Smart Transport

HS2 trials AI solution to cut carbon emissions

HS2 station concept

HS2 is trialling a new carbon and cost estimating solution at a number of its sites with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).

The AI solution at sites managed by the Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture is expected to shorten pre-construction phases, reduce project management costs, allow greater visibility of carbon emissions and overall improved cost and carbon control.

Using the AI tool, the building information model (BIM) processes are automated so that different design options can be simulated using different types and quantities of construction materials.

This means carbon emissions and environmental impacts of construction can be visualised, measured and compared, which HS2 say will result in the design of a more environmentally-friendly solution.

The AI Skanska solution is part of a project funded through Innovate UK, which will replace the current method of manually measuring 3D drawings, and will assist the design process in reducing carbon emissions throughout the life of a building.

A consortium of organisations is working to develop the AI solution.

Skanska UK is leading the project, working with software developer Nomitech, design consultant Mott MacDonald, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC Data and AI Research), The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and HS2.

Sonia Zahiroddiny, HS2 head of digital engineering, said: “HS2 is a project designed to support the UK’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy, so we’re extremely pleased that we can provide a live construction environment for the practical application of this new AI-enabled app.

“Innovation is at the heart of our drive to reduce carbon, and this ground-breaking solution will enable us to realise immediate efficiencies across Phase One of the project, as well as building it into Phase Two. 

“We will also play our role in disseminating the new app to the wider industry in order to achieve cultural change across the sector to help meet the UK’s carbon emission targets.”

Vaibhav Tyagi, Skanska’s head of innovation, said the AI solution is an example of how an innovative mindset can lead to solutions that address climate change.

He said: “Investing in innovation is essential to produce great ideas like this. Innovation and digital integration are critical to reduce carbon and work towards net-zero emissions.”

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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