After a varied and inspiring week from Neil, Week 6 is taken over by Associate Director and Conservation Accredited Chartered Building Surveyor – Antonio Cabello. Antonio’s experience and methodical approach bring an assurance of quality to our most complex projects. With a strongly professional ethos he can be relied on to keep a firm grip on cost and quality control.
A native from Spain, Antonio came to Edinburgh in 2011 moved by his passion for Building Conservation after several years of practise as a professional qualified in Spain. For someone from a quite different cultural background, Antonio’s understanding of, and feeling for, traditional Scottish building technology and design would put many a native to shame. Over the cause of the takeover expect the influences of Spain, conservation and Scotland to come through! Have a read of the below and continue the conversation with Antonio by connecting with him on LinkedIn.
- (Image : Above, Centre) To talk about future I would like to look a little back to the beginning of my career.
I am part of the generation that has experienced a huge technological revolution, not only in my professional environment but in all aspects of life. Back in 1996 during my time at Uni, we still used rotring pens to do our drawings and the CAD room was a place that we barely used. I managed to use it more often during my dissertation and I remember waiting for hours to get a 3D model rendered. Then, in my first job, we used to take the enquiries through fax machine. Mobile phones (Nokia’s with changeable coloured covers) became widely popular a few years ago so internet connection, digital cameras didn’t give you enough quality for survey reports and blackberries were the cutting edge tech at that moment as mobile devices became more that just a “phone ”. The world worked, well, but at a different pace.
- (Image : Above, Right) All is about Data.
Data is more and more present in our lives. It always was, but the main difference now is that every day it is more accessible. With the arrival of Big Data and the supporting infrastructures around it, we get in seconds what used to take months in the past. The problem is no longer how to capture it but how to manage it. Data needs to be filtered and processed to the point that it provides the information we require in the format we need. Then, that processed data needs to be analysed and interpreted and that interpretation normally leads to some conclusion or actions.
Building Surveyors are broadly speaking Data Managers. We carefully cherry-pick data when carrying out a survey, then we filter and organise it. Once data is processed, we used to inter in the way of Building Conditions Reports, for example, which normally have some actions associated with it. Those actions are usually implemented and then we analyse the results of the work completed converted in data that feeds other work. So data is continuously being used. Also, the Big Data infrastructures evolve at a very fast pace and every day give us new, better and more accessible services responding to client needs in formats previously unimaginable.
We should therefore embrace fully Big Data, the future of our profession is in it…
- (Image : Below, Left) As Big Data infrastructures and systems, technology will hugely be present in our day to day tasks as Building Surveyors and Architects.
Lots of times, I have imagined how building projects will be managed in the future. One of the positive things we have learned during the COVID-19 global pandemic is that being at a place does not require you to physically be at that place. Technology has rapidly developed to allow us to keep operating during the hardest part of the lockdown, minimising what would have been a much more severe impact on the businesses and the economy in general.
I do believe that the existing technology will further evolve within the next years so we will see amazing changes in the way we interact with people. Sustainability targets will also help to that to happen. We will see that unnecessary commuting or travelling will be avoided, not just as a health and safety measure to restrict people’s contact to minimising the risk of driving, but also as a way to save in CO 2 emissions and make more efficient use of the time. CONT below…..
- (Image : Above, Centre) I imagine that projects will be presented to clients in a sort of interactive and editable hologram BIM model.
I imagine you will able to visualise the different parts of the project (structure, services, finishes) from various angles and viewpoints (from inside the model, outside, real size, scaled, etc.) and that you will able to make edits on the spot. These changes will be automatically registered and communicated to the architect/designer. Models will be set up with some parameters, including building regulations, the most relevant standards and other points included in the brief, so that changes will be dictated and restricted when they are against the pre-set parameters. These models, using Big Data, will be able to predict the most likely use patterns, as well as the way materials will perform or deteriorate and they will advise on the maintenance requirements. But also, they will be directly connected to the local authorities so they can be automatically validated.
- (Image : Above, Right) I imagine building sites will be equipped with a series of high-resolution camera devices that will provide us with real-time information on demand. These devices will allow us to carry out qualitative and quantitative controls. They will link to specific software that will extract data so that we can obtain reports on the go but also will speak to the 3D model and to track deviations to automatically produce an as-built version of the model. These devices will also have the projector function so that parts of the model can be projected on the spot to allow the contractors to accurately built the required details, evaluate the way some parts interfere with other elements and make corrective actions when necessary.
Drones and robots will also be present on site. Drones will provide us with information from difficult access areas, whilst robots will be used for both inspection and construction purposes (rendering, plastering, tiling, painting, etc.) As being at a place does not mean any longer physically being present in that place, site visits will be mostly organised remotely. There will be specifically trained staff who will provide us with guided walks around the site. They will be equipped with special go -pro cameras mounted on hardhats that will allow us to see what they see on-site and will aid to make decisions as we see. Both quality and site progress control will be more intense as virtual site inspections will happen more regularly. But when physical site meetings are required, people will use virtual reality lens so that they can simultaneously visualise the model and what has been built on site. These things I have mentioned are not science fiction but things that already exist and will become more popular within the next years.
- (Image: Below, Left) Another thing I have thought a lot about it is how building maintenance will be managed in the future, especially tenements. I imagine a virtual platform like Google maps in high resolution where you zoom in to inspect the condition of the different elements of the building, but also you can click and access information provided by various stakeholders. The platform would be developed and operated by public bodies (Local councils, government, etc.). Professional bodies and firm would be able to access to it by paying a fee/license. Then, they would populate it and incorporate Data. Ultimately, private clients would access the platform and obtain different types of information, reports, etc. Some of this information would be of public domain and therefore free access, whilst more specific information would be paid. I see something like the smartphone apps, where you can get licence free app or more specific and complete paid apps. The free information would include public and basic information, while the paid information could include condition reports, PPM reports.
In addition to this, I also imagine a sort of “MOT” system applied to buildings. Every building would need to pass a sort of “MOT” inspection every 5 or 10 years. Satisfactory reports would be needed for seeking or letting a property but also to engage with services suppliers such as gas, electricity or internet. This would be to ensure the buildings stock is maintained to a reasonable level. This “MOT” information would be of free access when entering into the virtual platform.
- (Image : Above, Centre) Finally my favourite.
Some historic buildings, which most or part of their historic fabric is lost, will be conserved intact but not with reconstruction/ restoration of their missing parts. Instead, hologram projections on-site or Virtual Reality will allow people to understand how they were in the past, but also will show other information to help with their interpretation, such as how their construction evolved and how life was at the time they were built. These are the things, together with those in my previous posts, I do believe we all will see in 10 years’ time.
Head over to our Instagram – @weareglm – and follow along as Sophie McLaren (Image : Above, Right) takes over Week 7!