Technological Innovations for Construction, Forecasting and Data Analysis on Issues
by Tam Nguyen, Global Head of Sustainability
Innovate and Create
We are combining start-up funding, incubation, and integration to accelerate Bechtel’s efforts to drive technological innovation and sustainability across the enterprise.
Modeling Better Impacts
Using unmanned aircraft to survey construction sites while engineers are planning a project can lead to significant efficiency gains. In addition to allowing work to move faster, the surveys can reduce disruption to the natural area.
Combining the real-time aerial imaging that drones provide with advanced digital modeling offers even more opportunities to benefit Bechtel’s customers, stakeholders, and the natural environment.
Bechtel’s projects are known for structures the public can see and the services they provide. But before anything is built, thousands of tons of dirt and rock must be taken away, brought to, or moved around at a job site. In a project like the Curtis Island LNG project in Australia, moving around 18.6 million cubic meters of earth, can consume an enormous amount of a project’s time and budget.
Bechtel is applying the same advanced computing to earthworks that it has used to model intricate, technical parts of a project, with huge impacts. Cutting months from this phase of a project avoids thousands of hours of truck use and associated carbon emissions, cuts down on supplies and generated waste, and diminishes erosion from exposed earthworks.
“The way you can solve the sustainability challenge is through innovation. We are focusing that lens as we work through our tools and processes to make sure that when we bring in something new, it not only has a good business impact but also a good sustainability impact. We can always do better; we can always push further. Innovation and sustainability are joined at the hip.” -- Randy Schwartz, Innovation Deployment Manager
4D PLANNING – TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS IN ACTION
Adding a Fourth Dimension to Planning
Using increasingly prescient tools such as 4-D simulations, planners can anticipate problems and head them off in ways never before possible. These tools allow us to design and deliver hydroelectric dams, combined cycle natural gas power plants, rail networks, bridges, and nuclear facilities to customers faster with less disruption to communities and less environmental impact.
The precise sequencing that 4-D simulation contributes to work plans allows Bechtel’s engineers to optimize the use of energy-intensive machinery, such as cranes and trucks, while minimizing the emissions they create.
“Sustainability and innovation are inextricably linked. Innovation should always result in better, faster, and leaner delivery, which in turn should directly reduce our impact on the environment, increase the capabilities of our teams, and improve our local communities.” -- David Wilson, Chief Innovation Officer
Discerning Trends to Create Actions
We are enhancing our sustainability capabilities by bringing science to the forecasting and decision-making processes, and pairing our regional, technical, and policy experts throughout Bechtel with cognitive analytics. Some of our recent applications include:
- Providing insights and forecasts on market trends, such as societal demand for cleaner energy and preventing forced labor and human trafficking in global supply chains.
- Discerning and examining patterns in social, environmental, and economic issues that hold the potential to shape and influence our current and prospective projects.
We continue to improve and refine our methodology to build datasets, validate analyses, and produce actions that will create business value for Bechtel, our customers, and our partners.
“Our colleagues worldwide are essential to this process. Their technical knowledge and regional experience are key to transforming the analytics from mere data to actionable trends and knowledge.” -- Michael Yamoah, Senior Specialist, Sustainability and Data Analytics.