The project involves a collaboration between Linköping University, Luleå University of Technology and a number of companies in the construction and ICT sectors to enable sustainable construction efficiency using digitalisation as a catalyst.
The Connected Construction Site test bed project is a platform for testing and evaluating innovative digital applications. The aim is to create good examples of connected construction sites. The work is conducted in collaboration between a number of leading construction and ICT stakeholders, with support from academia.
Test bed operations are conducted within five test bed projects with slightly different orientations. Each test bed project has either one or two test bed hosts that manage the testing and ensure that construction sites are made available for test implementation and evaluation.
Testing digital technology
Within each test bed project, a number of tests of digital technology are conducted during the project in the form of so-called sprints, which can be of different character and design. For example, the tests conducted within a particular test bed project can be a sequence of different tests for similar technologies in which the lessons learned from the previous test are carried forward when planning for the next test project. Another example is when a test bed project aims to test different digital technologies, hence it plans for independent test projects with different dimensions of digitalisation in order to develop digital capabilities and a knowledge base about digitalisation.
Connected Construction Site was launched in December 2017 and is scheduled to run until December 2021. It has a budget of approximately SEK 65 million, of which Vinnova is contributing approximately SEK 25.5 million with the remainder co-funded by the participating companies and organisations. The project is part of the government’s previous strategic collaboration programme “Connected Industry and New Materials”. Connected Construction Site is part of the Smart Built Environment strategic innovation programme.
The key project stakeholders are the academic parties Linköping University (LiU) and Luleå University of Technology (LTU), the test bed hosts NCC, Skanska, Peab, Cementa, Lindbäcks Bygg and BoKlok, and the project co-ordinator IQ Samhällsbyggnad (the Swedish Centre for Innovation and Quality in the Built Environment). In addition, a large number of organisations participate in the various tests within each test bed project. These organisations come from both the construction and the ICT industries, including the emerging ConTech sector, and are a mixture of large, medium-sized and small enterprises. Moreover, there are a number of start-ups among the participating organisations. In all, more than 50 organisations are participating in the various parts of the project.
“Currently we have about 25 started or completed tests and another handful that are in the start-up phase. When we close the test period at the end of 2021, we expect to have completed at least 30 tests in collaboration with our test bed hosts. Based on the knowledge acquired from the tests, we’ll continue working towards the long-term goal of creating a smart, connected construction site with related smart supply chains and planning processes. We want Connected Construction Site to become a knowledge bank that leads to a technological leap in the construction industry, a leap that results in digital working methods, a higher degree of production automation, more efficient logistics, and more integration in the planning. In the long run, the change will mean shorter construction times and increased productivity, which will also lead to a reduction in costs, safety risks and climatic impact”, says Martin Rudberg, Professor at Linköping University and Project Manager for Connected Construction Site.
Martin Rudberg continues:
“We’ve also seen that the project has attracted new active stakeholders to the construction industry. These can contribute to driving digital development and enable us to create the prerequisites for new business models and a general increase in profitability for the stakeholders that are currently active in the industry. It’s satisfying to see how the Connected Construction Site project is acting as a catalyst in driving the digital transformation in participating companies and in the construction industry in general.”
- Is a so-called test bed project comprising a feasibility study (May – October 2017) and a main study (November 2017 – December 2021),
- Involves collaboration between leading stakeholders in construction and ICT and universities with the goal of increasing resource efficiency, productivity, safety and efficiency through digitalisation,
- Focuses on the planning, production and supply processes of construction sites,
- Offers potential opportunities for collaboration with start-ups and SMEs,
- Has a budget for the main study of approximately SEK 65 million, of which Vinnova contributes approximately SEK 25.5 million via the government’s strategic collaboration programme Connected Industry and New Materials,
- Is included as a strategic project in Smart Built Environment’s Innovation Lab focus area and co-ordinated by the Swedish Centre for Innovation and Quality in the Built Environment (IQ Samhällsbyggnad),
- Is managed from an academic perspective by Linköping University and Luleå University of Technology.