University of Bradford has big plans for Spot following investment

Professor Andrew Wilson, Chair of the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences with BD25, aka Spot!

BuildingPoint UK and Ireland collaborates closely with universities within our distribution area. Through our extensive network, we have successfully introduced cutting-edge digital technologies that are poised to captivate the next wave of tech-savvy, motivated engineers and surveyors, precisely the talent our industry craves. Addressing the existing skills deficit and forging a safer, more efficient, and sustainable industry for the future are the key objectives in our quest to attract a new generation of geospatial professionals.

It’s our partnerships with these institutions that have enabled us to build on sales successes that generally commence with the introduction of groundbreaking technologies, like the Trimble SiteVision augmented reality system and the X7 3D Laser Scanner, setting the stage for the subsequent introduction of Spot.

Spot has generated considerable interest with sales to Universities such as Liverpool John Moores (LJMU) and more recently, University of Bradford.

University of Bradford

The University of Bradford has an existing relationship with KOREC that has resulted in the supply of a comprehensive survey portfolio including the Trimble S7 Robotic Total Station, R12i GNSS and XR10 Mixed Reality System. Working with BuildingPoint UK and Ileland, ‘Spot’ was jointly introduced following a request from the University of Bradford.  This request aimed at optimising their educational offerings for students while concurrently enhancing their capabilities for ongoing domestic and global projects, encompassing diverse fields such as archaeology, forensics, and the development of digital twins.

Spot was acquired by the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences and has affectionately been nicknamed ‘BD25,’ in a nod to the University’s partnership with Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture. It has been equipped with a 3D laser scanner, and other sensors will be added in due course, including a mobile mapping kit. Amongst many plans, academics plan to use it for exploring and recording heritage at risk such as abandoned mill buildings in the Bradford area.

‘BD25’ unveiled at the showcase event

On Weds 13th September Spot, aka ‘BD25’, was unveiled and taken for walkies around the University campus to the delight of more than 100 invited guests, as part of a showcase of the School’s new multi-million suite of cutting-edge technologies. KOREC’s Amanda Bradshaw and BuildingPoint UK and Ireland’s Sam Hough were delighted to be there supporting the event and answering all questions generated by the dog’s presence.

The successful introduction of ‘Spot’ means that the University is looking at acquiring a second unit.

The University of Bradford has a long-established reputation as one of the key centres for archaeological research in the UK, recognised by being awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2021 in recognition of its world-leading work and innovation in developing archaeological technology and techniques and its influence on practice, policy, and society.

The kit has been funded through investment the University has received through Capco, the Capability for Collections fund, part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) allocation of world-class laboratories funding, UKRI World Class Labs.

Liverpool John Moores University

LJMU took delivery of their Spot towards the end of 2022 and was the first university in Europe to acquire one planning to use it for teaching and research. At the forefront of the digital revolution within the construction industry, they see Spot as not only an important addition to attract engineers on to their courses to gain hands-on experience, but also as a valuable asset for their own engineering projects and R&D as they explore Spot’s capabilities and options for different payloads.

Left to right: Ben Lewis (KOREC Group) Dr Layth Kraidi (LJMU), Sam Hough (BuildingPoint UK and Ireland) and Dr Fiona Borthwick (LJMU). 

In particular, Dr Fiona Borthwick, Interim Subject Head of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, feels that Spot will be integral for both teaching and research as well as a great plus for LJMU students who are able to familiarise themselves with this technology before they go full-time into the industry.

‘Spot’ has its inbuilt 3D Laser Scanner calibrated by the BuildingPoint UK and Ireland Service Centre

We Are One: BuildingPoint UK & Ireland turns 1

Today (21st September) marks 1 year since the launch of BuildingPoint UK & Ireland.

So what better time to look back at all what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months?

First things first, who are we?

Although BuildingPoint may be 1, we trace our history back much longer than this! Before September 2022, you probably knew us as KOREC Construction – the digital construction division of KOREC Group – one of the world’s largest and most successful Trimble distributors.

In order to better serve the UK & Ireland’s construction sectors, we made the decision to rebrand to BuildingPoint – joining an existing global family of over 20 BuildingPoint companies from across the USA, Australia and Europe. This closer collaboration with our partners allows for knowledge-sharing and best-practice – benefits which we pass onto you, our customers!

