“The Future of…” Series 3 – Setting Out (Digitally!)

This is the third in our series of “The Future of…” posts where we’ve been looking at trends within the construction industry. We’ve already covered ‘Augmented and Mixed Reality’, and ‘Construction Robotics’, so where next? Well, I did mention that I may mix up Trend 3 due to popular demand so here goes….

In this post we’ll be looking at the move away from paper, or more specifically, taking a closer look at  the future of ‘Digital Setting Out’. What better way to start than with two fitting quotes, one is from 50 years ago, the other I heard just recently!

“The most dangerous phrase in the language is: ‘We’ve always done it this way’.”

Grace Hopper, American computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral. (Computer World, 1976)


“Do it once, do it right and your other issues will go away.”

Jamie McCann, Managing Director, AV UNIBRAK. (KOREC case study, 2022)

We get it. Changing from what you’ve always done can be scary, but when we have such feature rich constructible models using our state-of-the-art software in the office, why, when we attend sites, do our site operatives work from GA plans printed on A0 paper?

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“The Future of…” Series 2 – Construction Robotics

During the summer we launched our BuildingPoint UK and Ireland ‘The Future Of….’ Series looking at key trends in digital construction and we decided there was nowhere better to kick off than with Augmented and Mixed Reality – technology that’s truly transforming the way we work!

The second trend that we’ve decided to take a look at is Construction Robots and the nature of ‘true autonomy’.

“An autonomous robot is a robot that acts without recourse to human control” is the official definition. Short and to the point, it’s an easy one to understand.

However, since the introduction of Trimble’s Spot the Dog we’ve realised that our customers and colleagues have plenty more to say on the subject! Spot is a four-legged robot developed by American robotics company Boston Dynamics that’s armed with Trimble’s X7 3D laser scanner and Trimble FieldLink software to collect data while navigating challenging, dynamic and potentially unsafe environments… and it’s certainly had lots of media interest.

Opinions that matter!

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“The future of…” Series 1 – Mixed Reality/Augmented Reality in construction

During the summer we launched our BuildingPoint UK and Ireland ‘The Future Of….’ Series looking at key trends in digital construction and we decided there was nowhere better to kick off than with Augmented and Mixed Reality – technology that’s truly transforming the way we work!

AR and MR – where are we now?

AR/MR might be regarded as ‘the new kid on the block’ but a quick visit to a TV news report back in 1997 on Trimble shows that this technology has been over 20 years in the making! Development is now continuing apace and in particular, recent software advances are engaging a wider variety of users.

Whilst the current geospatial market for AR/MR is still relatively low, primary research indicates that the construction market will see a 44% increase in the number of AR devices used in 2023 alone.

Here at KOREC, our experiences indicate that whilst initial take up has indeed been slowish, end users love the idea of AR/MR, but it’s only when they adopt it into their workflow that they realise how beneficial it can be to their business.

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Taking Hillcrest Structural From Paper Plans to Point Clouds

Helping Hillcrest Structural lower costs, improve accuracy and save time by switching from manual measuring and dumpy levels to point clouds and robotic measurements.

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On site with the Trimble RTS773

Based in Fareham, Hampshire, Hillcrest Structural is a steel contractor specialising in the design, supply, fabrication and erection of structural steel and ancillary systems throughout the UK. The company has its own in-house design division, production facilities and site team, a set up that enables it to offer a complete solution to its clients as well as a range of useful cross department experiences for employees.

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Adopting Mixed Reality: Mercury Engineering Are Now Using The Trimble XR10

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Improved communication, reduced errors in the model and plenty of time saved. Mercury Engineering found the perfect project to test Trimble’s XR10 mixed reality technology.

Mercury Engineering on site with the Trimble XR10

Every year, new digital technologies emerge that can improve construction work, both on-site and in the office. Smart businesses are seeing the potential to improve access to information and embracing them. Businesses like Dublin-based Mercury Engineering.

