Government grant helps transform hospital construction

XYZ Reality and UCL awarded grant to develop unique augmented reality solution into the construction of UK hospitals

The augmented reality-driven solution will enable construction leaders to view hyperscale BIM models on site, in real time, and to millimetre accuracy

London-based construction technology start-up, XYZ Reality, and University College London (UCL), have been awarded a government grant to develop XYZ Reality’s augmented reality solution across the construction of UK hospitals.

The grant has been awarded by UKRI through an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality developed Engineering-Grade AR to tackle some of the most-pervasive and costly issues facing the construction industry.

Hospitals are complex construction environments because of the sheer range of MEP services involved and this often leads to clashes and errors in the build phase and the need for expensive and time-consuming rework

Its technology uniquely enables users to view hyperscale BIM models on site in real-time and to millimetre accuracy, making it particularly beneficial for projects with complex mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services, such as hospitals or data centres.

Significant accuracy and efficacy savings have been strongly evidenced through hyperscale data centre adoption.

And, overall construction sector benefits through technology-enabled transformation are expected to be phenomenal locally, nationally, and internationally.

The grant follows the Government’s unveiling of the Hospital Infrastructure Plan, a five-year programme of investment in healthcare infrastructure, including building 40 new hospitals which will deliver world-class facilities to meet the changing needs and rising demands facing the NHS.

And this programme will rely on innovation to be successful, in particular the adoption of new technologies, both in design and build, as current approaches are time-consuming, ineffective, costly, and out of date.

This KTP will be delivered in partnership with UCL’s world-leading Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction and Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), with support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise.

This grant offers us an important opportunity to understand how AR can help different users interact digitally with the environment in novel ways, and by doing so improve productivity, and deliver time and cost savings

It will examine how Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) can help to bring infamously-complex construction projects in on time and on budget, using hospitals as case studies.

Case studies will feed into XYZ Reality’s overarching aim to enable transformation in the construction sector through the demonstration of benefits, such as improving productivity and efficiency, reducing waste, and developing sustainable approaches.

Dr Grant Mills, faculty lead for health and an associate professor, said: “Hospitals are complex construction environments because of the sheer range of MEP services involved.

“This often leads to clashes and errors in the build phase, and the need for expensive and time-consuming rework.”

Professor Duncan Wilson, a professor of connected environments at UCL Bartlett CASA, adds: “This grant offers us an important opportunity to understand how AR can help different users interact digitally with the environment in novel ways, and by doing so improve productivity, and deliver time and cost savings.”

And XYZ Reality’s founder and chief executive, David Mitchell, told BBH: “We’re thrilled to have been selected for the KTP grant and delighted at partnering with UCL on this project.

“Our Engineering- Grade AR technology is already being deployed on construction projects with the same levels of complexity as hospital builds, and I’m pleased to say that it is generating significant time and cost savings.

“I’m passionate about supporting the NHS, so I’m glad that this research will enable us to fully understand the benefits that our technology can offer these specific projects, and help those constructing UK hospitals to build it right, first time.”

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