We’ve Grown…

Starting off with just 2 team members (Sam Hough & Kevin Colwell), our team has expanded rapidly to deal with increasing demand.

We’re proud to introduce our whole team to you;

Why not connect with them on LinkedIn to access all the latest hints, tips, and product updates

We’ve got the Greatest Solutions

Thanks to our close partnership with Trimble Construction Field Technology, we’ve access to the latest, greatest and most efficient digital construction solutions, spanning layout, floor flatness verification, clash detection and as-built model creation. These include two solutions recently launched – the Trimble X9 laser scanner, and the Trimble Ri robotic total station. Not even to mention Spot the robot dog!

We’re Getting Involved

We want to be an active member of the digital construction sector, driving innovation and increasing productivity right through the construction process. Which is why we’ve got involved in a number of industry bodies, including;

The Finishes & Interiors Sector – we’re a proud supporter of this not-for-profit organisation that represents the £10 billion FIS sector. See all the members here.

Supporters of BE-ST (Built Environment – Smarter Transformation), providing training time & materials –  allowing BE-ST to provide fully-funded training in digital construction skills and technologies for educators and SMEs across Scotland.

We’re Winners!

Unsurprisingly, Trimble’s cutting-edge solutions are already garnering awards and praise from the industry. Spot the Dog won the ‘Best use of Digital Technology in a Construction Project’ at the 2022 Construction Computing Awards – alongside customer BAM Nuttall.

Our solutions are once again shortlisted in the 2023 awards including for Product of the Year (Trimble X9), Construction Software (Trimble Connect), and Channel Partner of the Year (BuildingPoint!). See the whole shortlist and vote for your winner, here.

We’re Looking Ahead

Far from resting on our laurels, we’ve got exciting plans for the coming months. In October we’ll be hosting our own event focussing on the FIS membership, and how our innovative solutions can turbo-charge their on-site efficiencies. These include replacing outdated, inaccurate and slow tape measures with quick, repeatable digital setting out.

The following month, November, we are excited to be collaborating with our Trimble digital construction partners on a 4-day, online webinar course that covers every single stage of the digital construction process, and how Trimble has a solution for each and every stage.

Our partners in this exciting endeavour include;

Make sure you’re following our social channels (links at the bottom of the page) for more on these upcoming events and how to take part.

BuildingPoint UK & Ireland are proud to supply the highest quality Trimble surveying equipment and BIM solutions to the construction industry. 

Our mission is to empower you to measure, map and manage the natural and built environment with ease. If you have any questions about BIM technology and software, or you’d like to hire Trimble survey equipment, our knowledgeable team is always on hand to help, just get in touch

BIM Technology: What Is It? How Does It Work & Why Does It Matter?

BIM is a digital representation and complex system used in the creation and management of a construction project – from start to finish.

It’s become a vital part of construction projects and you’d be hard pushed to find one that doesn’t use BIM, so much so, it’s now a legal requirement for large scale and public builds to use BIM as part of their processes under the UK government Digital Built Britain scheme. This is all in a bid to improve efficiency and quality of the built environment.

BIM effectively coordinates a digital workflow of each aspect of a build. This includes 3D modelling, product and material data and digital structures. 

An acronym for Building Information Modeling or Building Information Management, all manner of workers and individuals involved in a construction project are able to participate and contribute to the BIM management process. 

From architects to engineers, as well as local authorities and contractors, everybody involved collaborates on the model from the design stage, to its approval and construction. 

Notably, the data can be shared and accessed by BIM managers and the client who can use the BIM model and information to make decisions regarding the build. This data and information remains accessible even after construction has been completed. 

In the past, we relied on blueprints and drawings to communicate building plans but this came with a list of disadvantages. It was often difficult to accurately visualise dimensions, record keeping could be an issue, they were easier to lose or damage and there’d also be no audit trail.

CAD (Computer Aided Design) came along to help improve this, allowing drafters and workers to see digital 3D plans. Today, we have BIM, allowing for support and collaboration at every phase of construction.

Key Features of BIM Technology

In short, BIM software works by taking survey data, designs and considerations to create three-dimensional (3D) objects. These objects combine to create a digital building model alongside a digital workflow from field to finish – for everyone from the architect to the contractors, to the building inspector and stakeholders.