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AV Unibrak Improve Efficiency With the Trimble RPT600 Rapid Positioning System

It’s not always just about the numbers. The impressive accuracy from Trimble’s RPT600 inspired total confidence from AV Unibrak. The Rapid Positioning Tool has reduced fieldwork by 30%, completely justifying their investment.

Download a PDF of the story here

The System AV Unibrak Used:

Setting Out Hardware: RPT600 – Rapid Positioning System 

Setting Out Software: Trimble FieldLink 

Running On: a T100 Tablet

Plugin: Trimble FieldPoints

With support and servicing provided by KOREC Group

AV Unibrak is one of the UK’s largest independent ventilation companies. They offer a full design, planning, installation, and maintenance service. They work on high-profile projects across the UK, including Manchester’s Crown Street and the London Dock and Nine Elms Parkside.

As they also work with some of the country’s biggest contractors, it’s important they are able to do timely, high-quality work. Under the guidance of Managing Director, Jamie McCann, the company has established a reputation for doing just that.

Jamie realises that many people view the construction industry with suspicion. Delays are inevitable, errors occur and the methods used to address the issues often rely more on speed than quality. He works hard to separate his company from this ‘near enough’ approach. In fact, the AV Unibrak mission is to provide a high-quality job that satisfies the client and benefits the company itself.

“If there’s one outstanding benefit of the introduction of this new system, it has to be simply the quality of the setting out work that we can now produce. In fact any member of our site team can now produce this level of work, not just the tape measure veterans. We can show our contractors that everything is precise because the Trimble is always right! 

This has opened up new doors for us and the additional work that we were awarded on the New Victoria project is a great example of this. Correcting measurement work for Building Standards can cost millions of pounds so our contractors value the accuracy we can bring to a project. In fact, the only people who don’t like the RPT600 are some of our fellow sub-contractors because the quality of our work shows inaccuracies elsewhere.”

– Jamie McCann, Managing Director, AV Unibrak

Mapping Hardware Selected for a Clear Purpose

Always on the hunt to improve efficiency, Jamie felt that the company’s process of setting out ventilation services was an area for improvement. Along with the company’s Head of Design, Gabriel Asante-Boadu, he decided that moving away from traditional tape-based measuring methods could make a massive difference.

Though the old system still worked well, it relied on the expertise of their staff in setting out by hand. This limited how many jobs could be done, creating a bottleneck when demand for these services were high.

And even with their highly-trained and proficient staff, there was potential for human error using offsets.

After researching possible systems, both Gabriel and Jamie thought that

Trimble’s RPT600 Rapid Positioning Tool would be a useful addition for site work.

This compact setting-out tool has an easy-to-see green laser that points directly where you need to set out. All with millimetre accuracy. And it’s automated functions and guided workflows mean it is simple to use as well.

The flexibility of the RPT600 also appealed to Gabriel. It is easy to integrate into existing workflows, so their team wouldn’t face much disruption during set-up either.

“The Trimble equipment clearly provided us with the best possible scenario, primarily because it combined the accuracy we required (consistent millimetre positions) with ease of use. Our setting out team members are not IT experts and we could see that the Trimble RPT600 system would be easy for them to adapt to within days and in fact they were up and running after just a couple of run throughs.”

Putting the Trimble RPT600 to Good Use

AV Unibrak purchased 3 RPT600 systems, alongside Trimble FieldLink software and rugged Trimble T100 tablets to control them. These purpose-built systems are more than capable of running power-hungry construction applications and are straightforward to use, making them the perfect companion.

The final part of their packable was Trimble FieldPoints. This software works as a plug-in to CAD and Revit to let them create 2D and 3D point clouds in their design files. They can also be easily exported into FieldLink software for use on-site.

With these tools at their disposal, setting out work is now managed from their office. They’ve also improved communication with automated drawing updates making sure that the onsite team is always working from the current design. 

This has led to increased accuracy on every job, reducing errors despite increasing speed.

Another benefit for Gabriel is the ability to track progress in real-time. This lets him plan more clearly, making sure everybody’s time is optimally used. 

And, as the whole field team can use this straightforward system, they don’t have to rely on experts to take every measurement. This is backed up by automated reporting that allows Gabriel to check all work is done correctly per the drawing.

