Three major European general contractors – Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick – formed a joint venture, Align JV, to collaborate on a project on Phase One of HS2, a major high-speed rail project under development in the UK. Align is delivering the C1 package of the high-speed railway. Comprising a 21.6km stretch of railway, it includes a 3.37km viaduct and 16.04km twin-bored tunnel, with five ventilation shafts.
With P6 mandated by HS2, the construction schedule had already been built over the previous three years. Align wanted to use the ALICE construction optioneering platform to test its schedule assumptions and look for improvements. The Align team focused on using ALICE on the schedule for the viaduct, a complicated and critical part of the project.
With ALICE, the Align team created dozens of schedule options in just ten minutes. It then ran numerous “what if” analyses on the ALICE platform to determine how the JV could build the viaduct more efficiently. One of the areas the team explored most deeply was the finishes sequence and procurement for the viaduct’s deck.
“ALICE has opened people’s eyes to the way AI can be applied to construction project management. Running different construction scenarios using traditional software is time-consuming and error-prone. This innovation has supported collaborative planning with our subcontractors and enabled the project team to rapidly run alternative build sequences.”Innovation & Improvement Manager
The Align team optimized the sequences, resources and calendars for the viaduct construction with ALICE. Through this work, Align identified more than four months of savings on the finishes work that were implemented in the schedule to mitigate the risk of delays.
“ALICE has opened people’s eyes to the way AI can be applied to construction project management,” said Nick Podevyn, Innovation & Improvement Manager at Align. “Running different construction scenarios using traditional programming software is time consuming and error prone. This innovation has supported collaborative planning with our subcontractors and enabled the project team to rapidly run alternative build sequences.”
In October 2022, Align JV + ALICE were awarded the Industry Innovation Champion at the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) in London for the optimization work on the Colne Valley viaduct. Read more about it here.
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