- A new software platform that supports decision-making at both the project and business level is transforming the construction industry.
- Associate Professor Julie Jupp from the UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB) is delivering strategic advice to support the system’s ongoing development.
- The system, called HYway, sits at the cusp of a new field of research called construction service intelligence.
Using construction data to make better decisions
A long-term collaboration with construction firm Hansen Yuncken has positioned Associate Professor Julie Jupp from the DAB School of the Built Environment at the forefront of construction service intelligence research.
This emerging field refers to the development of software that uses construction project data to improve performance and support business analytics.
Harnessing the power of BIM
Over the past 18 months, Associate Professor Jupp has been providing strategic advice on the development of HYway, Hansen Yuncken’s in-house system. The system combines the power of business analytics with the potential of building information modelling (BIM), a 3D object-oriented approach to design and construction.
“When I began my involvement with Hansen Yuncken back in 2010, there weren’t many firms who were looking to adopt BIM in a way that would drive transformational change at an organisational level. As a technology adoption specialist I focus on how project teams deploy BIM, so I was very keen to get involved with a firm who understood the significance of BIM to their business strategy,” she says.
Combining user-driven and automated data collection
Based on Microsoft Sharepoint, HYway is a collaborative information management system that brings together business development, procurement, site management, project management and risk and opportunity data across the breadth of Hansen Yuncken’s construction activities.
The system is user-driven, with data entered by personnel across all of the company’s project sites, delivering intelligent, both project-level and whole-of-company reporting: supporting and increasing the quality of decision making.
“You’ve not only got data describing the 3D building information model, you’ve also got the schedule of how that building is going to go together, the project costings, as well as information about the quality, safety and environmental performance of the build. You can then use this project level data to inform corporate decisions,” Associate Professor Jupp says.
“Doing that across all the projects that the company is working on, and in a consistent manner, provides an organisation with extremely valuable data. It also facilitates real insight, not only about their projects, but also regarding the ability to use predictive analytics for performance evaluation, program management, and business planning.
“This type of predictive capacity is something that we haven’t seen in the construction industry before, where successful and mature levels of business intelligence are rare. HYway’s systems architecture is robust and flexible, its standards and processes are uniform and optimised, its performance and predictive analytics help manage the value chain, and Hansen Yuncken business leadership ensures data governance.”
The value of university research
For Hansen Yuncken, the addition of research expertise to the HYway project has been invaluable to its ongoing development.
“In the development of HYway, our innovation team have focused on enterprise-wide, systematic approaches to the integration of smart tools or innovations that drive efficiency into the design and construction process,” says Michael Parks, Innovation Manager at Hansen Yuncken.
“Julie has an incredible wealth of knowledge acquired through broader industry relationships and research networks and therefore provides an alternative and informed perspective.”
Associate Professor Jupp is currently developing a series of case studies that will track the HYway system through the process of three real-life projects, measuring the way the system captures information and how that information is utilised by Hansen Yuncken decision makers.
Jupp JR, Parkes M, et al. (forthcoming) An Integrated Process-Oriented Approach to Construction Service Intelligence, Automation in Construction.