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Talking Point with Brendon Oram

Early involvement is key to the successful delivery of monitoring systems.

The recent announcement by London Underground to select subcontractors and work directly with them is a very bold move in the construction industry, one which they hope will bring about an “innovative and collaborative approach to the work”.

They are looking to create greater efficiencies by shortening the supply chain and narrowing the gap between themselves and the craft speople who will deliver the work on site.

This approach is one that we are very interested in. Subcontractors are often in the position where an outline approach and budget have already been committed to before they, as specialists, have had an opportunity to evaluate the site, form an opinion and offer advice.

“We’d like more opportunity to offer insight at an earlier stage than is currently the case in our construction projects”

Designers and primary contractors will make assessments based on their previous experience and knowledge (often under large time constraints). However,
their previous experience and knowledge is often not as comprehensive as the specialist’s and the end result is then unexpected increases in expenditure, impacts on project timelines and disappointing performance of monitoring systems.

The benefits of engaging a specialist instrumentation and monitoring company earlier is that they have a wealth of experience when offering advice and making recommendations. These specialists have experience of a vast array of scenarios, ground conditions, infrastructure types, clients and instrumentation options to draw on at the start a new project.

We can assess the site to evaluate, in advance, what the issues might be and what specific instrumentation and systems can be installed to ensure precise monitoring, accurate data and effective alerts. We also know where our capabilities lie and when to seek assistance from other specialist contractors (such as land surveyors and drilling contractors).

Most will also have excellent working relationships with both principal contractors and instrumentation and monitoring designers that have been cultivated over many years.

However, what we would like to see more of is having the opportunity to offer insight at an earlier stage than is currently the case in our construction
projects.

In other areas of Itmsoil’s business, we are invited to offer consultative advice right from the outset, with the results being cost savings, streamlined processes and more effective monitoring systems. In having a voice at the design or pre-construction phase we would be able to bring these benefits to our construction clients too.

Ultimately what we are all looking to do is to specify the best equipment for the job, install it well and visualise the data in an appropriate manner so that any required action can be taken as swiftly as possible to maintain the integrity of the build. We believe that collaboration when defining the correct approach at the design phase is crucial to realising this ideal and increasing the likelihood of stakeholder satisfaction.

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