The Six Digital Innovations Changing Infrastructure Project Collaboration and Engagement in 2020

The new decade sees us diving deeper than ever before into the digital realm to plan and design infrastructure projects more efficiently and find better ways to collaborate from different locations.

Digital tools are supporting greater levels of collaboration with multi-disciplinary and multi-regional project teams, and helping to visualise outcomes for clients, communities and end-users. Here are six of WSP’s latest digital innovations driving greater project collaboration and engagement in the new world:


Common Data Platforms

While common data platforms are not new, they are becoming business as usual on complex, multi-disciplinary projects. Recognised for their ability to act as a single source of truth for data and information, these platforms provide teams with the confidence to coordinate design and construction through-out the project life-cycle. Multi-disciplinary project teams are able to upload data to a web based portal and share information in a secure environment around web mapping, 3D viewer, data repositories, project controls, site investigations as well as rich media, such as video or VR technology experiences.


Common data platforms are also enable us to provide a common data schema across a project for information. This helps WSP to have consistent data across projects and leads to our data automation and data scientists being able to leverage the huge amount of information produced during the design and construction of a project.


The results? The end design is integrated across disciplines and incorporates input from various stakeholders who can better inform the end ‘look and feel’ to meet their end users’ needs. Dashboards can also be leveraged to show key trends and perhaps inform on issues earlier in the process.


Teams can review benefits of design decisions, engage and collaborate around a wide range of data internally as well as share critical information with clients in a format that’s easy to access and digest. Click here to find out more.


Acoustic Cameras

Acoustics played a key role when we were tasked with refitting a space for an orchestral rehearsal studio on a recent project in Victoria. This included refitting the space to provide acoustics suitable and tuning installed reflectors to improve ensemble conditions. Acoustic measurements typically use a loudspeaker and a single microphone sound level meter. The project broke that ‘paradigm by using beam-forming microphone arrays ‘acoustic cameras’ developed for industrial noise investigations. The use of acoustic cameras was a first for room acoustic measurements in Australia, and a global first with a live orchestra.


The outcomes? Using acoustic cameras provided compelling methods for visualising complex data describing acoustic detail in a more accessible manner than ever before. The data visualisation could be scaled to suit the appropriate medium, from presenting imagery for reports, movie files, and the potential for engaging. Click here to find out more.


Data Automation and Analytics Tools

We have developed data-driven automation and analytics tools to improve the outcome of design decisions and streamline project delivery on a range of road and rail projects across Australia.


These tools are enabling us to automate design process and analysis, organise data and extract critical information, assess the impacts of design decisions on customer accessibility outcomes and manage our ageing infrastructure assets.


Some of the tools developed include the Customer Connectivity tool, Overhead Wiring Design Automation, and Development Application Bot.


The benefits? Data automation and analytics tools are supporting the production of flexible designs that improve accessibility outcomes for end users and are safer, more efficient and more economical. Click here to find out more.


Environmental Monitor

Monitoring environmental impacts on infrastructure in constrained city environments is a challenge. WSP’s team in Victoria developed an Environmental monitor to track and report on the numerous environmental requirements on a major rail project.  The tool works by ingesting data from hundreds of environmental sensors in real time, performing complex mathematical transformations, raising alerts for stakeholders and providing a fully auditable reporting workflow for environmental teams and construction site managers.


The advantages? External stakeholders can access real-time sensor data via a web interface and environmental and safety outcomes are greatly improved for the public. Click here to find out more.


Intelligent Data Platform

Cities attempting to implement Smart City strategies have faced the major drawback of having data from various systems, such as Smart Bins, Lighting, Parking, renewable energy, and transport, isolated in data silos. Unable to ‘connect the dots’, the cities cannot undertake Data Mining, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence because the data is not integrated in a single platform.


The Intelligent Data Platform enables cities to implement programs that rely on connected related data. The platform was developed on a project for the city of  Newcastle in NSW – one specific example is how it is being used is in the management of water resources. The tool processes readings from soil moisture sensors in parks and combines this data with weather forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology and control sprinklers to reduce water usage in the city Parklands.


The Platform makes data available to citizens and interested parties using Open Data Sets accessible by easy to use, web-based tools for selecting and visualising a large body of information relevant to a city. Ready access to data will allow researchers and 3rd parties to test ideas, innovate and co-innovate with city councils.


The outcomes? The platform promotes integrated data and services which will drive productivity and resource management with direct benefits to cities and their citizens. It will deliver a city-scape transport, energy and digital infrastructure network including laser enabled roadside poles, solar and battery powered electric vehicle charge points, smart bus stops and smart parking. Click here to find out more.


Visualisation and Behavioural Science

Visualisation technology and behavioural science technology is being used to simulate end-user experience for transport users. On a road project in Queensland, we built a virtual reality ‘digital twin’ in conjunction with a series of scientifically-based human factors experiments to test design/signage arrangements with members from the local, regional and international public.


We also tested the design with other key stakeholders and undertook thorough analysis of the results to understand ‘why behaviours occurred.


The benefits? Using a combined virtual reality and behavioural science approach enabled us to improve safety outcomes, enhance the driver experience and performance of design, as well as delivering significant cost savings to clients. Click here to find out more.


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