HS2 trials AI solution to cut carbon emissions

Posted: 14 September 2020 | | No comments yet

The solution forms part of HS2’s plans to reduce its carbon footprint through measuring and comparing the environmental impacts of construction.

Artificial Intelligence

A new carbon and cost estimating solution powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being trialled on several HS2 sites.

Using the AI tool, the building information model (BIM) processes are automated, allowing different design options to be simulated using different types and quantities of construction materials. This means carbon emissions and environmental impacts of construction can be visualised, measured and compared, resulting in the design of a more environmentally-friendly solution.

BIM is a collaborative process coupled with the use of the latest technology trends in 3D Computer Aided Design and Engineering to develop digital representations of HS2’s railway assets such as bridges and stations.

The new solution, being developed by Skanska as part of a project funded through Innovate UK, is an innovation which will replace the current method of manually measuring 3D drawings, and will assist the design process in reducing carbon emissions throughout the life of a building. The results will deliver carbon and cost savings not just across HS2, but across the whole sector.

This tool will enable construction projects to leverage the full benefits of BIM and will empower construction teams to design for cost and carbon efficiency. It will lead to shorter pre-construction phases, reduced project management costs, greater visibility of carbon emissions and overall improved cost and carbon control. The project will also develop industry best practice for estimation and cost management.

A consortium of organisations is working to develop the solution. Skanska UK is leading the project, working with software developer Nomitech, design consultant Mott MacDonald, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC Data and AI Research), The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and HS2.

“HS2 is a project designed to support the UK’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy,” commented HS2’s Head of Digital Engineering, Sonia Zahiroddiny. “We’re extremely pleased that we can provide a live construction environment for the practical application of this new AI-enabled App.”