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Smart Data and the Digital Planning of Buildings

Carolin Petterson

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Quite often, contractors and anyone else involved in the project find themselves in a situation where a building takes longer and costs more to build than expected. This is the case because with some projects they simply fail when it comes to coordinating all the assignments and dealing with errors that come up. Luckily, as we see technology advance more and more there is a solution to this problem and it’s called Building Information Modeling or BIM. This is a piece of technology that allows experts to display blueprints clearly in 3D and provides them with all the additional information necessary for completing the project quickly and efficiently. But what’s the digital planning of buildings all about? How does it work? Why do we need it? And what does it mean for the future? Read on to find out.

What’s the reason for using smart data?

There’s no need for us to say that there are so many things that have to be done when constructing a building. Operating cranes, pouring the floor, and inserting power cables in walls are just some of the things that have to be done in order to bring a building to life. And you probably believe all of these make a perfectly choreographed process. However, with all those things that have to be done, achieving perfect cohesion is almost never possible. Not only do things like this make contractors’ job more difficult but they also result in irritated clients, added costs and huge delays. Since there’s nothing contractors can do in order to get this problem solved, a change in technology needed to be made. Thanks to experts who work in this field, the entire construction industry is now turning towards smart data and virtual world. More specifically, the industry is now relying on BIM, the technology we’ve already mentioned above. This means there are no more static 2D blueprints that were responsible for all the misunderstandings and the contractors can now rely on 3D blueprints which tend to be more accurate.

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How does the digital planning of buildings work?

The digital planning of buildings by using 3D blueprints is what building industry is all about at the moment. These things are designed to plan the process of construction to be as quick and efficient as possible. The key to BIM is the use of virtual model that contains all the data about the project. Basically, this model is a digital twin of the building that’s being constructed. This digital twin is used to collect data such as costs, deadlines and technical specifications which makes contractors’ job much easier. This is done by linking all the phases of the project to the necessary information, and this results in all the data used in the project coming from a single source, which wasn’t the case with traditional planning of buildings. Therefore, BIM allows the specialists from all the field to access the same 3D model and use identical data when planning their work. However, it’s not only them who’ll benefit from using technologies like this. Clients can now get more accurate information about when their project is going to be finished and how much it’s going to cost them.

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What does it mean for the future?

Even though the use of 3D blueprints allows contractors and everyone else involved in the project to coordinate, all the equipment used when building with 2D blueprints is still very much needed. Not only this, every project requires professionals who will make the most of this new type of model and work quickly and efficiently. For example, when it comes to the formwork, experts such as those at TDK formwork are needed in order to get the job done.

Резултат слика за 3D blueprints allows contractors and everyone else involved in the project to coordinate, all the equipment used when building with 2D blueprints

While all the projects still require equipment and professionals to handle the task, the use of 3D blueprints will help when it comes to any future building management activities. For example, if you want to tear down all the walls on a single floor and form an open-plan office, by using the 3D model, you should be able to get all the information about the time and costs of this project. Not only this, but by turning to 3D blueprints you should be able to adjust the ventilation and heating systems in the new office. With old 2D blueprints, tasks like this would take more time and effort, and chances are they wouldn’t be as accurate.

All in all, it’s safe to say that technology is playing a crucial role in everything we do and such is the case with building. Data is more important than ever and there are new ways experts in building industry can harness it. Smart data we can now collect is slowly changing the way every project is being tackled, since it makes cohesion possible and leaves almost no room for errors. And with more buildings being planned this way, we can expect building maintenance activities in the future to become much easier which is something experts always aim at. Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace and we can’t possibly imagine all the new updates building industry is going to see in the years to come.

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NCDMB: The agency providing funding, incubation and mentorship opportunities for technology startups and innovators

Segun Balogun

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Win up to $10,000 Seed Funding in the NCDMB Oil & Gas Technology Hackathon 

The Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) programme is the first ever Oil and Gas hackathon with the primary aim of fostering innovations in the oil and gas industry as well as creating a platform for the proliferation of local content. The programme is headlined by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) with partnership from Learners Support Consultancy and BrentHub.