The model contains data describing the building materials, the dimensions and the various components of the construction. The data can be converted into 2D drawings, allowing you to create digital workflows from office to site that would have one source of truth and audit trails.

It allows individuals involved – either directly or indirectly – in the construction to gain insight into various aspects of the build seamlessly for maximum efficiency. 

As a result, the data generated can reveal design problems that can be circumnavigated early on by architects and engineers. 

The Benefits of BIM Technology

A question many ask is what are the benefits of using BIM in construction projects?

BIM software comes with a slew of them. Here are some of the many advantages:

Better Collaboration and Communication 

A key benefit of using BIM in a construction project is that it helps facilitate and finetune communication between all professionals involved. 

Everybody is able to clearly see the virtual model of the building, meaning everyone has clear insight into the project and its requirements. A further benefit of this is that it can prevent any misunderstandings arising which in turn helps prevent delays in construction. 

Enhanced Efficiency

The process of creating 2D drawings is significantly expedited using BIM tools. In fact, this is a big part of its appeal: it saves architects and designers a lot of time at the drawing stage. 

Improved Quality Control 

Design and construction problems can be identified early on through digital visualisations of the building. This is a huge time and resource saver and also helps to ensure a high quality project completion. 

Lower Costs

Through early detection of potential problems in the construction project, costly errors can be avoided. 

Quicker Construction Life Cycle

By employing BIM tools, the whole construction process from start to finish can be planned and monitored with close precision, eliminating communication hold-ups and potential delays.

More Sustainable 

A building’s carbon footprint can be brought down significantly by using BIM analysis tools to optimise energy efficiency. 

Types of BIM Software

There is a variety of BIM software on the market with each designed to play a significant role in the overall BIM process. As an authorised Trimble distributor, we focus on the following BIM software:

Let’s take a look at the BIM lifecycle and which phase of the project you might use each piece of software: 

Applications of BIM Technology in Construction

A lot of people wonder what is the purpose of BIM technology? But the answer is varied as it supports a number of processes in the construction journey. Below we’ll discuss some of the key ones.

Design and Visualisation of Building Structures

Using BIM software such as FieldLink and Field Points, and hardware such as laser scanning equipment and total stations, designers, architects and engineers can gather invaluable insight into the intricacies of the site to enable them to create a model for the project. 

Designers can pick from a library of building elements, including windows, doors, plumbing and ventilation, heating and cooling systems as well as things like stairs and elevators, which can be quickly added to the design. These elements are parametric, meaning they can easily be resized and customised to perfectly fit with the project.

They can also assemble photo-realistic renderings which can be presented to stakeholders or clients – or indeed used for marketing purposes. Renderings are often very important for giving those concerned a clearer insight into what the end result will be. 

BIM tools can also generate important documents like floor plans and elevations which can be passed on to construction workers.

Construction Project Management and Scheduling

BIM tools such as Trimble Connect, Connect AR and Connect MR can be used to assist in the planning, management and scheduling of a construction project. It can do this by offering smart 3D computer models, which can contribute to the management of survey, design, engineering and building.

Collected site survey data can be input to generate a 3D computer model of a building. 

Architects, engineers and anyone involved in the building process can use the model to plan and collaborate on the construction. 

At the design phase, a digital version of the building will be proposed. This model can be used to test design ideas, the integrity of the structure as well as practical concerns such as energy efficiency and fire safety. 

Once the design and planning phase is completed, BIM can create scheduling and track the ongoing build. 

As the build moves forward, tools like CloudEngine can be used to communicate updates with technical collaborators and non-technical stakeholders through easy to understand modelling and real-time simulations to keep track of progress. 

BIM Data Management and Analysis

3D clash detection also plays a role in construction management. It’s a process whereby contractor’s different models are merged to identify any problems. Other ways are through 4D sequencing and virtual mock-ups which can assess the quality of the construction.

Facility Management and Maintenance

BIM can also provide quantifiable insights valuable to facility management post build. 

For instance, it can tell you a building’s predicted energy expenditure, as well as how much maintenance will cost. It does this in part by providing information about things like the durability of materials and the weather conditions of the site – which provides a clear idea of how often components will need to be repaired or replaced. 

