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News Article

Digitalization in Construction Remains as Urgent as Ever

By Pedro Alcalá | Thu, 03/11/2021 - 14:17

You can watch the video of this presentation here.

The use of digital tools in construction processes will be of increasing relevance to Mexico’s energy development, given the infrastructure developments that must be finalized to reach the country’s ambitious goals. That much was clear during Mexico Energy Forum 2021’s presentation titled, "Explore the Unexplored With Digital Construction Tools," imparted by Nathan Shabot, Business Development Director for Latin American at Locusview, on Thursday, Mar. 11.

Shabot began his presentation by asking the audience if they believed that operators and developers in their sector would be interested in technologies that could reduce their paperwork and information processing by up to 70 percent, their costs by 50 percent and their onsite supervision time by 20 percent. Shabot said these are the kinds of advantages that can be provided by digital construction tools. “Mexico faces a digitization challenge but this is the future and we must adapt. Locusview wants to be Mexico's main ally in this transition.” These tools will face great demand given the growth rate of construction in different sectors by 2032. The examples Shabot mentioned included the 29 percent expected growth in transmission lines, 60 percent in renewable energy plants, 30 percent in natural gas transportation infrastructure and 100 percent in telecommunications infrastructure. Shabot expects these rates to support construction that will aid smart grids and distributed energy generation, which by then will have a strong digital technology component as part of their construction process.        

All of these growth targets, in Shabot’s estimation, present three distinct challenges for construction companies, developers and EPCs: operational efficiency must be increased, risk must be reduced and financial efficiency must soar as well. Shabot, however, believes that Locusview digital construction tools can provide solutions for all of these challenges. Originally an Israeli-American company founded in 2014, Locusview now works with over 20 of the largest energy companies in the US. The company furthermore participates in development projects in India, Mexico, Greece, Ireland and the UK. Its objective is to build “the world’s best digital construction management platform.” The company has worked with major energy companies, including Atmos Energy and Washington Gas Limited.    

One of the issues that led to the founding of Locusview is that over half of all infrastructure in the US was built and installed between the 1950s and 1960s, with no data recollection policies in place. Over time, this led to significant accidents like the San Bruno explosion in 2010. Regulation has been introduced to integrate all distribution networks and grids but that has created a need to manage all of the data that these integrations have generated. The ultimate goal of digital construction platforms like the one provided by Locusview is to solve the myriad of issues created by paper-based and analog construction processes, such as logistical bottlenecks due to outdated communication between onsite and offsite, traceability of documents and materials, lack of efficient standardization and imprecise logging of dig sites and finds. Digital tools can increase the project’s visibility while minimizing the kind of human error that delays projects and ROI timelines. 

Locusview’s platform achieves all of this by providing a number of integrated tools for each project. For example, it can generate a digital twin for your project, manage all financial operations and control all transactions, as well as follow up on all aspects of project management and prepare packages and deliverables for a project’s closing process. Shabot explained that the platform can move seamlessly between mobile and web applications and be a part of a project throughout all phases of development. It is also coupled with hardware components that are designed for use in construction environments. Shabot concluded his presentation by clarifying that these types of platforms will prove invaluable to all major players in the market: “Our digital construction platform provides all the project information to monitor it in real time and have automatic report generation.”

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Journalist and Industry Analyst