NOGTECH aims to address the challenges faced by the nation’s oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors by ideating, developing and prototyping digital technology solutions that solve these pertinent problems. The programme is promoting innovation by offering seed funding, business mentorship and incubation to the winning ideas.

Call for Submissions

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, disclosed that “five teams will get $10,000 equity-free grants each”.

 

 

In a webinar session titled “Innovating for the future of Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry and its Linkage Sectors.”, Engr. Wabote revealed that submissions into the programme will be scrutinised based on several factors.

”Participants must be a team/company of at least two or more members with at least 75 percent of the founding team as Nigerians. The team/company must be a registered, or intending to register as a profit/business entity. The solution described in response to the challenge must be driven by digital technology – Software, Hardware or both.”

He also disclosed that “the solution must either be at the ideation stage, prototype level or a launched solution that hasn’t gained commercial traction. The team must be available to participate in a three-day hackathon as well as a three-month incubation programme, if selected.”

Solving the Industry’s Toughest Challenges

NCDMB is determined to unearth scalable solutions to the industry’s biggest challenges. Some of the identified problem areas include the rising problem of pipeline vandalism, increase in cyber-physical risk, widening skill gap, supply chain and logistics inefficiency, rising carbon footprint and issues surrounding transparency, accountability and civic engagement.

Innovators are encouraged to proffer sustainable and scalable solutions to these biggest challenges faced by industry stakeholders.

Pitching to Investors

Ultimately, the winning teams will have an opportunity to pitch their prototypes to investors. But before then, the NOGTECH programme is taking place over several weeks with the selected ideas advancing on a stage by stage basis.

The first stage is the call for submissions where teams and startups are encouraged to submit their ideas. Shortlisted teams in each of the challenge areas will first be invited to present online to a team of experienced entrepreneurs and industry professionals. The most promising teams will then be selected to participate in an all-expense paid 3-day hackathon. Submit your ideas here

During this time, shortlisted participants will have a couple of days to collaborate and build their prototypes or fine-tune existing prototypes with guidance from industry stakeholders, experts and mentors. At the end of the bootcamp, teams will revalidate their solutions and have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges.

Prizes for Winning Teams

The winning five teams will undergo a 3-month incubation program where each team will get a $10,000 equity-free grant, a work-space, expert mentors, global partners and unprecedented market access over three-months, ensuring they become commercial and investor-ready.

At the end of the incubation, the teams will participate in a showcase day to demonstrate their progress. This showcase will aim to connect them with investors and industry stakeholders where they can further amplify their market access.

So if you are an innovator seeking opportunities, identifying them and seizing the ones that then match, then you have to apply to NOGTECH.

In order to participate in the hackathon, innovators, teams and startups can get started here.

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Blue Ridge Enhances Machine Learning Capabilities for Price Optimization

Segun Balogun

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 Blue Ridge announced today enhancements to its suite of next-gen cloud-based Price Optimization solutions, which leverage machine learning to quickly identify opportunities and simulate pricing strategies for peak margin, profits, revenues and sales. The pricing suite supports end-to-end pricing transformations, a strategy proven to minimize disruption and drive significant earnings expansion for distributors and retailers.

Blue Ridge’s Price Optimization solution quickly identifies both overpriced and underpriced products while providing accurate recommendations for aligning prices across products, channels and price points including wholesale, list and customer segment. The solution provides daily alerts on competitive price changes to react quickly in price-transparent ecommerce channels, as well as make recommendations on reducing excess inventory to create significant value and profit margin improvement.

“Today’s enterprises and brands have seen the impact when supply chains and demand signals disrupt markets,” said Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & CEO, Constellation Research, Inc. “Those leaders who had the right price optimization tools were able to respond with agility, resiliency, and speed to account for new signal intelligence and ensure that customers were satisfied, margins were met, and supply chains were not disrupted.”

A report by McKinsey & Company illustrated the latent benefits of intelligent pricing, estimating that “A one-percent price increase would yield 22 percent increase in EBITDA margins, and a 25 percent uplift in stock price. Moreover, pricing has a disproportionate impact on a distributor’s enterprise value, with an increase of 20 percent for a one-percent increase in price.”