Key Benefits for AV Unibrak

  • Confidence in the quality of work done.
  • Reduction in human error, the RPT is always right
  • Easy to integrate into an existing workflow
  • Improved communications that ensure the site time is always working from the latest drawings, reducing errors
  • 30% reduction in rework
  • Extremely easy to use by all members of the site team allowing for a better distribution of skills
  • Opens up new doors for setting-out all of a job’s MEP services

Qualitative Benefits

AV Unibrak has already used this system on 15 projects across the UK. In fact, it’s in use all day, every day.

In the past for big projects, Gabriel had to provide a 2D drawing plan of each floor plate with over a thousand setting out points on it. This was then forwarded to the site team.

With the 26-storey residential development at New Victoria Tower in Manchester, this work setting out the ventilation was so impressive it earned AV Unibrak all of the MEP setting out work across both towers.

While the accuracy of the RPT600 system has delivered a reduction in rework of around 30%, Jamie stresses that the real benefits of their new system is qualitative.

AV Unibrak has also been supported by KOREC, Trimble’s UK and Irish distributor. Thanks to the T100, KOREC was able to provide excellent support remotely, dealing quickly with queries.

Now their new workflow is firmly established, AV Unibrak are extending their investment. They’ve purchased a Trimble XR10 Mixed Reality System running FieldLink MR so that they can visualise their designs using holograms. They can also increase the accuracy of their RPT600’s, setting out to designs with mm accuracy,

Follow us to catch up with them in a few months to see how they’re getting on!

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Announcing a new Trimble BuildingPoint dealer for the UK and Ireland

KOREC Group is pleased to announce it is the newest partner of Trimble’s BuildingPoint network, as it launches BuildingPoint UK and Ireland. KOREC Group has had a fruitful partnership with Trimble for over 20 years, and is proud to make their offering even stronger with this step.

This move is also a sign of KOREC’s commitment to expansion. It follows on from the 30 new positions they created in the company earlier this year.

This new partnership is here to support construction companies in keeping their projects on schedule and on budget.

In the UK and Ireland, over 70% of construction projects run over budget and time. This can be down to a variety of factors, such as rework, barriers to stakeholder collaboration and challenges to productivity and efficiency onsite.

BuildingPoint UK and Ireland are here to reduce these overspends. They will give construction companies access to the full portfolio of Trimble products. They will also be on hand to give regional expertise to make sure that companies are getting the most from their products.

This expertise comes from a BuildingPoint team who have specialist Trimble knowledge grown from years of working in the industry and with these products.

Our team will help businesses bring new workflows to their projects. Workflows that deliver increased productivity, effective time management and budget discipline. All while enabling improved coordination, project transparency and collaboration.

This new BuildingPoint offering will help with setting up and using a range of task-specific software and hardware. These range from general setting out tools to Augmented and Mixed Reality technology and robotics.

Alan Browne, Group Chief Executive of KOREC and EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2022:

“The creation of BuildingPoint UK and Ireland is the next phase on our journey along with Trimble of helping our partners in Building Construction operate more safely, more quickly and more accurately whilst reducing costs and the impact on the environment”

This dedicated and experienced team will be looked after by Sam Hough (UK) and Kevin Colwell (Ireland).

Regional BuildingPoint launch events are also going to be held, with the dates and locations announced shortly.

KOREC Group is delighted to announce the establishment of BuildingPoint UK and Ireland as it becomes the newest partner to join Trimble’s BuildingPoint distribution network.
Sam Hough (left) and Kevin Colwell (right) with Spot the dog

About KOREC Group

KOREC Group is a trusted Trimble Geospatial Distributor. They have been active in the construction industry since they first formed in the 1960s and have grown to be one of the largest and most successful in the world.

The Trimble construction arm of KOREC has operated as KOREC Construction since 2019. In September 2022, they joined the global BuildingPoint family under the name BuildingPoint UK & Ireland.

We’re now part of a growing family of BuildingPoint organisations across the Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific.

About Trimble BuildingPoint

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.