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- By Andy Smith
A new digital tool for remote building inspection, supported by Balfour Beatty and developed by the University of Strathclyde, has received a funding boost.
The project has been granted £35,000 by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s i-Con Challenge, and the University says the platform “will enable the management and monitoring of the construction phase of buildings and improve productivity and quality, with fewer defects in the long term”.
The platform will be trialled on the University of
Strathclyde’s new Learning & Teaching building, which is being built by
The aim of the project is to introduce algorithms for defect
detection and sizing in image data through a combination of deep learning
algorithms, traditional image processing techniques and VR interfaces.
A large, publicly-available dataset of building defect
images will be created that can be used as a standard by the community for
algorithm development, testing and comparison.
3D immersive environment
The platform will create a 3D immersive environment of a building, minimising the need for quantity surveyors and health and safety inspectors to be present at a site.
The platform will also be able to provide occupants and the
wider community with meaningful ways to engage and contribute to a building
The project proposes a framework for integration of
methodologies and tools, including VR and digital photogrammetry to collect
real-time data that support automated decision-making.
The platform will also provide opportunities for building
control compliance activities.
Dr Andrew Agapiou, senior lecturer in the University’s
Department of Architecture and the lead researcher on the project, said:
“The ability to accurately detect errors and defects in remote and
hard-to-access buildings has significant value. In many situations, these
structures are inspected using digital cameras to capture images that can be
analysed offline by experts who study the footage in detail.
“The use of advanced photogrammetry and AI technologies will
help data gathering and analysis with minimum human interaction with
The project partners are the Scottish government’s Building
Standards Division, Sublime, Robert Gordon University, Balfour Beatty Construction,
BDP, Anomalous Technologies, Scottish Futures Trust Hub-Cos Partnership,
Highlands Council and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.
The i-Con Challenge is designed to match those faced with
current challenges with those in industry and academia who can offer “rapid,
impact-focused solutions in a bid to build resilience for a brighter future