve an end, the real message is that there needs to be a plan and process in place for the purposeful management of data and the recognition that consumable data is a deliverable commodity to construction.

It’s real, it’s happening and now you know the future.


Welcome to the future of construction.

Advanced Work Packaging has now matured to the point where we routinely develop Installation Work Packages for the Foremen in 3D software, secure in the knowledge that we have the latest revision drawing and that the material is available.

Now we are bringing those images to life in Augmented Reality.

The Planner places a QR code in the 3D model and then posts it physically in the same place in the field; this brings the model into view, in its actual space. Now the Foreman can see the Installation Work Package in place and can visualize the work. This allows them to communicate the plan effectively with their crews and develop a safe and productive erection strategy. The Superintendents are responsible to develop a four-week look ahead from their backlog of constraint-free IWPs. When we bring this into Augmented Reality we end up with a 4D four-week look ahead. As the tasks are completed, the Foreman records progress on his iPad, and the model syncs with the progress database in the office. Progressed items are color-coded in the 3D model to show what stage of progress they are at, which highlights new work fronts.

Augmented Reality is especially useful for preparing hydro tests.

This foreman is checking to see if all of the isolation blinds are installed, if the instruments have been removed and if the system has high point vents and low point drains. One very cool feature of combining data with space is that the Foreman working on terminations in this Junction box can pull up the current termination log and see what is complete and where the connections still need to be made. This is especially useful during loop checks.

The process of turnover, start-up and commissioning is made safe, accurate and simple by using Augmented Reality to isolate individual systems so that they can be walked down and verified.

Apart from the obvious advantage of knowing what is underground and knowing where it is, Augmented Reality provides Operations and Maintenance staff with very simple and quick access to the configuration of underground services which also increases the safety of any ground disturbances.

While Augmented Reality is obviously very useful and is going to play a big part in the future of construction, none of this is possible without an infrastructure of organized data.

Advanced Work Packaging has given us the wireframe of how to make data consumable. We align chunks of work across Engineering, Procurement and Construction and then manage the handoff between those points. The glue that holds this all together is a single version of project Data hosted in an organized environment, a Data Warehouse. Every project has a set of Data Publishers, those organizations who generate data. And each project has a set of Data Consumers, that’s the folks who use the data to build the facility. The Construction team.

Our challenge is how do we transition this gap, how do we present data to the construction team in a format that makes it usable.

We start by laying down some AWP rules for the Data Publishers:

  • Data must be aligned with the project Nomenclature
  • Must be formatted correctly
  • Must be linked to CWPs
  • And, we need a schedule for how and when the data is delivered.

Then, we can start to think of Data like any other commodity. Then we need a host environment, somewhere that we can securely store data and give all the project Stakeholders easy access. We typically use Microsoft Azure cloud space. Microsoft provide as much security and redundancy as you need and it is a common space that everybody can get to from any device, given the right permissions. Then we have a gatekeeper who acts just like the receiver in a warehouse. They receive data from publishers, check it for Overs, Shorts and Damages and then store it in the warehouse. The storage area is a series of Sequel tables that store and link the data based on key attributes, like tags and CWPs.

The Project cloud is also used to host the document management system for Construction, that will be used to provide access to all project documents.

The cloud also hosts:

  • The material management system,
  • The Workface Planning software,
  • The Completion software,
  • And the project schedule.

This forms the foundation of the project data and key project software.

The project cloud is also a convenient platform that can be used to host all other project applications that need to be accessed by multiple Stakeholders, such as the Quality Control database and the Safety library. Having all of this project data in one place creates a single source of project truth, which is the right foundation for aggregation software like Power BI to mine data and build project dashboards. Once we have this established, we develop controls that regulate access based on which applications each Stakeholder needs. One of the other features of the Cloud is that every single transaction is logged, which can also show who is making use of the data.

And finally we can use this foundation of organized data to create IWPs, that have the latest revision drawings, confirmed materials and Planned Value. The combination of the IWPs forms the 4 week-look ahead and we can then pull that into Augmented Reality to communicate the plan.

Creating a work environment that is conducive to getting things done on time.