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Motts and Microsoft partner on smart infrastructure platform

Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Mott MacDonald and Microsoft have joined forces to create a cloud-based smart infrastructure platform.

The new platform uses asset performance modelling, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to help asset owners, cities and governments to sustainably deliver public services.

As part of the partnership, Mott MacDonald is moving its cloud-based analytics and digital twin platform – named Moata – to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services via the firm’s managed data centres.

“It is [Microsoft’s] cloud technology that allows infrastructure to be smart or intelligent,” said Microsoft global managing director of local and regional government and CityNext Trudy Norris-Grey.

Mott MacDonald digital business development director Richard Shennan said: “Infrastructure historically tends to be built around some sort of model based on past performance and predictions built on past experience.

“Smart infrastructure is infrastructure that is permanently connected to what is actually happening. So it is connected into large social data, using patterns, internet information, sensors, related data such as weather data and other meteorological data which is relevant to the performance of the infrastructure.”

He added: “It is effectively infrastructure that is always responding based on organised information providing insights to support decision-making. That, to me, is the essence of smart infrastructure.

“And obviously all of that needs to be delivered in a way that it is available to everyone when they need it, where they need it and in the format they need it and in a secure way, which is where the cloud-based delivery is fundamental to the proposition.”

Moata is already being used by Auckland City Council in New Zealand to improve the accuracy of water quality predictions and associated public health risk. 

The city-scale digital twin is used by Auckland City Council to represent the real time interaction between atmospheric conditions, the urban stormwater and wastewater networks as well as the marine environment.

In fact, real time data has been used to tackle Auckland’s unpredictable wastewater pollution of its popular beaches. Moata was used to publicly display the water quality across 84 different beaches by pinpointing of 1bn data points concerning final effluent quality, network hydraulics, weather data and tidal movements.

Moata has also been used by Christchurch City Council in New Zealand to monitor the performance and location of overflow incidents in its wastewater network by collecting data about flow rates, water levels and pressures from the sensors.

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