“The highly competitive and increasingly digital landscape of consumer buying today requires that distributors and retailers analyze things like minimum advertised price, psychological price points, willingness-to-pay measurement, and even list and net pricing, as well as macroeconomic influences before setting prices,” said Cliff Isaacson, Blue Ridge Executive Vice President of Product Strategy. “Machine learning-based pricing tools allow our customers to make those decisions swiftly and confidently, so they can always operate at max-profit point.”

Blue Ridge Price Optimization uses machine learning capabilities to continually optimize pricing across all products (not just top-tier items), segment and perfect pricing for each customer, and give distributors the upper-hand in supplier negotiations:

  • Comprehensive Pricing Strategy: Simulate different pricing scenarios and predict the impact of a price change before implementing it.
  • Competitive Positioning: Respond immediately to price changes from competitors, as well as supplier rules, segmentation, positioning and price change frequency.
  • Intelligent Analytics: Purpose-built for the distribution and retail industries, Price Optimization’s intelligent science learns from price changes and results over time to steadily improve price recommendations.
  • Customer Segmentation: Identifies customer performance, discounting and pricing opportunities based on willingness-to-pay and past performance.
  • Rapid Results: In under 90 days, businesses can have intelligent Price Optimization recommendations for achieving both short-term and long-term S&OP goals, continually refined year after year.

Price Optimization joins Blue Ridge’s suite of Supply Chain Planning solutions, which help customers increase forecast accuracy, improve customer satisfaction, and assure product availability to customers without creating a costly inventory surplus.

“Price Optimization combined with Supply Chain Planning solutions creates a huge financial game-changer for retailers, distributors and manufacturers in today’s volatile market,” said Jim Byrnes, Blue Ridge Chief Executive Officer. “It uniquely blends science and synchronization to solve our customers’ biggest problem – what they don’t know. With Price Optimization, our customers have the insight to pivot quickly and grab significant near-term savings; shape and align longer-range S&OP processes; and consistently deliver pricing that’s both competitive and profitable.”

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Ecobank Group and JA Africa partner to promote financial literacy skills among Africa’s youth

Segun Balogun

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Junior Achievement (JA) Africa and Ecobank Group announce their new partnership- “Banking on Africa’s Youth.” The partnership will undertake a campaign that will tap into JA’s vast online community, comprising over one million young social media followers spread across Africa. It will educate and mobilize over 600,000+ young people with financial literacy knowledge, as part of Ecobank’s Junior Savers initiative which in part seeks to grow financial inclusion for young Africans using Ecobank’s mobile/digital resources.

The purpose of the online campaign is to empower potential and existing Junior Savers account holders with the requisite financial literacy knowledge to understand and begin to build a culture of savings as part of their personal financial habits. The campaign targets youth groups, online influencers, and communities with knowledge of some basic financial concepts.

“The Ecobank Group is committed to building financial literacy and money management skills amongst the youth as they transition into Africa’s productive workforce,” said Nana Araba Abban, Group Consumer Banking Head at Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. “Our collaboration with JA Africa will enable us to positively impact young citizens who are our investment in the future of the continent.”

The value for customers will be expanded to include financial literacy concepts: earning, budgeting, spending, and banking. The campaign will involve participants advancing progressively through the four concepts. JA Africa will launch the campaign to reach different youth groups in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal through all its media outlets over a period of three years.

Speaking about the program, JA Africa’s CEO, Elizabeth Elango Bintliff, said, “This partnership with the Ecobank Group reinforces both JA Africa’s and the banking group’s commitment to financial literacy and inclusion for all Africans, especially the youth. We believe in educating a new generation of leaders with the knowledge they need to navigate their economic futures while giving them the tools to succeed.”

Africa’s youth today are growing up in a new financial world where technology plays a big role in in their lives. This partnership will go a long way to reach and influence behavior of millions of unbanked young people on the African continent by giving them the requisite financial literacy skills to become financially informed adults in the future. According to the World Bank 2018 report, young Africans are less likely to have a bank account than adults on the continent. At the same time, they are more likely to have a mobile phone, engage with friends and be aware of digital channels. Current technology channels, especially social and digital media, provide the avenue to reach and engage young people at scale. The campaign therefore seeks to leverage technology to achieve its goals.

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