While in the past a balance sheet and other documents might give you some idea of these things, looking at a building model and seeing in detail how those costs will look is much more accurate and easy to put into practice.

What is the future of BIM technology?

BIM offers a number of benefits, meaning it is likely not going anywhere.

Architects, engineers and construction workers stand to benefit from the insight BIM can provide them with, and we will see this digital collaboration via the BIM process continue to develop and be optimised. 

As BIM technology develops, we will also start to see 4D, 5D, 6D and 7D BIM come into the picture.

Additionally, it could play a valuable role in reducing waste in construction. A lot of this waste is due to supply chain errors and having to rebuild or rework problems. The collaborative nature of the BIM environment helps prevent these issues, making such waste less likely to occur in future projects.

Looking to the future, BIM has huge potential and this potential is only just coming into view. With new tools and greater optimisation at every level of building construction, we will likely see far more fine-tuned, enhanced and optimised building processes going forward. 

Efficiency, Accuracy and Collaboration

BIM-enabled construction processes provide greater efficiency, visualisation and collaboration throughout a design and construction project. 

It can assist communication between those involved, including stakeholders and local authorities that will approve planning permission. As a platform, it can help ensure all individuals involved are working towards the same clearly defined construction goal. 

Companies use BIM today due to its value at each and every phase of construction – from its initial design to maintenance of the facility. With analysis tools it can identify areas of improvement and run predictions for how often upkeep and repair will be required. At the time of a building’s completion, it can still provide insight into a building’s operations making it a highly valuable, comprehensive process for construction. 

BuildingPoint UK & Ireland are proud to supply the highest quality Trimble surveying equipment and BIM solutions to the construction industry. 

Our mission is to empower you to measure, map and manage the natural and built environment with ease. If you have any questions about BIM technology and software, or you’d like to hire Trimble survey equipment, our knowledgeable team is always on hand to help, just get in touch

Announcing: BuildingPoint UK and Ireland achieves FIS membership status

BuildingPoint UK and Ireland is pleased to announce it is now an accredited member of FIS, the industry’s top representative body for the £10 billion fit-out finishes and interiors sector.

With the FIS commitment to keeping members up to date with the trends and innovations in the sector, BuildingPoint UK and Ireland looks forward to assisting the community by offering information and help in the adoption of fit-out task-specific software and hardware from the BuildingPoint portfolio of Trimble products. These easy to use but innovative solutions include digital setting out equipment, Mixed and Augmented Reality systems, 3D Laser Scanners, Robotic Total Stations and even autonomous robots such as ‘Spot’ the agile dog and HP Construction Services SitePrint, Robotic Layout Solution.

Sam Hough, Business Manager (UK) BuildingPoint UK and Ireland said:

“We are thrilled to announce BuildingPoint’s latest milestone as a proud member of the FIS. This membership amplifies our commitment to reshaping the landscape of the interiors sector with state-of-the-art technology specifically designed for those that want to increase profitability, site efficiency, accuracy and safety through the adoption of easy to implement digital workflows.”


Joe Cilia, FIS’ Technical Director said:

“We are delighted to welcome BuildingPoint UK and Ireland into membership of FIS. They bring with them the skills, knowledge, and resources to help members work effectively using the array of new and innovative digital tools available. AR, MR and installation & verification technologies are an exciting new area with the capability to revolutionise how we deliver and record projects in real time”.

About FIS

FIS is a driving force for quality within the industry, providing unparalleled guidance, training and technical support for its members. FIS is a supply change body, committed through service and vetting to deliver the best knowledge and services for its members, ensuring the community is kept up to date with the trends and innovations in the industry.

About BuildingPoint UK and Ireland

BuildingPoint dealers represent Trimble Buildings’ solutions. This covers their software, service and hardware offerings designed to allow users to create, transfer and modify construction models throughout the design, build, operate (DBO) lifecycle.

They provide a groundbreaking capability to help make projects quicker, more cost-efficient and stay on schedule by enabling tighter coordination and collaboration.


What construction can learn from manufacturing

Did you know that US sectors including agriculture and manufacturing have increased productivity 10 to 15 times since the 1950s, the productivity of construction remains stuck at the same level as 80 years ago?

