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3 innovations to drive down the cost of maintaining infrastructure assets

The TEAM2100 programme is protecting London from current and future tidal flooding – and if the programme’s trophy case is any indication – these innovations are surefire ways to efficiency.

£100 million can buy you 500 Ferrari 458 Spider supercars, 2,000 nights at the renowned Royal Penthouse Suite in Geneva or 37 villas in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai* – it’s also how much the Thames Estuary Asset Management Programme (TEAM2100) is projected to save in efficiencies over the programme’s 10-year duration.

The TEAM2100 programme is one of the United Kingdom Government’s top 40 infrastructure projects, with 1.3 million people, £275 billion of property and 3,500 assets to protect – that’s also why delivering the best protection and value for public money is at the heart of our efforts.

Through innovation, greater collaboration with the supply chain and optimised asset and programme management, CH2M’s technical experts, along with our partners at the Environment Agency and Balfour Beatty, are leading the integration of provisions to optimise returns on Thames flood defense investments.

So far, we’ve identified more than 127 innovations. That’s a lot of anything – let alone ideas! You might be wondering how we do it.

The TEAM2100 team thrives on a culture of innovation, at both the programme and project level, to encourage collaboration and easy-to-implement technology and process enhancements. We host a bi-monthly forum, which uses a simple idea review process to prioritise and then recommend ideas to one of the following categories: declined, not suitable for TEAM2100 but worth sharing, just-do it or complete a pilot study.

Of the 127 ideas submitted thus far, 71 have been stored for future use on project delivery, have been or are being implemented or trialed.

Here’s a look at few of the most-impressive:

  1. Drone surveying technology – Drones are quicker than traditional topographic survey methods and can cover approximately 2-kilometers of linear surveying per day, collecting millions of 3D data points and providing the opportunity to gain more data than ever before since they can capture an unobstructed view of surveyed areas. Taking advantage of these unbeatable benefits, we’ve attached multiple sensors to our drones to capture 3D topography, HD aerial photography and HD video of the estuary.
  2. Smart infrastructure – By implementing remote asset sensor technology to monitor real-time performance data on key critical assets within the Thames estuary system, we’re able to quickly identify any performance changes and intervene swiftly to reduce whole life costs of asset management and minimise any changes in flood risk.
  3. Data management – We created a web and desk-based information portal (Estuary Eye) and associated App to offer a common data environment for review, access, management and use of asset data collected and stored. The embedded videos and 3D information provide instant access to complex geospatial asset information and the tools developed enable a highly efficient approach to option and design appraisals, creating an estuary-wide BIM model of the asset system, and an easy visual assessment of live project progress.

These innovations – and others such as several asset management tools, soft engineering trials, off-site 3D enabled mock-ups and use of augmented reality – were key to TEAM2100 receiving a Project Excellence Award in Innovation from the Environment Agency this year. And the Estuary Eye solution also won Esri UK’s 2017 Customer Success Award in the Field Data Collection category.

The TEAM2100 programme is ISO5500-certified – a gold standard in Asset Management, won Project Team of the Year in 2017 from the Institute of Asset Management and earned Project Team of the Year and Innovation of the Year: Big Data awards at New Civil Engineer’s 2017 Tech Fest Awards. The programme also earned several places on the awards’ shortlist, including the Best Use of Technology: Driving Efficiency and Smart Infrastructure and Advance in Automation & Robotics categories.

Interested in learning more about how CH2M drives efficiency using the latest technologies? Visit (#TechThisOut).

*According to this article

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