A London-based construction technology start-up and UCL have been awarded a government grant to develop an augmented reality solution for 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.
Its technology enables users to view hyperscale BIM models on-site in real-time and to millimetre accuracy, making it particularly beneficial for projects with complex MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) services, such as hospitals or data centres.
Significant accuracy and efficacy savings have been strongly evidenced through hyperscale data centre adoption. Overall construction sector benefits through technology enabled transformation are expected to be phenomenal locally, nationally and internationally.
XYZ Reality’s founder and CEO David Mitchell said: “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.”
In 2019, the government announced the Hospital Infrastructure Plan, a five-year programme of investment in health infrastructure, including building 40 new hospitals, which will deliver world-class facilities to meet the changing needs and rising demands facing the NHS.
This programme will rely on innovation to be successful, in particular the adoption of new technologies both in design and build are crucial, as current approaches are time-consuming, ineffective, costly and out of date.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.
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.
Dr Grant Mills, Faculty Lead for Health and 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 re-work.”
Prof Duncan Wilson, Professor of Connected Environments in UCL Bartlett CASA, added: “This KTP 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.”