BuildingPoint UK and Irelands Business Manager (UK), Sam Hough, takes a look at why the construction sector is underperforming and what we can do about it.

A Century of Evolution: Construction vs. Manufacturing

Over the past century, both the construction and manufacturing industries have undergone significant transformations, spurred by technological advancements, shifts in global economies, and changing societal demands. While the core principles of these sectors have remained unchanged, the methods and processes have evolved dramatically. Let’s explore how construction and manufacturing have changed over the last one hundred years and analyse the key factors that have shaped their respective journeys. By looking at this, it will help us understand WHY construction has been losing the ‘evolution race’ for nearly a century.

A recent McKinsey article titled “REINVENTING CONSTRUCTION: A ROUTE TO HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY” explores how the changes between both sectors have not necessarily resulted in similar productivity growth.

“Every year, there is about $10 trillion in construction-related spending globally, equivalent to 13 percent of GDP.

Global labour-productivity growth in construction has averaged only 1 percent a year over the past two decades (and was flat in most advanced economies). Contrasted with growth of 2.8 percent in the world economy and 3.6 percent in manufacturing,

US sectors including agriculture and manufacturing have increased productivity ten to 15 times since the 1950s, the productivity of construction remains stuck at the same level as 80 years ago.

The article clearly indicates that the construction sector is underperforming. Current measurements find that there has been a consistent decline in the industry’s productivity since the late 1960s. If we can achieve a manufacturing-style production system, it is estimated this could boost productivity by 5-10x!

5 reasons why construction hasn’t achieved its potential

Construction faces several challenges when it comes to a perceived lack of advancement:

  1. Technological adoption: Historically, the construction industry has been slow to adopt new technologies compared to other sectors.
  2. Fragmented nature: The construction industry often involves many stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and suppliers. The fragmented nature of the industry can lead to communication gaps and inefficiencies that slow down advancements, multiple single sources of truth!
  3. Skilled labour shortage: The industry has faced difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled workers. The lack of skilled labour can lead to delays and reduced productivity, impacting the overall advancement of projects.
  4. Risk-averse culture: The construction sector often prioritises tried-and-tested methods to avoid risks and costly mistakes. This risk-averse culture can discourage experimentation and the adoption of new approaches.
  5. Funding and investment: Construction projects can be capital-intensive, and obtaining funding for innovative projects may be challenging, especially for smaller companies or startups with limited resources.

Automobile – Then vs. Now

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In a manufacturing setting, with the rise of assembly lines, pioneered by Henry Ford, mass production became possible. Robotics and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machines have dramatically increased productivity, reduced errors, and enabled cost-effective, large-scale production.

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In 1886, a patent was filed under the number 37435, this is to be considered the first practical automobile put into series production. It had 1 cylinder, 3 horsepower, 2 speeds and weighed 360KG! This patent was filed under Benz & Co… Later known as Mercedes Benz.

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If we look at a modern-day car, a Mercedes EQS for example, it boasts 658 horsepower, charges in 31 minutes and it has a fully digital dash!

Can you imagine if Karl Benz was able to see what his automobile company was going to be in 150 years!?

Construction – Then vs. Now

Granted, the two industries do differ drastically with technological improvements and the sheer demand for automobiles. We can’t avoid the fact though that the technology for construction is there, we just need to adopt it! The key to this is often overcoming the reasons listed 1-5 above.

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Whilst the construction sector has seen vast improvements, these have predominantly been focused on health and safety. If you compare the construction site of Kensington Station (built in the mid 1800s) with a modern-day construction site, you’ll see the similarities. The technology is very much the same, with little advancements of the “traditional” trades.

Technology is the key to success

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What does any of this mean in relation to the hardware we offer at BuildingPoint?

Whether you’re a drylining company or are installing MEPF, with feature rich drawings and 3D models, it’s seen to reduce rework costs by 30%, and increase productivity by up to 90% using our setting out solutions!

If you’re a concrete contractor, wanting to check a pour is within your tolerance, or a general contractor / principal contractor wanting to ensure all parts of your project are being installed to specification by your subcontractors, our 3D laser scanners have got your back!

Maybe you’re wanting to roll the 3D model out to your site team to aid coordination or are looking to collaborate remotely with your team through remote, handsfree video calls, our mixed and augmented reality solutions can achieve this!

