Since the launch of our immersive design experience EVE, it has been helping to bring the world of temporary works to life and promote early project collaboration. In this blog, our Digital Enginering Manager Andrew Gascoine, gives you a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the work that went into EVE’s development.
Building on our existing commitment to digital innovation, we wanted something that would help us to collaborate and communicate with our customers about their design both in an engaging, interactive space and at the earliest possible stage, on a platform that anyone could use. We also knew that utilising new technology would be a big driver in helping us to achieve this vision, which is where the idea of EVE was born from.
EVE has been developed to provide engineers and contractors with a truly unique experience. Using the latest in immersive technology and designed to integrate with BIM workflows, EVE allows users to fully engage themselves in their project. From taking a virtual walk through the construction site and/or existing structure, to physically visualising and exploring the engineered temporary works scheme in-situ, all without leaving their desk.
A: Construction projects are getting bigger, more complex and more ambitious. While this is of course very exciting, it does mean that effective communication and collaboration are becoming increasingly important if projects are to be delivered on time and in an efficient and safe manner.
While BIM software and tools are already helping to facilitate this idea of effective communication, we wanted to push these benefits and digital efficiencies even further. Hence the development of EVE, created out of a desire to provide the industry with an immersive, digital environment in which teams could explore and interact with the site, the project and their temporary works scheme.
We wanted to use technology to help our customers and the wider industry build with confidence, streamlining both the design stage and the installation process on site. Giving our customers the ability to visualise and explore the design, before teams even reach site, can help them plan ahead, make decisions faster, save time and money, reduce the likelihood of errors or design clashes and improve overall site health and safety.
A: The initial development stage took around twelve months, which included a BETA stage of testing with various customers. However, that’s not to say that today’s EVE is the final product. As with all digital technology, it is ever evolving, and we hope to continue to work closely with our customers to shape and create EVE 2.0 over the coming months.
A: As a business, we knew that we needed to first dedicate further investment in digital software and that we would also benefit from bringing new skillsets into the company. As such, we took the decision to appoint a game design expert within the engineering team, challenging us to think and approach things differently. We also took a step back and looked at the construction industry as a whole, seeing what common trends and challenges were present - all of which fed into the development of EVE.
A soft launch was then undertaken with 40 of our customers. Given that EVE is built around a desire to collaborate and communicate better with our clients, it made sense for these same customers to be at the heart of the development process, with their feedback resulting in new functionalities being added to the software.
We even took EVE to our STEM Education Programme for further road-testing. After all, the younger generation are both the digital generation and also the future generation of engineers, making it important that we listened to their feedback and adapted EVE accordingly.
A: Ultimately, designing a project within EVE will give the client early visibility of how their temporary works scheme will work and interact with the permanent, in a visual, immersive and interactive way. Through the use of EVE, we can better highlight any potential design issues, health and safety risks, installation requirements or project phasing needs. By identifying these variables early on in the design process, we can ultimately help to save the customer time and money, before the temporary works kit gets to site.