Mabey Hire hacks into the future with Construction News

Mabey Hire engineers Aris Nikolarakos and Andrew Gascoine joined dozens of construction professionals taking part in a 24 hour hackathon event at the recent Construction News Summit, held at Hilton Bankside, London on 11th and 12th October.

Construction News invited over 30 experts in their respective fields from across the construction industry, and divided them into four teams. The teams were then given 24 hours to come up with a ‘game changing’ technological innovation to improve construction efficiency.

Development Engineer – Instrumentation Aris’ team focused on the housing crisis and whether house construction could be made more efficient by using information technology to link plans and specifications with contractors, suppliers, architects and Building Information Modelling (BIM) models. Their system, dubbed ‘Home ID’, would allow homebuyers to choose and specify their home online, choosing from the whole range of options, both architecturally and in terms of fit and fittings. The application would then produce a complete set of plans, schedules, construction contracts and quantity surveys, based on their preferences and choices.

Engineering Technician - Digital Andrew’s team concentrated on the transformation of health and safety within UK construction, devising a “mixed-reality robotic construction method”. His team envisaged robots that could be remotely operated using virtual and augmented reality interfaces, in high risk and repetitive operations. The robots would initially learn from their operators before becoming fully autonomous, and able to complete hazardous tasks like welding or laying floors in high rise buildings.

Although the judges picked ‘Uber for concrete’ as the winning idea, there were commendations for all the teams and their imaginative and ground-breaking ideas. Both Aris and Andrew found the experience exciting and interesting. Speaking after the event Aris commented: “It was a very stimulating exercise, and collaborating with a team with such a variety of expertise and knowledge was enormously good fun.”

Andrew was equally enthusiastic. He added: “Working with architects, planners, engineers and BIM managers on this tech sprint allowed us to pool our knowledge in really wild and creative ways. I made some great contacts too, and look forward to meeting some of my team members again at Digital Construction Week. It was exhausting, but worth every minute for the experience.”


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