And if you’re really pushing the boundaries and want to become the next Mercedes Benz of the construction industry, why look into robotic layout, using the HP SitePrint which boasts up to 10x speed increases.

Or even you are looking to perform dirty, dull and dangerous tasks, our SPOT and X7/X9 solution can increase your productivity by removing the human aspect from data acquisition, freeing them up for other tasks, or avoid sending an operative into a potentially dangerous environment.

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Press Coverage – CES interview with Sam Hough and Nathan Patton

Press Coverage – CES interview with Sam Hough and Nathan Patton

Have you seen the March issue of CES Magazine? Out now, this publication features an interview by CES Deputy Editor, Danielle Kenneally, who had plenty of questions she wanted answering on behalf of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineery Surveyors. Who better to field her enquires on ‘Looking at why digitisation in the construction industry does and doesn’t happen, than the perfect double act of BuildingPoint UK and Ireland’s Business Manager, Sam Hough, and Trimble’s Product Manager in Strategy and Innovation in Building Construction, Nathan Patton.

Not afraid to tackle the tricky topics of barriers to digitisation, should we fear the robots and is progress being made, Danielle wasn’t afraid to check with Sam if Nathan had lived up to the hype as one of the industry’s top 22 young professionals to watch! Find out Sam’s answer on this and read the full interview here: 

Case Study: O’Dwyer Steel – Refining the workflow and delivering total confidence on site

How O’Dwyer Steel has revolutionised it’s workflow using Trimble Tekla Structures software and a Trimble X7 3D Laser Scanner.

Download a PDF of the story here

Based in the village of Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, O’Dwyer Steel brings together the best of the old and the new through its 60 years’ of experience in the supply of CE certified steel and cladding alongside a thoroughly modern approach to the adoption of new technology and workflows.

Operating out of its purpose built, 4 hectare fabrication facility, the company delivers steel structures for the offsite, industrial, commercial and agricultural markets throughout the UK and Ireland and has established a hard-earned reputation through its decades of experience and successful business relationships.

The Trimble X7 3D Laser Scanner chosen by ODS

Great detail and true accuracy

Central to O’Dwyer’s success is its ability to deliver high-quality steel fabrications, designed and fitted with millimetre precision. Consequently, the company relies on the highly accurate measurements collected on site at the early stages of every project.

The capture of this data can be extremely time consuming and labour intensive as well as causing downtime through rework. Not only must it deliver on accuracy, but it is also vital that information collected during the site survey stage has sufficient detail for the avoidance of clashes at a later stage, particularly on more complex projects such as the retrofitting of steel works into existing buildings. Any discrepancies between the fabricated steel and the real-world site can result in costly rework as well as delaying a project by typically a week to 10 days.

O’Dwyer Steel’s current workflow sees a site engineer using a manual total station to record points which are backed up by a sketch made in the field. On returning to the office, the engineer then produces an AutoCAD drawing which is passed to the steel detailer for subsequent 3D modelling.

However, O’Dwyer Steel Director, Richard Walsh, felt that this was an area of the business that could be vastly improved by undertaking the surveys using a 3D Laser Scanner rather than a total station. By adopting this new digital methodology he felt that, not only would the site and office work be completed far faster, but the point cloud that the laser scanner generated would deliver the mm accuracy they required along with every detail of the site or structure, no matter how small. This would cut down on the need to revisit the site for any additional measurements and also remove any potential misinterpretations of the site layout.

“We are involved in a lot of complex projects and the new workflow is enabling us to spot potential clashes or misalignments presite. It’s also been particularly impressive during Microsoft Teams meetings with the design team able to open ‘Scan Explorer’ to take measurements and levels.”

Richard Walsh, Director, O’Dwyer Steel

Tekla – the workhorse for workflow

O’Dwyer is a long-term user of Tekla Structures (software that enables users to create and manage 3D structural models in concrete or steel), and Richard Walsh was therefore keen for any new solution to have a familiar interface and in particular, to work seamlessly with his Tekla software. He therefore contacted Trimble BuildingPoint UK and Ireland to research various scanners and following a number of trials, selected the Trimble X7 a scanner, a system already well trusted, respected and proven within the construction industry.

