20 SEP 2018

Morgan Sindall and BakerHicks successfully trial mixed reality installation checks

Morgan Sindall Group sister companies, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and BakerHicks, the multidisciplinary design and engineering company, have successfully completed their first on-site trial using a Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset to perform installation checks. 

The trial took place at the new Ashmole Primary School site in Southgate, London, where Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure is the principal contractor. The team consulted BakerHicks’ specialist Building Information Modelling (BIM) team in order to project their live construction BIM model onto the mechanical, electrical and public health (MEPH) installations on the site.

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure provided BakerHicks’ specialists with their live model to develop a customised app, which allowed the project team to then view and interrogate a section of the project’s MEPH within a specified location. Using an image tracker which acts like a QR code but displays a 3D model rather than a web link, the team were able to superimpose the holographic BIM model onto the soffit of the ceiling. This enabled the project team to walk through the building wearing the Microsoft HoloLens headset, which acts as a self-contained holographic computer, to check and audit the actual built product against the original design.

The trial demonstrated the essential role mixed reality technology can play in quickly and easily identifying any potential issues with the build; the headset can record what the wearer is seeing and is fully interactive, enabling any changes to be communicated to the design team. The team is now investigating how it could be used on a wider basis, for example in new scope integration or project aftercare to inspect any MEPH issues once the walls and ceilings have been closed up, minimising the need to re-open those walls and ceilings if a problem is identified.

Trevor Strahan, head of BIM at BakerHicks says:

“The success of this trial marks an exciting step in our journey in exploring the possibilities HoloLens technology could bring to our industry. BakerHicks are at the forefront of embracing new technology where it can add tangible value, and we have been quick to recognise the benefits that ‘virtual world’ technology can deliver and apply it in a ‘real world’ environment. We’ve been working on developing Augmented Reality for a while now and it is really exciting to see all that come to fruition.”

Steffan Speer, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure’s business improvement director says:

“At Morgan Sindall our strategic innovation strategy means we are focused on delivering our projects as efficiently as possible whilst sharing and developing best practice – all key to ensuring an exceptional customer experience.
“Described as a perfect fusion of the real and virtual world, the benefits mixed reality could bring to our teams and customers are vast – including remote conferencing, construction design and installation reviews along with the presentation of construction models via holograms. I’m looking forward to our subsequent trials as we look to develop these exciting capabilities further.”
Watch a video of the first on-site trial using a Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset: