Technology Aids Scaffolding

Technology is having an ever-greater impact on the construction sector. Many ideas that were once thought of as gimmicks - or even the stuff of science-fiction - are now being steadily incorporated into the mainstream industry, with new and practical applications for technology being developed at a rapid pace.

Technology is enabling the wider construction industry to achieve so much; it is streamlining delivery, reducing risk and driving productivity across a project’s supply chain. GPS, BIM, virtual/augmented reality, drone, robotics and IoT (Internet of Things) are now common terms within the industry’s vocabulary, with some if not all construction sectors now using at least one of these technologies in their daily operations.

For the scaffold and temporary access sector, technology is reinventing the wheel. Drones are used for quick and accurate surveys to create interactive 3 D models on BIM. They also monitor progress on a job site .VR and AR technology in conjunction with BIM gives a clear visualisation of how a project will function in real-time. IoT helps in remote operation and monitoring the project. Use of technology in scaffolding projects improves efficiency, safety and reduces labour and project timeframes.

Creating scaffolding blueprints with BIM

BIM is similar to CAD (computer aided design), but not exactly the same. It is software for 3D design to digitally model what will be built. But its capabilities don’t stop there, it doesn’t just create a visually appealing 3D model of the build—it creates numerous layers of metadata and renders them within a collaborative workflow. It captures things in a way that paper just can’t.

The use of BIM provides space for better collaboration because each person and expertise area can add their piece to the same model, instead of broken out onto multiple versions of a 2D paper drawing. This way, the model evolves immediately as people contribute, streamlining the process and increasing efficiency. BIM also helps with problem solving in the design and planning stages of a project, by automating clash detection and providing a more complete picture of the project. BIM also improve the levels of safety in scaffolding.

For the scaffold and temporary access industry, BIM is enabling internal and external design engineers to produce simple 3D scaffolding blueprints for complex structures. Unlike 2D CAD drawings, 3D modelling produces detailed designs in far less time and with more reliability. As BIM progresses, the scaffold and temporary access industry will see the wider adoption of 4D, 5D and 6D iterations.

Visualising the project with AR & VR