Paving the way for Future: How road construction is becoming more sustainable – Part 2

Roads Construction
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The previous article mentions the need for sustainability when it comes to road construction. It also analyses the most how engineers are using alternative materials in road construction from plastic to solar panels. Though materials are an integral part of the road construction it is equally important to find ways to get the best possible use out of them. Here, the method of road construction needs to evolve. By using technological advancements, we can help construct new roads or reconstruct existing ones in a more ecological manner.  The below two points bring to light predominant sustainable approaches.

2. Construction Methodology:

At the very heart of the architectural field’s approach to sustainability lies the use of modern technology in the planning phase of construction. With the increase in need for more road networks combined with the need to be more sustainable, digitalization in the planning process of infrastructure from a very early stage is extremely important. This process could be helpful both when dealing with traditional materials or while innovating with new elements of different properties.

One of the advantages of BIM is that it reduces waste and errors. The whole process of road pavement is fraught with sustainability issues. The materials are scarce and detrimental for the environment, while the transportation and installation of these materials consumes a considerable amount of fuel and energy. Any errors don’t just mean a waste of the materials but redoing the whole process can be twice as harmful to the environment. With BIM Coordination, Clash Detection and  4D Scheduling engineers and designers can at a very early stage catch potential mix-ups, causing no actual damage.

Intelligent 3D Modeling can also be useful in selecting new possible materials and to see how these materials will operate and look in any situation. By modelling and presenting an existing situation the engineers can get an accurate reflection of the terrain, layers in the ground and what installations will be crucial. It can also with the help of 5D BIM services help determine the cost of the project. This prevents any surprises during the actual process of the construction.

3. Scan to BIM for Reconstruction of roads:

A large chunk of our global road network has already been constructed. The lack of balance between fright volume, vehicle capacity or overall road quality leads to a constant need of maintenance or reconstruction. Manual estimations and measurements can be imprecise and certain parts may also be difficult to access, here Scan to BIM Services can be utilized successfully.  Point-Cloud data generated by HD Scanner can give up-to-date as-built documentation of the road, and helps figure out the exact points of damage. BIM Model generated on the basis of the extracted data can plan the whole process of reconstruction from the scheduling to materials used to cost estimation. When only problem areas are targeted a lot of resources are conserved and what would have been a long and expensive project becomes relatively simpler.  

The issue of sustainability is perhaps going to be the defining issue of the 21st Century and a definite solution might take some inventive inventions. The engineers are trying to tackle sustainability in two main ways: by constructing more durable roads and by using materials and methods that reduce carbon emissions. The task ahead is difficult but the engineers seem to be on the right path!

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