The adoption of the new system, which included Trimble FieldLink software to manage the laser scanner via a tablet and Trimble RealWorks for point cloud processing and analysis, enabled Richard to fine tune the workflow.

Once the site survey is complete using the Trimble X7, the site engineer exports the scan data into Trimble RealWorks which is used to validate the registration of the scans already completed on site by the X7. RealWorks is also used to turn the point cloud into a lean, clean, dataset free from the noise of a busy site and any information superfluous to the needs of the steel detailer.

The software is also used to segment down the point cloud before it’s issued to the detailer to make it even more manageable in size. Once segmented, these point clouds are generated and imported into Tekla Structures for the detailing and modelling of the steel work.

This easy, connected flow of data ensures that the accuracy of the original point cloud is retained throughout the process.

Case Study: Steelwork for a Martello tower, UK

Full scan of the Martello tower using the Trimble X7

This was a particularly challenging project in which ODS was engaged by Enevate Homes UK (specialists in volumetric construction) to fabricate and install floor and roof steelwork into a Martello tower located on the south coast of England. WL Squared (Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers) designed curved steelwork for each floor and a feature curved roof.

ODS used the Trimble X7 to complete a survey of the existing tower. Due to its compact nature, the ODS team was able to bring the X7 onto a flight from Ireland to the UK and the survey was completed in just one day.

Following the site work, a point cloud was then generated to allow the Tekla detailer to detail all the steelwork. The point cloud was segmented down to points only at each level that was relevant to the steel detailer.

On this project, the ODS management team decided to pre-assemble each of the floors in their workshop. They were able then to do a scan of the assembled floor and compare that to the .IFC model to ensure it was within tolerance prior to delivery and installation. Indeed, an error was picked up with one of the perimeter PFC (parallel flange channel) being curved to the incorrect radius. Carrying out this exercise allowed ODS to remedy the error before it was delivered to site.

Survey carried out of preassembled floors in ODS workshop
Curved roof steelwork
Steel beams sitting on existing corbels

“Once I’d familiarised myself with the new workflow, creating the models with the point cloud was very easy and now it’s become second nature. There have been numerous times when this has enabled us to flag up issues in the office, presite, which has been invaluable. For example, on our very first job with the Trimble X7 where we were extending a commercial building, we were able to pick up an electrical box exactly where we were dropping a column and arrange for this to be moved before we arrived on site.

The new system also means that we can handle particular complex jobs. A recent one involved steel work inside a tower in England. The inside was not symmetrical, so every piece of steel work was different. I don’t know how we’d have managed this job previously!”

Shane O’Connell – Steel Detailer, O’Dwyer Steel

New Workflow – key benefits

• Faster turnaround of jobs
• Total confidence that the steel structure will fit on site
• Avoidance of rework and site revisits, saving time and money
• Ability to spot clashes/misalignments in the office and correct the model before fabrication
• Capacity to take on larger and more complex projects

• Trusted, accurate and reliable X7 data
• Easy moving of point cloud within the Tekla IFC file
• Ability to capture even the smallest detail with the X7
• Ability to open Trimble Scan Explorer during Teams meetings and take dimensions and levels

For further information please contact:

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Something Super

The super deduction tax relief scheme in the UK is coming to an end soon.

So, if you’re planning to upgrade your tools of the trade, now would be an excellent time to do so.

Read on to discover how the scheme works, who’s eligible, and how much you can claim…

What is the Super Deduction?

Announced by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak back in the 2021 budget, the super deduction scheme was established to boost investment, productivity and efficiency for UK businesses – especially after the hardship of 2020.

The scheme offers companies the rare opportunity to claim 130% tax relief on new plant and machinery, purchased before 31st March 2023.

Put another way, for every £1 you spend, your taxes are cut by up to 25p.

So, how does it work?

The scheme allows you to claim 130% tax relief on assets purchased before 31st March 2023.

Let’s look at an example.

Let’s say you purchase new kit at a total cost of £100,000.

In that accounting year, you can claim 130% of that figure (i.e. £130,000) from your taxable profits.

Applying 19% corporation tax to that £130,000 figure gives you a tax saving of £24,700

The table below provides a comparison of the Super Deduction with the previous system – as you can see, the tax saving is more than doubled in this example.

Read more